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“The best way out is always through.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Take Some Snapshots Just for Fun

A lot of times those of us who take photography seriously tend to take is so seriously we forget about taking "snaps" just for fun. I don't mean semi-serious photos, I mean just silly old snapshots. There's some kind of mental barrier in many photographers' brains that prevents us from taking "bad" photos. Lose that mental barrier!

Taking total snapshots is not only fun, but (especially when you're traveling) it can also be a good way to free your creative spirit. If you say, "I don't care what this looks like, I just want a memory of this place at this moment," then you find yourself shooting pictures that genuinely convey that spontaneous feeling of just being somewhere new. No f/stops to think about, no depth of field, no lens choice, just snapshot fever.

The photo here, for example, was shot while I sat on the fender of a rental car in an inn parking lot in the Loire Valley of central France. I was just sitting there watching the traffic roll by and decided I wanted a visual reminder of what the road looked like since I'd driven down it a few dozen times. I have lots of really "serious" photos that I've taken in France, but I get a pretty big kick out of looking back at that familiar road. The strange thing is, this is the only photo I have of that road and the farm where I was staying was one of my favorite places in France. It's not Paris, not a medieval castle, just a country road in the middle (literally) of France.

Personally I don't think snapshots get the artistic respect they deserve: they are perhaps the most honest of all the photos we take and have no pretense, no high ambitions, no technical correctness, just a quick look at a moment in our lives. So take some snappers--they are tons of fun to look at and come with zero angst!

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