Creating a Photograph

Most of my photographs have been constructed in my mind before the camera is attached to its tripod. This process can happen very quickly or it take time. Sometimes it is as easy as looking at a scene and making a decision on composition. Other times it starts out as a concept and you have to look for the image in some case for years.

The concept idea can turn in to a single image or many different images. The concept can be something simple such as, window, door, path, relaxation and so on. With these concepts in mind it can be easy  to make images that fall under each of the concepts. On any given day I may come across several or none of these ideas, but I am always ready with a camera near by, if not in hand.

The following happened almost twenty years ago, and a similar incident could happen today, tomorrow or next week.

Several years ago my wife and I were on a weeks vacation at a cabin on Lake One (partially in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota), our mission that week was total relaxation which meant NO WORK. We were at the cabin to do nothing, but enjoying our time.  The cabin had these white plastic chairs and each cabin at the resort had its own dock, So we had taken two of the chairs down to the dock so we could take in the different moods of the lake over the week. Our time went by and we were packing up to leave when we remembered that the chairs were still on the dock so I went to get them. That is when I saw an image I just had to make. I ran back to the car and grabbed a camera and started making images only to realize that I had my wife’s camera I thought for a moment about switching to one of mine but I decided not to because the fog was lifting so I just kept making images, after all we were shooting the same film that summer.

The resulting image has been one of our top sellers for many years. If I had tried to stage this image something would have not gone according to plan. There may have been no fog or it could have been windy, or perhaps the chairs would have looked staged.

I’m always thinking about photographs, and looking for them. By chance I do not have a camera handy, I could use my smart phone or I may just have to take in the moment and enjoy!