Never Cut Their Heads Off

The more I learn about photography and art, the more convinced I am that I’m mostly a pretender at being both. I am, I think, a writer with enough interest in the workings of humanity to pull off the occasional interesting shot. Still, I look at photo blogs with hundreds of likes and comments or similar stats on Instagram, Flickr, or whatever, and wonder if I’m so different than others that no one will ever get my work.

Our dear blog friend Argus called me an iconoclast, which made me laugh, since that is precisely what I am. I suppose it’s my downfall as well. For instance, I know you’re supposed to carefully frame your subjects as you shoot, and never, ever cut their heads off.

Not his head …


… or his — poor guy, his brains are probably leaking out.


And lord knows you’re not supposed to cut a bloke in bloody half!




One outta four ain’t bad.

But see, the problem is that I shoot what’s interesting to me, and this interested me more. Besides, I’d have had to look through the camera to frame them differently. I wasn’t looking.

A lazy sod, I guess. But then, that’s no excuse, since I wasn’t looking while I was at London’s Marble Arch either. If I had been, maybe I’d have noticed Creepy Guy in the shots.

I guess one just has to admit one’s failings. I’m never going to be popular because I just don’t care to make my pictures look like others’.  Maybe my resolute salmon-ness is something I can’t change. Maybe writing is my calling after all.

17 thoughts on “Never Cut Their Heads Off

  1. It’s all about originality. And simply being who we are is original. Most of us are influenced in one way or another by those who went before.
    Most of us are too hyper critical of not only what we do but what we are.

    Acceptance is the key.


    1. I agree. It’s perhaps less rejecting what others have done and more allowing ourselves to pursue our own vision. Some of my favorite photographers (Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand) said the same thing. Take a shot the way you want so that you can see what it looks like that way.


  2. Salmon-ness? I like it~!
    Salmon swim upstream, against the current. Mavericks, perhaps.
    Copied sometimes.
    Enough copiers renames them trend setters …

    Serendipity helps a lot but serendipity can be guided.
    In “One outta four” the subject (for me) is the left-hand damsel of the two foregounders; you’ve captured a spontaneous innocence there (a fraction of a second either side and you may have missed it). If you scored without aiming—that’s even more serendipitatious. For capturing human nature the ideal would be an invisible camera (and technology is getting there) (brrrr).


    1. Thank you. That’s the fun of photography to me. To pretty much accidentally push the button as she flashes a smile and see it for the first time after. I think it’s something I’ll keep doing. It keeps me more out of the photo.


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