Pigeons on a tree. A simple image I had the great fortune to make in Hamburg, just outside the Rathaus, back in 2005.
I am particularly fond of this photograph because it reminds me of a very important thing Dennis Stock told me about ten years ago, as I showed him my very ineloquent first student portfolio.
"Think of a painting. If you were doing this with a brush and all the time in the world, would you frame the image in such a way?" He then referred to all the visual noise in the photograph he was looking at and told me to make sure I never include anything in my compositions that I don't want to make part of the image. Otherwise, I'd be fooling myself (and nobody else) about the photograph being any good.
This sounded very much like an impossible tip. Yet time and again, in the years that followed, I have been surprised by how it is actually possible to encounter situations which, with a greater dose of patience than I possess, make it possible to make an image I might have painted with a brush...and all the time in the world.
My hope is to share this tip and encourage patience, practice, calm and freedom in the creative process.
All the best,