Seize the Moment

Panoramic view of a rainbow over the NYC skyline. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Paying attention to detail (in photography) sometimes pays off

“Attention to detail.” We’ve all heard this must-have skill, especially when it comes to proofing and editing one’s work, as well as in the steps preceding the post-production workflow.

A rainbow in a fountain at sunset. Hoboken, NJ. #shotoniphone ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

But what exactly is “attention to detail” and why is it important?

  • it makes us more aware of a story, a visual story in photography, that needs to be told
  • it helps us capture “the decisive moment” as Henri Cartier-Bresson would say
  • it helps us see the light and how it “paints” the subject/scene that we’re about to photograph; hence, it helps us evoke mood and feel
  • it also allows us to spot would-be distractions in the scene, and adjust composition, exposure, and the like, accordingly

“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

At times, being able to notice details or a would-be visual story that needs to be told requires a moment of solitude, of peace and quiet. The other day, I was waiting for my photography students to arrive (I teach photography through photo walks around the neighborhood) I felt the sunset glow reaching me, and noticed it reflecting into a tiny water fountain. And that’s when I saw it, a tiny rainbow arching across the water droplets.

A rainbow in New Jersey, during NJ Pride Month…I took it as a sign, a promising sign, and captured a few images and a video, all shot on iPhone.

Fountain Rainbow. Hoboken, NJ. ©Alina Oswald. #shotoniphone

Noticing details does pay off. Sometimes these details show themselves as momentary, magical apparitions we often want to interpret as “signs.” Oftentimes they’re all we need to keep hanging on to and have the courage to look forward.

So, always notice the rainbows. They do show up, every once in a while.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Alina Oswald

1 Comment

  1. I totally agree with you, Alina.
    Some of my best images back in 2013-2014 were made from the small details on my nature walks.

    And the rare times I go for a walk with friends, they (and I) end up talking and miss some of those magical moments I see on a solitary walk when I stop regularly and look around me and spot something worth capturing.

    Liked by 1 person

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