When it comes to photography I’m really no different than most people. I use my camera to capture snippets of time to share with others and have something to look back on when I’m old and grey. Different View Photography is built on the desire to share my advantage of traveling to various parts of the world and seeing more than what the average tourist “post card tours” have to offer. A fortunate side effect was it helped me to look at the world through a photographer’s eye and see the beauty and uniqueness all around us. It helped me to take the blinders off and see the world as more than just a passing blur of necessary stops between point A and point B. After all, do I really want to only remember that I worked at such and such place and spent too much time on the freeways and airplanes getting there? Not this guy.
Unfortunately mankind developed the blinders for a reason. Sometimes we don’t want to see that the world can be a big, bad, scary place. As children we understood that but we spent most of our adult lives building comfortable homes and blocking out the Boogie Man. By now most of you know that it has been a rough month in Afghanistan. The wave of intolerance and rhetoric spouting is in full flow again. There is no denying this is a much more dangerous place now. So during a time when my body armor is kept close to the bed, shoes with socks at the foot of the bed and a “bug-out” bag with emergency essentials is kept next to the door, it’s important for me to ask is the world any less interesting? The answer, of course, is no but it does change how and when I take photos.
War correspondents and nature photographers, not that I’m claiming to be either, have long understood the danger in losing awareness of their surroundings when looking through the protective shield of the camera’s eyepiece. It’s easy to become detached from the environment and dangers around you, however, hungry animals and gun toting fanatical thugs aren’t very forgiving of mistakes. So when I just can’t break out the tripod it’s important for me to consider alternatives. Instead of standing on top of a building and setting my focus on the crimson of the setting sun reflecting off the snow capped mountains around Kabul, maybe I should be looking for the more intimate moments of the life around me…even if it’s an ugly moment. After all, isn’t that where real life is going to be found? We all have moments when life rightfully demands we put the camera down and focus on not being eaten by the lion, but thankfully those moments are usually fleeting. So I started carrying my small Sony Cyber Shot for those times that I just couldn’t pull out the D90. When I can pull out the D90 I try to give myself a few extra seconds by taking a look at conditions I might see while I’m out and setting the aperture and ISO before walking out the door. I know I want to give myself a good chance at getting the shot in focus so I start with f/11 to allow me about 6’ of depth of field when focusing about 15’ away from the car. I already have my head on a swivel so seeing those brief photo moments are even easier. Sometimes it’s during those unexpected, but well planned for, encounters that we’re able to capture what we are looking for. So the more I can do ahead of time, the less time I have to stand there holding a camera for the world, and the lions, to see.