The real voyage of discovery is not seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes. (Proust)
The most important lesson learned during my life as photojournalist is
simple. You can never provide an image that is too intimate. My photo
editor, Phil Bullock, at the La Grande Observer, put it this way: "Get close. Then get closer."
and detail draw us into an image. They speak to us. Closeness conveys
the message. This does not mean that we must stick our lens directly
into peoples faces, or shoot eternally in macro mode. But it does mean
providing a closer look at people than my own cultural mores might find
For landscapes it means that foregrounds are invaluable. But that context, that vision of This is the subject, right here, right in your hands, here, hold on! is
perhaps the most critical element of image, or at least of image meant
as story. Without compelling connection, without your partner, the
viewer, holding on, there is no shared vision. No story told.
am guilty of often forgetting this mantra--when the distant ridge has
perfect light, or when there is little foreground on a steep slope, the
intimacy sometimes must come from overall composition, and a hope that
the viewer will be drawn into curves and lines, light and shadow. But
the intimate image is always more compelling, more successful, more
memorable. Get close. Then get closer.