Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Shoot It When You See It

I'm sure many of you out there can relate to this. I was reminded today of some of the images that I have NOT taken in my career.

Oh there are many I have not taken, and many I will hopefully yet take, but what I am referring to are the ones I have seen, but for whatever reason, have fail to stop and explore when first I had the opportunity.

This came to mind today when a request came to the photographers for an image of construction cranes in the city. Doh! There is an image of cranes in Toronto that I have been looking to make for some time now, but the light has just never seemed right. I wanted the image to be what was in my mind, so I held off making the frames. Well today another photographer went off to do the assignment, and I shouted a brief description of the location where I thought a photo might work. What he ended up doing I won't know until tomorrow, but it got me thinking....

Again, on my drive home, I headed up onto the Gardner Expressway from Jarvis Street. I don't know hoe many times I've headed up that same way, with the CN tower splitting the ramp just perfectly. Not a fantastic image, but a good one....and one that is no longer possible because of a new condominium. Another image I will never have, but perhaps should have.

Hopefully I haven't bypassed too many really good images. "Bird Lady," was one of those cases where I did stop, and it was well worth it.

This was another lesson I have learned through the years from some veterans of the business. During my early days at The Star, we would all lay out our "enterprise" images, as 8x10s, or 11x14s if we really wanted to sell it, on a table near the photo editors' desks. I know that on several occasions I would see a print of something I had seen earlier that day, or earlier in the week. It would usually be on the way to something else, and I would put it in my memory, or even into a small notepad I keep ideas in. But not Boris! He would stop more times than not for these little gems, and in so doing, captured more than his share of winners, and taught at least one young photographer a good lesson.

Shoot it when you see it.


  1. Good advice Peter, I can't count the number of times I've missed out on shooting something and kick myself later. I did get that shot of the CN tower from the ramp though. ;-)

    We enjoyed chatting with you on the beach today. (Anne and Richard)

  2. Hi Pete,
    I'm still trying to get used to the idea that you are such a good writer as well as photographer, we haven't been able to read much from you until this, I'm glad you started doing this! I guess shoot it when you see it can be applied to many things in life beside pictures, we don't know when we'll have the opportunity again! See you in August!
    Your big sister,