What It Feels Like

Don’t try to take photos of what it looks like.
Try to take photos that show what it felt like to be there.

I expect if you got 10 photographers in a room (maybe even the same one, 10 times) you’d get 11 different opinions or bits of advice. That’s OK. It’s an art or a craft, not a science.

But this advice — from a videographer for the Salt Lake Tabernacle who was one of our tour leaders on our fabulous trip to Utah — has stuck with me. And it’s helped me remember to at least try different things. Even when I’m working with just my phone, it’s often prompted me to try both the vista . . .

. . . and the close-up.

I’m sure there’s a Seth’s Blog in there somewhere, about remembering to check my distance from any subject, and changing it up to see how what-I-see changes. And to see how well each view shows what it feels like to be there.


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10 Responses to What It Feels Like

  1. Well done Isabel.

    Things certainly have different interests taken from various vantage points.

    Good thing pictures are “free*” these days and we don’t have to pay for film which allows photographers to experiment more.

    * how “free” they really are is a whole ‘nother discussion.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – Yes, it’s good not to have to pay for film, but the more photos I take the more time I spend in review and processing.

  2. Marilyn Smith says:

    Beautiful photos that definitely suggest what it felt to be there, Isabel, and that’s how I am seeing them — offering a sense of stillness, silence, dry air, distance, shapes, survival, skeletons, mystery, caution, space, wilderness. The photo of the branch of green leaves punctuated by skin-piercing spines (I imagine!). The imagination goes wild thinking about these things! I’m sure I’ve missed something. — Marilyn

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marilyn – 🙂 Yes, the desert (this desert, at least) is indeed all of those things. And the birds! Hard to photograph (small and flitty) but lovely to see.

  3. In the “what it feels like” category, that spine-pierced leaf wins the prize. It can stand as a metaphor for martyrdom as well as a warning to anyone tempted to touch the cactus.

  4. Mary Gibson says:

    Yes. I like this piece of advice. I’ll have to go back and look at my pics to see if any of them stand up to it!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Mary – I expect many, if not most, will. It’s a tougher standard in some ways and makes me think about what *I’m* feeling and what I’m trying to do with my camera. As for the advice giver, this is yet another example of not knowing how far our influence reaches.

  5. barbara carlson says:

    YES! excellent, the idea and your execution.

    For me, the close-up is the most “feeling-ish”. Fear of capture by those pricks.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Yes, I’m partial to close-ups myself, as you may have noticed. But when the vistas are endless, it’s nice to have both.

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