Shoot blindfolded Danielson

One thing I have always loved is when watching a classic Karate movie and they train blindfolded. It always looks so cool to be able to put a blindfold on and still kick some booty. They see without their eyes. So what does Karate and blindfolds have to do with photography? Everything! Photography is a visual medium yes, but the Art that you create really comes from a vision you have within not just from seeing something with your eyes and clicking a button. Good photography is thought about, conceptualized and put into action. With the way some people learn today the “thinking” about the shot is taken out of the picture sometimes. They learn by shooting at such a rapid fire and looking at the LCD of the camera after every few shots, if they don’t like what they see they might not know why but instead of thinking about it they fire off 10 more shots quickly and look at the LCD. Photography can become a game of numbers for some people, they think “if I shoot 3000 images I have to get some good ones”. I think this rapid fire type of shooting has 2 problems; one is that it gives you so much extra work in post production weeding through thousands of extra images and two it takes away from the creative and conceptual part of photography. It makes your work more a snapshot than really a piece of art and devalues your photography.

One quote I love from Ansel Adams that really fits is “When I’m ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not Ansel_Adams_and_cameraliterally there in the true meaning of the word. I’m interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.”
Adams understood that a photograph wasn’t just seeing a scene in front of him and clicking the button but creating something from within him. He looked to create a feeling and emotion in his images that was much more than just documentation what that landscape physically looked like.

So how can we all become better at thinking through our shots? Here is a challenge I have for you all (myself included). One of your next shoots, shoot blindfolded. Well not literally blindfolded but get some black tape and tape up your cameras LCD screen for the entire shoot. Don’t peek at all during the shoot, slow down your pace a little bit and think about what you are trying to really capture. The right after go back to your office, download the images and give them a good look. See what worked and what didn’t and really analyze what you created. It’s a great way to start to think about your composition, lighting and other important factors that really make up a great shot. Give it a try and leave a comment below with how it went.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. Interesting idea to tape up the back of the camera.
    It is good to take time to compose an image and think about what works, but I think there is also a place for shooting lots of shots.
    It is better to have more to play with coming out of the camera than less, and I sometimes find it is the shots I didn’t think about too much at the time are the ones I like best when it comes to post-processing.
    Perhaps a combination of the two approaches is ideal.

  2. Thanks for the comment Tom. I do agree sometimes it is good to shoot a lot of images. I think the goal shouldn’t be to only shoot a few shots and be done we should always be thinking and exploring while we shoot but I do think its important to think through what we are creating instead of just clicking in rapid fire hoping for the best.


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