30 June, 2019

Doc Diaries: Experiments in Motion

One of my main photographic goals is to tell the story of the motion that happens in the world. I often use a number of common techniques (such as panning), and those typically get me to a pretty reasonable result.

But sometimes, I want to shoot for unreasonable. Sometimes I want to try something that seems almost impossible, just to see if it could work out. Sometimes I want to see not just what motion does look like, but what motion could look like.

The opening image was the result of one such rumination. "How do you take a picture that focuses on the sense of drawing a bow across the strings?" I love what I came up with, but it turns out that the key wasn't to plan, or do lots of math, or to have any kind of a controlled setup. The key was to notice my friend playing her cello, and to just give it a shot. I tried to get the focus where it needed to be, the camera handled the exposure, and I hit the shutter when I felt like the moment was right.

I think one point here is that some experiments are really simple, if you're the right person to run that particular experiment. It often pays to just give something a shot without overcomplicating things.