I love the phrase that Zach Arias coined, at least with regards to photography, of 'More Signal Less Noise'. It gets right to the heart of the subject when it comes to photography. Gear, technique, tricks, glass, light, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition and medium can all become noise.
Sure, all these things are important to taking a good photography, but if they prevent you from taking a picture then they become noise. And noise, is bad. It causes stress, fear and kills emotional motivation which is essential to the creation of art.
Yesterday I was looking through my photography books, while listening to old YouTube episodes from Ted Forbes, and it suddenly struck me that my darkroom had not been visited in awhile. With out upcoming move to Indonesia, I will be packing it up very soon. I am in the middle of printing one project, and still working on conceptualizing a second all of which will be set aside for a few months as my belongings are loaded onto a ship.
So I dropped all the noise and went into my darkroom. A few hours later and I had six useful prints, three of which made it to my project. So, again, Zach's words of inspiration pushed me to stop studying and actually do!
This is one of the prints I was working on. It is for my second photography project I am putting together which is about London and the people who call it home.
I am still working on it as most of the pictures have been taken, but I have not decided how I want it to look.
This shot is pure street. It was cloudy and kids running all over the place. Bubbles were floating all around. I had my Leica M6, slipped on the 35mm lens and captured this shot. Framing is solid (the cut off of the buildings is only in the scan as the print has good space above the tallest building same with the bubble makers left arm). The Millennium Bridge can be seen in the background.
For the print, I dodged the bubble makers back giving it more texture, I then burned the top ⅓ of the image to bring out the clouds in the sky. That is it. The picture was perfectly composed, exposed and captured making the print easy to make. When I was standing there, none of this was running through my mind. I was in the 'photography zone' focused on the signal and ignoring the noise.
Just to the left of the frame is St Paul. One could argue that a more powerful image would include this, however it would have challenged the viewers attention. Now the viewers attention is taking to the bubbles and the laughing kids in the background. More signal less noise...