openings and choices

Creation does not exist without openings, or — closings.

Just look to the camera’s shutter for a lesson in this. 

Closed/open/closed equals image.   Never open gets you nothin.  And, open all the time? 

Well — that’s over exposure.

If you’ve spent time behind the lens of a camera, you also know the importance of timing. 

There’s a right time — when you know the shot is good and you take it. 

And there’s length of time — which can mean how long you are willing to wait for the right shot, or how long the exposure should be.

Then you must also consider subject.  Is your subject willing?  Familiar?  Engaged?  Ready? 

What about conditions?  Is this the best light for what you intend?  Can you hold your position to get the angle you want?  What might change before you can get the shot off?  Is it in your control?

And we could go on and on.

Bottom line — from the millions of facets that could make or break the shot, you gotta choose one and then open and close the shutter.

Award winning magazine photographer Jim Brandenburg showed how powerful this concept is when he set out to make a portrait of the north woods in upper Minnesota over the ninety days between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, turning up the heat on this challenge by allowing himself to take one — and only one — exposure per day.

No second exposure, no second chance.  

A spectacular testament to divine force and content for the photographic bestseller “Chased by the Light”, the 90 photographs tell the story of “less is more” with trust and discipline cast in the lead roles.

Though a tiny bit daunting, I am looking hard at my life to determine how and where this practice applies. 

And it’s easy enough to see how this benefits my art —

But when it comes to relationships, which are also creations, it gets tough.  Cause really, in this sense, aren’t we talkin’ about synchronizing two people — both playing photographer and subject?

She’s holding the pose a little too long.  He’s running like a wild animal.

She wants a closer shot.  He’s thinkin’ he’s got all the time in the world.

Kinda makes your head hurt, huh?

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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