2020: A Year of Visual Clarity and Interesting Photography

Over 200 pictures for an hour on the trail? Good grief! An hour spent culling out the good photos, ultimately winnowing them down to about pictures worth keeping? Becoming a lazy and inefficient photographer again, and something needs to change.

A bit of minor machine-gun photography from 2019

A great advantage of digital photography is the virtually unlimited number of pictures one can take on an outing, at no additional cost to the photographer. Of an equally great disadvantage is the same issue, with far too many, uh, “extra” photos to deal with. In days of old, using film required the physical film and processing to view and share images. Photography wasn’t cheap (though many of us were), and that added cost often forced us to learn our craft and become better photographers. With a roll of just 12, 24, or 36 exposures, one spent more time composing the shot rather than blasting through the roll and hoping for a keeper or two. It was a very different mindset when constrained by an image counter and developing costs- but it could also help an enthusiastic photographer improve in giant leaps. Which brings us to the limitless digital photography in 2020.

Yeah, the year 2020 already has plenty of vision-related themes, and I am going to shamelessly snag that meme here. Photography is about feeling, vision, and visual clarity, and 20-20 is considered perfect vision. I propose a challenge to any who will join me: pick up your camera with a “roll of film mentality”. 15-minute walk? You won’t need more than a 12-exposure “roll”. Planning on an hour or more? Consider a 24 or 36 exposure “roll” per hour. “Machine-gun photography” has its place when action is fast and shifting, or hoping for fun candids, but how often is that really the situation? Take your incredible modern photo tools back in time and try something a little different. Take a few extra seconds to enjoy the scene, compose the photo, manipulate camera or cellphone settings (AUTO is fine, but experimenting can be great fun!), and enjoy a small batch of beautiful images. I guarantee, after a few tries (it won’t be instant!) the number of keepers will increase dramatically. Nothing to lose trying #DigitalRollOfFilm2020, and digital still means there are several extra “rolls of film” already loaded if a “machine-gun photography” moment happens!

DigitalRollOfFilm2020With nearly two months of 2020 photography already consigned to Lightroom, I’m finding my time with my camera much more gratifying. Photography was becoming nearly mechanical, and the lack of joy was apparent in many of my images. There are over ten months left in this year of perfect vision. Consider the #RollOfFilm2020 challenge, and see if your vision, at least in the photographic sense, doesn’t improve. At the very least, you’ll likely surprise yourself with wonderful images while seeing much deeper into the world around you. I’d love to hear comments about your experience shooting a “roll” at a time, so please stop back and share!

Keep Riding Local, Dreaming Global, and rolling safe.  See you on the road!
-mike

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