Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Plan

The Shutter Brothers in Bodie, CA
I recently had breakfast with my Shutter Brothers, Tom & Russ. We were discussing how our varied approaches to photography are alike and how they are different. 

Russ does digital photography but began in using film, Tom has been entirely digital, and I am all classical large format film.  All three of us take our work seriously.  Photography is for us more than just snapshots taken as aids to memory.  

Despite our three very different styles, we all share a secret ingredient to our work.  We call it The 3-P’s.  Preparation.  Purpose.  Patience.

Let’s talk about Preparation.

It is common for Russ, Tom, and myself to travel to remote locations in the mountains, desert, forests, plains, and small towns to do our work.  Often these trips are planned weeks or months ahead of time.  We study the terrain, local features, history, special events, where the sun is rising and setting, understanding the distances involved, available accommodations … you get the picture.  The point is we are not going out there willy-nilly, there is a plan at work.

Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say we are on a rigid itinerary. We often get inspiration while on the road and will detour down a side road or discover an interesting feature from the locals once we are on location.  But all three of us find we can do our best work if we have a plan.  You see, a plan allows us to focus on the photography rather than desperately trying to find a place to spend the night.  A plan allows us to make the best use of available light.  And a plan reduces the chances of returning from a trip only to find out we missed out on some great feature or event. 

How about you?  Got a plan?

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