Friday is a good day. It is a good day to review the week past. And for that, the first thing I do is head straight to the week in pictures from MSNBC.com. A great place to see some of the best images of the week and also vote and compare your choice with that of thousands of non-professionals. It should be a required exercise for photo editors around the world to compare their choices with those of viewers and see if they match. It should also be a routing exercise for photographers as well and see which images are appreciated the most and try to find out why? is it subject, is it composition?
Very hard, some weeks, to decide, which one is the best, as 2 or 3 images seem to be equally strong. I tend to vote for those that took some photographer thinking. Although there are many great “lucky shots”, I am a big believer in thought photography, the kind that yield great results because you can feel the actual photographer’s work, thinking about lighting, angle, composition, where chance is less a factor than professionalism. One of the mental tools I use is asking myself the question:”If I was in the exact same circumstance, would I be able to take the same image?”. If the answer is no, than it is a winner for me. If the answer is yes, however, I then ask myself: “would I be able to put myself in such a position? be there at the right time ?”. Because being at the right place at the right time is also a key attribute of a talented photographer.
My winners are usually the images for which I ask myself in complete bewilderment:” How did he do that?” . Where magic is perfectly synchronize with emotion, where what is going on in the image makes me feel that I saw it with my own eyes and was deeply touched by it, whether it was happinesses, sadness, compassion, or revolt. And unlike a feature story, these single shots might not explain a whole story, but when they do, they do become stuff of legends.
Remember when you had decided to be in this business because you loved looking at pictures? Go ahead: Happy voting.