As I say all the time to clients – they are your images, you’re free to shoot how you want. I have found a way to shoot that works best for me; I can work fluidly and in some cases see a final image right there in the field, with the actual image being burnt into my creative mind. Other times, I am aware of content only and know that I can work those relationships in different ways to articulate wildly different messages.
One thing has become clear though – I lean heavily towards capturing the best useful data I can (either in single, or multiple exposures) and also I aim to determine the most appropriate Shutter Speed to convey the energy of the scene I think is most suitable to isolate and enhance the elements of the frame – think stormy ocean around se stacks – Short Shutter Speed freezes waves and creates a lot of energy, Long Shutter Speed produces calm seas and a more ethereal and reflective mood/energy.
I started by talking about an Evolution of Pre-visualization, and I chose those words to convey the meaning that although they are changing, they retain elements of the original. We have a choice now to defer some of these creative decisions until after the event. Does this undermine the integrity of photography? Is a master someone who sets their intention in stone at the time of capture and lives in moments of creativity? Some will say yes, others will feel that mastery is mastery, even if the creativity is released to its full potential months, or even years after the event! If we return to Ansel in these final words – did he himself not reprocess his prints as techniques, perspectives, vision and contemporary styles dictated?
If it’s good enough for Ansel, it’s good enough for me.