Camera Position 16 : The Game Of Inches

Sometimes, photography is the proverbial “game of inches.” I made several pictures of this “barca” (boat) on a canal in Venice. I had initially been interested in the boat’s shadow and the intersection of the shadow of the boat and the shadow of the building and the way the boat’s bow interacted with the wall behind. That was working well, but it wasn’t until I saw the way that the reflection of the sky from the adjacent canal created a shift in the way space was rendered that I felt that I had a real photograph.

Barca, Venezia, 2003

Barca, Venezia, 2003 (reflection)

3 thoughts on “Camera Position 16 : The Game Of Inches”

  1. Jeff, thanks for another great podcast. I find the picture with the reflection more appealing. Not only does it have the reflection but it also appears to be tonally richer. The contrast of the bricks on the wall and other elements have more contrast. A corollary to the game of inches is a matter of minutes. Just waiting a few minutes can change the whole dynamics of a picture as well. A cloud either covers the sun or uncovers the sun completely chaning the quality of light. This struck me on a personal level a couple of years ago. I was up in northern British Columbia taking pictures of what is termed the Serengeti of North America. I use a 35 mm because I like to travel lite and I’m usually on horse back. We were moving through the forest and I said I’ll get my camera out in a couple of minutes when we reach the summit. As you might expect I missed a great shot of a giant bull moose as he cut across the path in front of us because I said I’ll be ready in a few minutes instead of taking the few minutes to get ready at the start. A lesson well learned. I have my camera out of its bag and ready to go before I ever get on my horse now.

    Thanks and keep podcasting.


  2. It’s always been interesting to me that our photographs see the world in small fractions of seconds, but our eyes see this continuous “ribbon” of time. In order to snip a moment that “counts” out of that continuous ribbon, we need to be able to have the right “muscle tone” to be able to react when that moment is right. Timing is a huge part of the medium, and a big part of the difference between what we see with our eyes and what we record with our cameras.

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