Monday, September 3, 2012

A Theory

I have the theory, which I don't actually think is literally true but which I try to hang on to anyways. It's this: there are technically good photographs everywhere. At any moment, anywhere, there's something in view which would make a graphically strong image. Not necessarily good art, not necessarily an emotionally powerful image, but a strong composition.

As I say, I don't think it's literally true -- if you're in the middle of the ocean under a cloudless sky, the options are gonna be a little limited. Generally, though, most of the time, there's something. You might not be able to get physically close enough to shoot it with the lens you have, or you might not have a wide enough lens, or whatever. The equipment might make it impossible, but there's usually something there.

So what? Well, nothing much, but the following strange corollary occurred to me over the weekend. Well, it's not really a corollary, since it doesn't quite follow logically, it's more of a similar idea that's probably just about as true.

In any sufficiently wide angle deep field of focus photograph, there's a strong composition that can be cropped out of it.

Again, not really true all the time, but I feel like it's true a lot of the time. This obviously hearkens back to my earlier remarks in which I suggest that shooting with a lot of pixels, a very wide lens, and a very very twitchy shutter finger is a valid approach to photography. In that approach, you're just grabbing vast amounts of raw material, and then doing the "photography" as such in post, by cropping and processing.

This theory boils down to "that approach will work" but comes at it from another angle.

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