Monday, March 11, 2013

All About Details

by Dotti


So … I went to Hawaii. When I arrived home, I downloaded my photos, some 600 of them. There were a few that I liked well enough but overall … they lacked something. Sure … there was some lovely scenery to be found among my shots but … well … something was missing.

Closing Lightroom, I moved onto other tasks but kept pondering in my mind why my vacation photos seemed so lackluster. Finally, it dawned on me. This batch had few "detail-memory" photos. You know … the pictures that mark the trip as uniquely “yours”. After all, anybody with a camera can go to Hawaii and shoot beautiful photos. Beauty abounds over there, literally on all sides of you. Mine seemed to be missing that important ingredient: me.

Photography can be frustrating, can’t it? A gal can go for days or weeks effortlessly shooting photos she loves. Then all of a sudden one day … pfffft.  That’s what happened to me on this recent trip. I was so busy painting with a “broad stroke” that I forgot the finer details of the trip. You know … the funky little shrimp shack where we ate some of the best shrimp we’d ever eaten; those luscious deserts we shared; the beautiful Hawaiian children; the birds that shared our open air dining rooms; the gorgeous flowers all around us. Yes! Can you believe it? Dotti Rinehart went to Hawaii and came home without a bushel full of flower images.


So … what’s my take away for today? It’s important to keep your focus on the things you love. I love shooting the everyday minutia of life ... even when I travel ... the things that define my life as uniquely mine. Landscapes and seascapes are important, they are part of the memories. But it is the little things that mark a trip as yours and yours alone. And that comes from intentionally putting something of ourselves in each photo that we take.


It sounds like I may have to make a return trip to make amends …

 You can see a few more of my photos from Kauai on my personal blog. 

12 comments:

Carol said...

Welcome home Dotti! I love this post on many levels. My teacher always says that you really learn to be a photographer when you become your own tough critic. Obviously your pictures are gorgeous and I want to tell you that you are being way too hard on yourself, and vacation pictures don't measure up to all the emotional happiness you remember either. But I understand the lesson you're giving us and its a good one - to create intimacy and individuality to make art that is our own. Sigh, poor you, you'll just have to go back. I guess somebody had to draw the short straw! ( lol)!

Jan said...

I second Carol's sentiment...welcome home! Your pictures are great. I can close my eyes and smell the ocean and feel the breeze. Glad you're safely home, and if you feel the need to return, so be it! I'd be happy to have those beautiful photos, and I feel they are art--now get busy and turn them into the works of art you expect from yourself simply by making art in your editing program.

nancyjean said...

hi dotti...Welcome home. I am sure you had such a wonderful time. it is so funny that you had this post today...because i have been thinking lately that i am capturing the small intimate details so much that i am forgetting to capture the picture...Guess we are our own worst critic! :!) Love all the beauty in your photos...

terriporter said...

Been there, done that -- lots of photos from a trip that could have been taken by anyone and, although beautiful, have no real meaning to me. And you hit the nail on the head when you said "keep your focus on the things you love". Those are the shots that will really speak to your heart after you are home again. Of all the photos I took during our beach trip last summer, the close up one of my husband's and grandson's hands as he was teaching him how to fly a kite is the one I treasure most. Just the sight of that one shot brings back all the memories of that moment far more than a landscape shot of the beach (of which I took plenty, you can be sure). Great message here for all of us photographers!

heyjudephotography said...

First of all the photos you posted here are beautiful. You did capture the beauty of the place.But I understand what you mean - my photography teachers always said, "take the large, establishing shot and then move in to capture the intimate details." You have your memories of what was hopefully a wonderful vacation, and gee, if you have to go back, what a shame! :)

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

I can almost feel the sun on my face ! I so agree with you the photos of the little things, how you see through the lens is so personal ....

Linda/patchwork said...

Beautiful photos. And, a very good post.
Those little special "I was actually here." shots, are the most precious. It's something I need to remember.
The scenery is wonderful. But, the ones that bring back memories are best.
Thanks for the reminder.

sherrygaley said...

Very insightful post, Dotti. Your images are beautiful and yes, you must go back and get the little things next time!

Deanna said...

OK, I have an idea, I will go with you next time you return to Hawaii and remind you to take pictures of the little things....deal? I did the same thing when I got home from Oasis, had a ton of people pictures, but not so much of the surrounding area. We just can't seem to grab it all at once, that's the reason for 2nd trips.

stephmull said...

I'm just a little jealous that you got to go to Hawaii!! How wonderful! But I can relate to your feelings! Sometimes, when I go to a new place on vacation, I get overwhelmed with all the big picture stuff that I have a hard time focusing on the details. There's so much to take photos of that I can't process it all and figure out how to get it all in. Plus I just want to enjoy myself. So.....I think this totally warrants a second trip....tell your husband we all said so!! :-)

Kim Stevens said...

Oh I think we all relate to this so much...I know for me, what happened on our first vacation in almost ten years last summer was I let the expectations get in the way of being fully present until it was almost time to go. I'm not even sure if I want to worry about photos so much the next time we go somewhere . . .

kelly said...

i can totally relate to this dotti. and it's nice to know i'm not the only who can get carried away by the natural beauty of a place that i forget to capture the details of the people i'm with. thank you for the reminder.

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