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Finding the Picture with Brooks Jensen

Finding the Better Idea

In the shipyard, this giant (really, really giant) tarp was hanging down from the side of the ship they were building. It was loose, blowing gracefully in a gentle breeze. The dance was mesmerizing. My first thought was to photograph the relationship between the ship and the tarp, the solidity against that graceful swaying. Every image, however, had unintersting sky or unimportant equipment in the background. These images showed the relationship I was after, but made otherwise confusing and poorly composed images.

Then, in a lucky accident, I framed one shot that showed only the tarp. This was not my intent, but was way more interesting than anything else I'd photographed. Letting go of my first idea, I concentrated on the better idea of isolating the composition to the tarp by itself. A few dozen exposures as the wind blew the translucent sheet into various shapes and I found this image that filled the frame. I think sometimes it's best to allow the creative forces to take control and let go of our preconceived ideas.

Tech data:

Panasonic G1 using a Panasonic Leica 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens at 18mm. ISO 100. f/5.6 at 1/60th sec.