I watched the incredible TED talk by Vincent Laforet and was simultaneously absolutely amazed, intrigued, and drawn into his images. Just wow! I can’t say any more about his images than please go have a look at the AIR project and take 20 minutes to watch his recent TED talk – it’s 20 minutes I think I spent very well, and I will be watching it again. I particularly loved the images of London, UK. I’ll let you see them without giving it away, but what a contrast there is from the other cities he photographed.
Once you have watched the video, if you are a photographer I can quite imagine you thinking the photos are pretty amazing, closely followed by something like ‘So, I’m never going to go 8000 feet up in a helicopter. I can never take those kind of photos.’
So what’s my point? My point is that as photographers we can often feel inspired by great photographers and creative image makers, but we can also sometimes feel overwhelmed and a little dispirited when we look at our own image ideas and the resulting photographs. There is, however, always something we can take away from photographers and images like Vincent Laforet’s, something which we can learn as both professional and enthusiastic hobbyist photographers.
My take-aways are these:
- Whether you are hanging out of a helicopter or whether you have your feet firmly planted on the ground, your perspective with a camera and your image taking of the world around you is unique.
- Examine your own perspective to really ‘see’ what is in front of you. Take time to do as Vincent Laforet has done, that is to take yourself way above the detail and look at the overall view which only you have – not literally perhaps, but as a thought process looking at your photography and your interests. Then plan and capture your images as you see them unfolding.
- Use your photography skills to take the best photos you can to engage those who look at your photos and illustrate your point of view.
- Consider developing your perspective into your niche. Learn all you can about your camera craft and how to create strong images which draw your audience in to see how you see the world.
Remember that people have never seen the world as you do. Show it to them, wherever you are.