Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't Forget to Breathe

When I was fifteen, I really became interested in guitar and spent the next several years performing with various bands. Although I had a great time during this period, without fail, I would always begin each show with a terrible case of the jitters. Somewhere along the way, a fellow musician once gave me a great bit of advice: “Don’t forget to breathe!” Sounds simple, right? Well, yes, the breathing part maybe, but the remembering...not so much.

There are moments, after spending too much time indoors, so many hours being sucked into the computer screen, that I literally have a physical craving to escape into the woods. When I’m able to break free and actually get out to Where the Wild Things Are, I can be so overly-excited that I often run from place-to-place like some sort of hyper-active toy dog. In the process, I am surely sending any living subject matter into fight-or-flight (or hide) mode.

Most recently, I have been referring back to that great little tidbit of respiratory wisdom that I received so many years ago now. I can see a noticeable difference between the photos that I make when I am in a calm, relaxed state and those that I’ve made during one of my mad dashes. Images that are made while in the latter state are not only less intriguing, but also less intimate because they are conceived during moments of extreme self-centeredness. So take this little bit of advice from me, compose yourself and then compose the frame. Your photographs will most likely profit as a result.


Heather said...

Excellent advice, Clay. I find that my best images come from times when I go out with my camera and "play". I try to have fun with it, experiment, and not take it too seriously. I use taking photos as an "excuse" to get better connected with the natural world around me, which as a result usually calms me enough to allow me to take the kind of photos I want. (Did any of THAT make any sense?)

Clay Bolt said...

Hi Heather,

I'm glad to hear that you are able to connect with nature through your photography and have a good time while shooting. It certainly makes for a nicer experience.

Thanks for stopping by.