Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A little story . . .

by Kim



I watched a man fish, and without him knowing it he taught me something that day.

It seems that no matter how long I have lived somewhere there is always a place I need to get to that I have never been before and that's when I enlist the help of Google maps. All I have to do is type in the address, and there it is, several different ways of getting to the same destination. Which is a good thing, because variety is the spice of life, right? 

But you know, I think there are just as many ways in which to make a similar photograph too.

And so, my story begins . . . 

One morning after the sunrise, I was walking along the boardwalk of the bay and came across this man in a very simple boat and he was fishing. I paused for a moment and watched. And I may have taken a few photos too. I was completely intrigued as he was catching a fish on average about every 30 seconds. In fact I was so taken aback by this that it took me a little while to realize that he wasn't even using a pole, just a fishing line with a weight and shrimp for bait.


Just as soon as he dropped in the line it seemed he was pulling another fish from the water. He had this incredible rhythm that just made it look effortless, but it was obviously something he had acquired over time. He would hold that tool in his right hand, while slipping the line from his left into the slot and would pull the fish to the top of the tool until he could no longer pull. And then with a quick downward motion, the fish would release into his bucket.

(On a side note, there was a very fancy boat about 60 feet away, with three men and all the best fishing equipment one could want. No one was catching a thing.)

In the twenty or so minutes I stood watching this man, he filled his entire bucket with fish and went home.

So, why am I sharing a story about a fisherman you ask?

Well this all made me think about how sometimes our immediate response is to think that when we see someone with bigger and better equipment that their photos will just be better (I know I'm certainly guilty). It's an assumption I think we all are inclined to make every now and again and many times that may be the case, but not necessarily because of the equipment. Because even the best equipment won't help if we first don't understand how to use it. And a lack of equipment, well that doesn't take away from our imagination, and no amount of money will buy that button on the back of our camera. Of course, that's not to say that we won't ever need to upgrade our equipment just as if he had wanted to catch a shark he would surely need something more than just that line.

And I'm not gonna lie, as I type this I dream of some new lenses and all the fabulous photos I would make with them. But I don't want to fall prey to the I can't because I don't have mentality. Because at some point even though there has been a lot of frustration, it has been known to be a force in challenging my creativity.

But here's the thing . . . this man certainly reminded me that there is more to a craft than what we use to make it, because he was simply catching fish based more on his technique rather than the equipment he used and he was still getting great results. ( ding, ding, ding )

You see, technique is not only a way to get something done, it is the slightly different way that we all accomplish the end result. I believe through our vision and technique, rather than our equipment, that we define the art we make. But being knowledgeable about technique isn't the only thing that affects our work. . .


. . .I believe it also lies with the experience of the tools we have, right now.


"Art is what we call...the thing an artist does.

It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or
you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made
it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something
worth making. Something risky. Something human.

Art is not in the ...eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist."

- Seth Godin

*** Just another friendly reminder that we have extended our giveaway to all of our awesome friends here, until October 4. It's super easy . . . just follow this link to get the details for entering. You even get a choice of door #1 or door #2 for your gift, AND don't forget to mark your photos in flickr with "FOL Giveaway" for them to count (yes, by all means go back and tag them, go now!).



18 comments:

Sherri B. said...

Very wise words...as always.

Linda/patchwork said...

Yes...very wise words. Use the tools we have...right now.

That could be art. And, it could be life.

terriporter said...

Love your shots of this man doing his thing with the tools he has at hand. Such a good lesson. How many times have we all been asked what kind of camera we have when they see the shots we are taking? Or people, looking at the camera we are using, saying that we must get really great shots with it. So much more goes into making a great photograph than the camera. We all need to remember that, no matter what kind of camera we're shooting with, we can create beauty. Thanks for posting this, Kim. Such a good reminder!

gina said...

Your sweet story is an important reminder that the tools just help us express what's inside of us.

Cathy H. said...

Love your story and the great reminder. It's all in what we see and how we capture it!

kelly said...

i totally know what you mean when it comes to gear envy. but i love knowing that i can make art with what i have. beautiful post and photos kim.

heyjudephotography said...

Ah yes, gear envy - and that wish list. Your words are so true. It is within each of us to create our art, and the tools, big or small, do not matter. Love the man waving at you at the end of the post. So sweet.

seabluelens said...

What a great reminder, and so true from my own experience. I sometimes wish nostalgically that I still had my first digital camera, a tiny thing with few controls that I took many photos with that are still favorites. It's not the camera, it's not the lenses, it's not the processing software. It's the eye, the heart and mind of the photographer that makes the photograph. I love that shot of the fisherman waving to you as he left!

Dotti said...

What a great analogy and lesson for us, Kim! Of course, in our hearts we all know this, but we need to be reminded. Often, I'm afraid. We got to dance with the one that brung us!

Miriam said...

Lovely lovely post Kim.

CarolHart said...

Lovely post and images. I too have had a wish list of gear. However, I've decided before I purchase anything new, I will become an expert with the gear I already have. To do that I have a new wish list. A list of the kinds of images I would like to do, like night time photography, light streaming, and getting those cool water motion shots. To do these things I need to better understand how my camera works. I'm on it!

leigh said...

What a beautiful story and lesson!

Connie Smiley said...

So true, Kim, and well stated. The smile on that fisherman's face seems to confirm everything you said.

Kelly said...

Oh...this story...in words! xo

Sarah Huizenga said...

Great post and so very true!

Katie said...

what a wonderful post, kim!

Comfypjs said...

What a fabulous post Kim! Very insightful and for me came at just the right time. Thank you!

Deb Crecelius said...

Wonderful story and moral.
Thank you!

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