“Looking Forward” by Lukas Hetzmannseder (Or A Photo Exists Where You Stand)
As a young photographer, one of my biggest struggles was finding the perfect photograph. I found that I was ending up with a lot of cliche photographs featuring things like railroad tracks disappearing into the distance or a narrow depth-of-field shot of dominoes (in which only one was clearly tack sharp). You know how it is, I'm sure. I was feeling uninspired and so I lamented to my mentor about my woes in which she put me on the right track with a simple statement: The problem is that you're looking for a photograph rather than creating one. Which brings me to today's featured photo, created by the eye, mind and hand of Lukas Hetzmannseder, a photo titled Looking Forward.
To be fair, there is a lot of interesting things going on in this street. We have a few good leading lines, we have some interesting architecture. But Lukas saw with his mind's eye something that a lot of other people didn't see: A great photo at a very low vantage point. He introduced a whole new set of leading lines in the cracks at his feet. The cracks actually mimic the lines created by the railings on either side of the frame and of course it follows the line created by the roof. Shooting into the sun, Lukas also introduced a nice reflection on the glass frame left and a good level of haze created by sun flare (the good, real kind, not that generated awful kind). His choice of focus places the focusing plane just inches away from the camera, but a full third of the way into the shot. This is a great composition by Lukas.
Lukas's observational skills and his intimate explorations of the pavement were the ultimate cause of this photograph. It was not his camera that created the photograph, and he didn't happen upon this shot; he didn't find it, he created it. This is an important distinction because it isn't a case of wandering around until a photograph presents itself. The most interesting photos require a bit more effort, like the effort exhibited in Lukas's photograph. Imagine what you could create if you put in just a little more effort.
If you'd like to see more fruits of Lukas Hetzmannseder's efforts, be sure to check out his photostream at Flickr. His work is experimental, featuring all genres of photography including, but not limited to, architectural, close-up/macro, street photography, and portraiture (including some humorous self-portraits). There are many inspiring photos for you to explore.