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On Taking Fewer Photographs

On Taking Fewer Photographs

_DSC0018Last weekend, I went with a group of photographer friends, mainly from my camera club, to photograph the Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show.

This is one of my favourite events to photograph, as there are more than a hundred American and European cars on display. Those I like best are the American cars from the 50s and 60s, with their arrogant tail fins, brash chrome and bold colours.

Although I was at the car show for four hours, I took fewer than twenty photographs. I find that, as I work harder at improving my photography, I am taking fewer and fewer photographs, rejecting more images at the visualization stage, holding out to take only those photos which say something meaningful about how I felt about the subject.

With these beautiful cars, the greatest temptation is to take a photo of the entire vehicle, simply to show how beautiful it is. That’s a perfectly valid approach and I like to look at those kinds of photos. But I think that I proved to myself a while ago that I could take that kind of photograph.

Nowadays, I am looking to make a more individual statement about a subject such as this, to find a usually unseen angle that shows the car in a different way, to use colour, line and form to represent the age of classic American automobile design.

Here is an attempt from the classic car show.

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4 Comments

  1. Greg October 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Very true Shaun. I agree with being critical with one’s own vision and trying to find the best composition before tripping the shutter. Nice angle on the photo too.

    • shaunmoss October 26, 2013 at 4:35 am #

      Thanks, Greg. It was great to see you – and to meet your brother – at the car show. You took a lot more photos than I did there and you got a lot of keepers that you should be proud of.

  2. Mark Hilliard October 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Shaun, this is a profound truth that only the best photographers learn in time…

    Very nice image, enough of the car is missing from the frame that it pulls your eyes off frame solidly into the realm of imagination! The perfect combination of line and curve coupled with the varying color contrasts just plain work! Well conceived and executed.

    • shaunmoss October 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      Thank you, Mark, for the visit and the comment. Glad to see you’re back on the web.

      With this image, I was certainly aiming to use color contrast as a key component of the composition; there is contrast between the red of the car and both the black of the windows and the grey of the sky, which I almost completely desaturated. Because there is only black, silver (in the window frames) and grey elsewhere in the image, the red does seem to pop more.

      As for line and curve, I wanted to show enough of the car that the viewer knows this is a classic car but make the eye work to figure that out and leave plenty to the imagination as to the make and model. It’s a classic car: it could be any one.

      Again, many thanks for the kind comment.

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