Photography is all about being in the moment

This is a photo from my workshop last week. The busyness of a city like Hong Kong gives you so many opportunities to play with long exposures.

Good day to you,

I hope life is really super good, and that you are happy, nourished, enjoying life in all the many places that you live.

Today’s post is inspired a little by Vangelis, the composer who scored films such as Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire. He composes quite spacey, evocative music – melodies that seem to often grab you by the emotions (see Conquest of Paradise, although I love his more sedate, laid-back music like Blade Runner Blues).

I read an interview with Vangelis in which he was asked:

Many of your fans might have expected a synthetic, ‘Beaubourg’-style score for Blade Runner, rather than the rich and emotional tapestry of themes that you came up with. How concerned were you with disassociating the Blade Runner score from the bombast of Star Wars and the ‘artificial’ style of many previous sci-fi themes?

Vangelis – In order to answer your question I need a special talent that some people have to talk about their work endlessly, something I find very difficult and boring to do. So, I will just say that I did what I felt like doing at the moment I did it.

Awesomely funny! But as well as making me laugh – it made me think that really this last point is the essence of creating and photography.

Creating anything happens in a moment by moment basis – and it is dominated by the choices you make and how you feel.

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field – Peter Adams

What is happening in the moment that you take the photo?

You may think by that I mean what’s happening outside of you. But what I really mean is what is happening inside of you?

Now – the biggest problem I’ve seen for most photographers is actually – they are not in the present moment.

Most photographers are being distracted by the place they are in, the thoughts running through their head about things in the future, thoughts about their camera and things like ‘am I doing this right?’

But what we need to be aiming for is being totally and fully present in the moment. Totally there in the place, totally connected to what we are doing. Almost pretending there is no past or future, because, actually, is there? All we have for sure is now.

So when you have anchored yourself in this magical present moment you want to figure out how you feel.

How do you feel about this place that you are in? Alone? Excited? Exhilerated? Nervous? Unsure?

Because all of those feelings will translate into your photos.

A very common emotion in photography is nerves, especially when photographing people and street photography.

Nerves lead to people ‘holding back’ and not truly jumping in and embracing the moment.

And I can see when people are holding themselves back, I can see it in their photos. When they are not giving the experience everything they want to give.

To fully embrace the experience, the moment you are in. Surrendering to what is happening now, and pulling yourself away from anything else that will distract you.

You will see in my photos of Hong Kong how I felt about the city. What my dominating emotions were.

Life is fleeting. We get obsessed with the little things – the day to day when we are running around so don’t forget to fully embrace the times when you get to do all of this wonderful creating. Don’t forget to fully embrace the moment.

So those are some thoughts about photography and the essentialness of being ‘in the moment’. I hope you enjoyed them (as well as some of my new photos of Hong Kong).

That’s it for now. Any thoughts, questions or queries – just comment below.

Have an amazing day!

Anthony and Diana