Last week I mentioned the single photography composition tip which had helped my photography the most. This week I want to mention the best photography mindset tip I’ve ever heard. Just like the last post, this is a simple tip but one which can have a dramatic impact on your photography (especially when it comes to street photography). In fact, it is often the difference between going out and coming home having never pulled the trigger, and going out and coming home with at least one passable photo or keeper. Read for it….
That’s it. So incredibly simple and yet so hard to live out sometimes. I often find myself rushing around hunting for some detail in my few minutes of free time and see nothing. And yet, when I slow down, suddenly I see things all around me.
Why Slowing down is a great photography mentality tip
There is a good evolutionary reason for this, our eyes are positioned more like animals which hunt. When we go out with a strong purpose looking for something in particular, our focus narrows and we block out “distractions”. The problem is, sometimes these “distractions” aren’t distractions at all but the very detail we are searching for. Slowing down helps us to be more aware of what is all around us and not just directly in front of us.
It’s amazing how often I notice shadows, pockets of light, and geometric compositions and so on when I slow down. But as soon as I slow down, they are everywhere!
Slowing down also let’s me fish. When I’m in a rush commuting to work, I can’t wait at a good spot and find a subject there. When I slow down and have an extra hour or two, then I can wait out for a while in case a good subject turns up.
When slowing down goes “wrong”
Of course, I guarantee that when you slow down, you’ll see someone about ten steps ahead do something amazing (and with a 35mm lens, that’s not going to turn out well). At those moments, the natural instinct is to regret having gone so slow, but in truth, if I was walking faster, I would have been ahead of the action and missed it as well!
What’s the best photography mindset tip you’ve ever heard?
Also published on Medium.