(John Enman photo)

(John Enman photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Decide on a photography concept

I used concept in my title, however, words like plan, undertaking or idea would have been just as good to make wandering down an empty road more photographically challenging.

Those of us that live in B.C.’s small towns were given the opportunity to have our vaccination for Covid-19. I am sure there are some of my neighbours that are hesitant for personal reasons, but I have never shied away from being vaccinated against disease, and this last week I joined my friend Jo and her husband Shaun at a clinic set up in the village of Chase for our shots.

A used Fuji mirrorless camera came into my shop this past week to sell, and I thought a stroll through the town would give me a good chance to make sure it was in good working order. I could have just taken some shots of the lake and some of the older buildings, but as I walked down the road I decided my course of action would be to document the pandemic’s quiet lockdown that had changed the normally busy spring street.

I know during this past year with it’s travel limitations, many of us have been doing a lot of aimless wandering pointing our cameras at anything that looks even a bit interesting. Nevertheless, making a plan regarding what one wants to say with a photograph slows us down and makes us think before we push the shutter. I’m not saying that we will be shaking the world with uniquely thought provoking images. But some kind of shot plan does force us to think about the image we are about to make.

The famous American landscape photographer Ansel Adams wrote, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

What this quote from Ansel Adams says to me is that we need to think about having a much more active role in creating our photographs, by paying attention to things like composition and lighting.

I think Adams’ might have been advising us that we should be occupied with creating our photographs. I read that “taking a photo” is defined as collecting information about a subject and carrying it away. Whereas Adams suggests understanding lighting, composition and applying other learned techniques should be important to constructing and “making” a photograph.

So my decision was to be a bit more thoughtful with my photos during my short walk to tell a little story about how the pandemic has changed a normally busy lakeside town’s sunny spring street.

I wasn’t in a hurry, and I also wanted to get a feel for the Fuji mirrorless Xt-1 camera I was testing. I prefer my larger DSLR, but I admit that the Fuji is an excellent little camera that I can attest makes beautifully colourful and sharp images that, as reviewer Ken Rockwell says is, “tiny, tight, precise, fast, quiet, easy-to-use and extremely well made out of all metal”, and I do think that when this province and country opens up again this would be the perfect travel camera.

With the exception of big shopping centers like Costco, Superstore and Walmart, much of our cities are unusually quiet and it’s a great time to safely saunter along the streets with our cameras. Make a plan and create something visually different.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.