nomadphotoexpeditions

May, 18

2019

Don’t take photos, smell the mangos


Harry Fisch




 

In order to see . you have to be able to look at what’s in front of you,

The first limit to set for yourself is your framework, and this is not a technical issue. You need to decide what your vision is. Photography is about being selective and determining which reality, or which part of your reality you want to highlight with your photo.


 

Years ago on a photo trip I found myself in a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar. Dawn had just broken and I had been lucky enough to get to the monastery just before the sun broke the horizon.

There I was, in this exotic dream setting, surrounded by these monks just starting their day, the sun in the perfect position – I got so over eager and nervous that I took the worst photos of my life. I was taking pictures like a man possessed, pointing and shooting and pointing and shooting until finally a nun came up to me, pointed her index finger at my eyes and made a gesture of closing them and breathed in through her nose.

So I tried it. 

And in that moment I discovered the subtle scent of mangos wafting over the patio, the stillness of the warm air around me, the peaceful sound of swishing fabric as the monks went about their day.

The only agitated thing on site was me.

The first limit to set for yourself is your framework, and this is not a technical issue. As Henri Cartier-Bresson puts it, it is a matter of photographing with your heart and your mind. Photography is not about pointing and shooting at everything that moves and hoping you get lucky. You need to decide what your vision is. Photography is about being selective and determining which reality, or which part of your reality you want to highlight with your photo.

Yes, technique is important but it is also the easiest part to learn by applying some elbow grease, researching, and practicing. But growing as a photographer means learning the part of the craft that is the least concrete, and that’s the artistic end.

In order to see . you have to be able to look at what’s in front of you,