Street photography is fast. You must be quick out there. Your camera has to be properly set to shoot in advance. Your eyes have to frame and snap off a scene that has key elements in motion. You have to be nearly perfect. There is little room for error. Those who have shot fast moving sports can relate. Your brain has perhaps 7 things to account for in the space of three breaths, and this accounting has to be seamlessly incorporated into your shooting process.
With that being said, I offer a quote:
“Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.” ~Lord Chesterfield
I need to calm down. I often fuck myself over by rushing. This applies to all things, the least of which is street photography…..
Enthusiasm can easily work against you. No doubt enthusiasm is one of life’s pleasures. We are hard-wired, seemingly, to go bat-shit giddy over something in our lives at some point, no matter how cool we are naturally or are trained to be. However, one must choose carefully the things one shows enthusiasm towards. Many oversights happen at the intersection of enthusiasm and impatience, and sometimes enthusiasm creates impatience. Unbridled optimism can obscure ones natural abilitiy to wield healthy skepticism as a shield…
For me, the penalty of enthusiasm is neglected preparation. In the midst of shooting street photography in manual mode, my camera settings are all over the place depending on available light and time of day. In my eagerness to look for the next and penultimate “decisive moment” I at times forget to check the exposure compensation dial on my Fuji X100F (when I’m in auto ISO mode) which can easily be bumped to an unwanted value, or I forget to take off the lens cap, or some other stupid shit. In my rush to take that shot I may miss it because in my enthusiasm I have neglected key parts of the process. It is simply unacceptable to sidestep preperation. When shooting in the streets the “process” is happening the entire time. It’s like a military training maneuver or a meditation. Enthusiasm cuts into that meditation. It upsets the inner peace one must have to maximize ones effectiveness….
You can be overly enthusiastic about many things. I was excited to get to work and write this blog entry today, and I stupidly left my phone in the bathroom at home. You can get overly enthusiastic about a love interest and scare him or her off, becoming the classic: “overly attached girlfriend/boyfriend” and losing that person. You can be too excited about a monetary negotiation and betray that to the other party, with unwanted financial ramifications for yourself as a result. There is probably a far shorter list of things that are not hurt by over-enthusiasm as opposed to the opposite. Not much beats having a balanced mind and workflow…
Let’s end this….
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”– Zig Ziglar
Stay balanced out there in these streets….