2019-11-02

I suffer from a serious case of FOMAS

One of the most common pieces of advice you come across from all the landscape photography gurus out there on the interwebs is that you should go about your photography in a slow and deliberate manner. Quality over quantity. They will tell you that if they take a couple of keepers a month, they are more than happy! Sometimes when they are out on a photo outing, they never even get their camera out of the bag because they "didn't see any compositions".

Part of me feel that they are probably right. I feel that I should be more like them - cool and composed - and every time I go outside with my camera, I tell myself to not take so many damn pictures, and that the ones I do take should be not good, but GREAT. I often stick to that promise - for about 2o minutes. Then I get excited. Being outside in nature excites me and overwhelms me, whether it's in my local forest or in the Canadian Rockies. I can't help it. I start to see compositions everywhere. I frantically point my camera in all directions to capture everything. I take the same picture five times with slightly different settings for fear of screwing it up.

It gets so bad that I can hardly even quit and go home. I may fold up my tripod, put my camera in my backpack, and start heading home... but two minutes later I unpack it all again, because I have seen a ray of sunlight on a branch that I'm sure can turn into the best image I've ever taken (it usually can't). This may repeat 5-6 times before - thirsty, starving, shoes wet, legs sore, and with 200+ new images on my SD card - I finally make it home. I guess you can call it FOMAS - Fear of Missing a Shot. I'm so afraid that all that beauty around me will go away, or that I will never get quite the same light again, or that I won't make it back to that exact spot at all. Often - especially when you go abroad or other parts of the country - it's more than just a fear or a feeling. It's very likely that you won't get another chance at that spot again - ever. The thought, to me, is devastating. So all I can do is keep shooting and keep shooting until every last leaf has been documented from every possible angle. If that will forever make me uncool and excluded from the landscape photography elite, so be it. Not that I had any hope of reaching it, anyway.

Now, you would think that the images I take while I'm still calm and composed turn out better than the images I take when I'm frantic. That would certainly teach me that I need to stay calm. But that's not the case. There is no pattern. In fact, if anything, it's the other way round. Often the images I take in a state of panic towards the end of my shoot are among the best of the day. The below shots are all examples of that.

 

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