Registration for the next Photographers' Workshop is one week from today on Monday, February 4th at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time. I'll post more details about all that on Thursday or Friday, but you can also add yourself to the waiting list by clicking here, though it has become so long that it's really just serving as a 'contact list' at this point in time.
In the meantime though, I'm hoping to do two things:
1. Give away an auditing seat in the next Photographers' Workshop to someone here on my blog in order to help them become a better photographer.
2. Get us all thinking more about the emotional aspects of photography, because while having a 'technically perfect' can be a good thing, I don't ever want to neglect the significance of an 'emotionally perfect' photo.
I talk about it this way in The Photographers' Workshop:
"Awhile back, I was itching to take some photos and since Coley is usually the kid who complains the least and cooperates the most when I am taking pictures, he seemed like my obvious target. So I told him to wash his face, throw on a clean shirt and to meet me in the front yard where I proceeded to rattle of 100+ pictures of him.
And this photo (below) was my favorite. I love it. I love that look on his face. I love that mole on his left cheek. I love those dimples. I. Love. It.
This image is unedited, Canon 5 D Mark II, Canon 85mm f1.8 at f2, 1/500th, ISO 200
From a technical viewpoint, it's a nice photo too - good composition, great lighting, a nice depth of field, clarity, catchlights, etc. It's got all the makings of a technically perfect photo (if I do say so myself.)
In fact, if I were a professional photographer and had taken a photo like this for a client, I would have been really excited to show it to them. I wasn't shooting as a professional photographer though. I was shooting as a mom who truly feels like one of the most important things I do for my family is documenting our lives through photography.
Because of that, I can't help but feel like something is missing from that particular photo (even though it is a technically perfect photo.) It's just missing a story, a memory, a connection.
I've taken thousands of pictures of Coley and out of thousands of photos, this one (below) is still one of my all-time favorites.
This image is unedited, Canon 20D, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 at f32, 1/60th, ISO 400
This was the first photo I snapped when we got to the beach that day. It doesn't matter to me one bit that it's blurry or that I accidentally cut off my oldest son's head in it. I just love the excietment and the emotion and the bruises on his shins and the wet swim trunks and that mouth-wide-open-loving-life smile on his face. In all its blurriness and imperfection, it still managed to capture Coley's personality better than just about any other photo I have ever taken of him.
It is (for me) an emotionally perfect photo.
As much as I would love for all of my photos to be technically perfect, that's not what drives me. What drives me is photographing joy, anger, excitement, sadness, affection, concern and elation. What drives me is capturing life exactly as it was in that split second. What drives me is capturing an emotionally perfect photo.
I'm just not nearly as moved or as driven by the technical aspects of photography as I am by the emotional aspects of photography.
Of course, if I could have my cake and eat it too, all of my photos would be emotionaly perfect and technically perfect - in fact, that's my goal. But if I had to choose one or the other, I'd choose an emotionally perfect photo any old' day of the week."
So with that in mind, I want to give away a spot in the next Photographers' Workshop.
To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment in the comments section with a link to an emotionally perfect shot that you took (from Facebook, your blog, Flickr, etc.) and explain why its emotionally perfect to you.
Remember, it's the emotion (not the technical aspects) of the photo that are important to me here.
And if you've already taken The Photographers' Workshop and still want to join in (You know I'd love it if you did.) just mention that you're posting a photo for fun and that you aren't interested in being entered into the drawing.
Can't wait to see them.