Great photography isn’t always about technical perfection. In fact, some of my favorite images are slightly off. Too dark, too light or even slightly out of focus can be trumped by things like mood, feel, emotion and moment.
I’ve always been a fan of the edges of things. Even when I covered a Super Bowl, political convention or religious procession, I always found my “power spot” was on the fringe of the event itself. Wandering the edges where the event tapered off into the reality of daily life. The blend was what I found interesting, and where I could deep dive into looking for one-of-a-kind gems.
I find the same for the technical side of photography. With today’s cameras it’s effortless to make in focus pictures with perfect exposures, but there is far more to photographic life than that. I like to the push the boundaries of exposure, light and shutter speed. So what if things are a little soft or a little dark? As long as the feel of the image works, or the image sparks emotion in the viewer, I’ll take that every time.
Great photography isn’t always about technical perfection. In fact, some of my favorite images are slightly off.
The fun begins when you start testing this idea. If you are absolutely sure you can handhold a 1/30th of a second shutter speed then try 1/8th or even 1/4th of a second. If you are working a scene and you think the light is gone turn yourself around and go back. See what the darkness brings. Same for bright midday sun. Challenge yourself to make something outside your normal comfort zone.
Great photography is about soul. Some photographs have soul and others don’t. What is soul in a photograph? That’s up to you to decide, but people normally recognize it the moment they see it, and it rarely has anything to do with perfection.