The Photo Shoots Itself: Zen and the Art of Focal Lengths
In physical fitness excellence comes from repetition and the concept of muscle memory. Your muscles remember stress and they build on it. The same principles apply to your creative muscles. This shot is all about the focal length of the lens. So here’s the setup.
A massive thunderstorm was approaching with a wall of black clouds right behind this group of scattered ones. I had just a few seconds before the sun was going to be lost in the approaching tempest.
With almost no effort I knew to get on the ground with an extreme wide angle lens to make that old boot imposing and powerful. Had I spent any time considering which lens to use this shot would not have happened. So the lesson here is whatever your craft is in life, do it over, and over, and over until it’s second nature. Build those mental muscles so that art happens without effort.
In Zen it is said that the master archer does not force the shot but rather, “the arrow shoots itself”. This level of excellence is not magic or some in-born ‘talent’. This is a product of repetition and love.
Good Thoughts – Gary Orona
BTW This was shot with a lens that would be about 16mm on a 35mm camera.