Even though I’ve been shooting motion for over 10 years, I still spend half my time shooting still images. When my story can be or should be told with images that are “moments in time” then a still camera is always my tool of choice.
For me there is a certain timeless quality of a still image. Still images are meant to be explored by the eye while lingering on the “moment” captured. Perhaps a better way to explain the power that I find within still photographs is to show you some recent images I shot.
This past weekend I visited a favorite spot of mine. It’s an old plantation in Mississippi and every time I visit, I see it in a different way. But I always see it in a timeless way – it’s like time just stopped there. Even though this plantation is worlds away from my cultural norm – I get a feeling of comfort mixed with a bit of melancholy for my own past when I’m there.
I could put these images in a multimedia format and add a narrative or a music track. But the question I ask myself is why? Will it add or will it distract? What piece of music should I use and what will that add to the story? Will the music overpower the piece – because many times it can. And too many times people try to add music to mediocre images to make them more exciting.
A still image has the power to capture the eye of the viewer and make them want to know more. If an image I make draws the viewer in – to see that moment in time – just as I saw it – when I shot it – then I’ve done my job as a storyteller.