“Can you take a photo of me?” So often than not, we refer to photography as the act of ‘taking’, a simple process of pointing a lens and pressing a button, of turning up and capturing the scene that presents itself. But how many shots are there ‘for the taking’?
It was Ansel Adams who said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. This quote acknowledges the process of creating an image: of visualising it, working out the ingredients necessary to capture that image, whether that be camera settings, weather or time of day, and then implementing those decisions – an act of creation involving thought, time, energy and experience.
At first glance, this image may look like a quick spur-of-the-moment snap. In reality, creating the image took three visits to the location, an hour and a half of shooting, and post-processing: choosing a suitable bridge, working out the best time of day for the shot (since Venice’s canals are plunged into shadow for much of the day and I needed light for the reflections), waiting for a gondola…and the next…and the next (for each gondola that passed, I had a optimum shooting window of a couple of seconds). More often than not, the gondola was at the wrong angle or the reflections weren’t pronounced or formed a displeasing pattern, or the oar was at the wrong angle or out of the water.
Perhaps it’s no more than semantics, but for me, this image was definitely made rather than taken.
ISO 500, f6.3, 1/80th, 70mm focal length