photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Mental photography

, Wednesday, August 06, 2003

A couple of days ago we went for a late afternoon walk in the mountains, in the San Gottardo area. Usually, I would take a camera or two. This time I didn't. And strangely I came back with some very strong images. Not having a camera meant that I was not always looking around for an opportunity to justify carrying it. In fact I was noticing things more. One particular location, which we came across quite late, turned out to be a dream spot. I actually find it quite difficult to photograph in the Alps, or at least to end up with anything that isn't just a postcard. The light is harsh, the foliage is generally dark and quite uniform in colour, and the rocks are pale and reflective. When the right light comes it's usually behind an adjacent peak... So finding locations can be hard. In fact apart from this location, the last good one I found was also on a non-camera trip, but this time by accident as my tripod failed to follow in a last minute car swap. Coming back to the original location - it is actually relatively difficult to get too, and requires quite a strenuous climb. If I had been spending time taking photographs on the way up, we wouldn't have made it so far. So I now have these images in my head, and I can visualise at will until I find the time to go back with some film to capture them on. But I'm beginning to get the sense that good photography is not so much "f8 & be there", but more "work out where and when you want to go, and don't take a camera with you until it keeps you awake at night".