In this category although I always quote an artist, I don’t always quote a photographer. I’ll often quote someone like Kenny Rogers, or Marcel Proust because what they had to say fits in with I often say both in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.
Robert Capa was a well known war photographer and photo-journalist. who documented five different wars. In 1947 he co-founded Magnum ( a international free-lance photographic agency) along with photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson. He once said, “If you’re photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough”.
There’s been discussions concerning this quote, and many think that he was referring to being up close and personal to the wars in which he photographed and incidentally, he was in the first wave of soldiers that hit Omaha Beach.
I’ve followed his work for some time, and to me his quote goes well beyond the photos he took during those five wars.
All my fellow photographers that I’ve helped since 1983 when I first started sharing my knowledge have come to known my “Personal Pearls of Wisdom”. One of them is “get up close and personal”. What I mean is that so many photographers will see a subject and without moving start shooting; this might be five feet away or twenty. They will keep at a distance which usually means that there’s not a lot of depth that can be created by anchoring the subject in the foreground while creating layers of interest.
I’ve found that many photographers are easily intimidated and are not comfortable with being close to either a person or even an inanimate subject . Nor are they willing to change their POV like getting on their knees to compose a photo. Therefore, they’re more at ease with keeping their distance and that falls under another Pearl of Wisdom I call “make don’t take pictures”.
So, the next time you’re out and about with your camera and see an interesting photo opportunity, think about what Robert Capa said. You just might find it to be true in your approach to picture taking, and if it is, just for once try to do it his way.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and keep an eye out for my upcoming 2016 workshops. Come shoot with me sometime…pictures that is!! In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.
Don’t forget to send me your photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video for you.