Still sorting through old images and having fun. This is a favorite from my 2006 trip to San Miguel Mexico. Unfortunately, it pains me to say, the bench and Bougainvillea are no longer there. I learned this when I was there late in 2011. So sad, as this was such a wonderful scene.
Each time I review San Miguel images, I can’t help but think of my friend and mentor Nancy Rotenberg. It was Nancy that taught me about the handshake shot and how to move beyond it. Essentially when we approach a scene, our first image is much like a handshake. When we meet someone, we don’t know much about them. We shake hands and say, hi how are you or good to meet you. It is only after we’ve spent some time and asked questions that we begin to learn about them. Then we typically see them in a very different light. Photography is much the same. When we first arrive at a scene we don’t really know much about it. We know we’re attracted to something but need to figure out what. We then take a handshake shot and just as with people, some move on and thats it. It would be better at this point to ask some questions. Questions like, what is it about this scene that I like? What kind of light do I have? Would it be better in different light? In the case of this specific image, I might ask, do I need the entire church? Do I need the entire bench? I think you get the idea. Essentially you are getting to know your subject by spending time with it and being thoughtful. I promise, as you do this, your images will improve and you will typically find more than one right answer. I add the vertical version below as proof!