hans groen *17 09 1959 - †11 08 2022

three stages in photography

Watching people at the beach, following groups with no particular goal. I was focusing on the boy in the middle, who constantly looked down (why?, I wondered).Then I saw from the periphery the woman in pink, and waited till they met. Only later on did the picture grow on me: the way the two persons are looking down on this sunny beach, passing each other without noticing.

There are three stages in photography: First, looking for an interseting subject; second, taking the picture; third, looking at the result.
1 — Looking around for something picturesque. Sightseeing with a specific mindset: what would be an interesting picture. What is the story that I want to tell with what I see? We have wide vision (stretch your arms out to the left and the right of your body and look straight ahead: you still see the tips of you fingers; we have just over 180° of sight); looking around in this stage will present an awful lot of possibilities. At a certain point, something catches your eye.
2 — Now you have to take the picture. You get your camera, look through the viewfinder and frame the picture. Now the totality of your eye is framed by what the viewfinder presents to you. You have to decide what you need in the picture to be able to tell a story. Wider angle of view or more narrow? From above, from below. These are all dicisions you make, untill you press the shutter release.
3 — In due time (directly when using digital; at least one hour when using film) you see the result. Now the picture is in a way objectified. It presents itself apart from the context in which you were looking for an interesting picture and in which you made all kinds of decisions about the picture you were going to take.
Time lapses between these stages can vary. Sometimes you first will look at a possible object without taking a camera. Later on, coming back, you have developed ideas.