Child, Dress, Pink, Baby

Content

Content Trumps All by Otto von Münchow

I have come to realize that the most important building block in photography is content—or subject if you will. In fact, it’s more than just a building block, it’s what a photograph is about, or ought to be about. It can be a story, it can be an emotion, it can be a statement, but a photograph has to be about something more than just visual appealing elements. The equivalent goes for writing, for instance. You can write the most beautiful sentences imaginable, but if they don’t tell the reader anything, nobody is ever gonna care.

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2018-09-17 14.09.10

The Curse of Good by Otto von Münchow (In Flow with Otto)

When I teach photography, I am often asked for tricks that can make a student’s photographs better. The truth is, there aren’t any easy tricks that will quickly result in great photography. The curse of today’s technology is that it is fairly quickly to get good at it. That is literally the problem. It’s like inheriting money before you have learned the value of hard work.

Am I good enough?

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cameras

Sideways

Shooting Sideways by Otto von Münchow (In Flow with Otto)

Shooting sideways is a way to ensure that I, as a photographer, do not get stuck in my photographic vision, but rather seek new ways to express myself. The more experienced we become in our art, the more we run a risk of sinking into some standard routines. We know what works, and we apply this knowledge in our creative endeavour. And in so doing we actually stop being creative and our art becomes rather boring.

I think projects like these are important for getting one out of a rut and stimulating the creative juices. But sometimes it can lead to angst and frustration. My Nikon broke at the start of 2018 and a few months later my client abruptly ended my consulting contact (no explanation given) after 5 years. So…

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Creative Block

Break the Block by Otto von Münchow (In Flow with Otto)

Go walk the dog, go pick every bit of trash on the street outside your home, go walk the dog again, buy a colouring book and colour, go bake a peach cobbler, go paint some pebbles with bright colours and put them in a pile. You may think it’s procrastination, but—with the right intention—it isn’t, it’s motion. And any motion whatsoever beats inertia, because inspiration will always be drawn to motion.

Otto, I'm in a photography drought right now. I have a camera. I have a lens. But I just dont't feel motivated to pick it up and create something. I think part of my apathy is in not liking the combination of lens and camera but mostly I'm just out of the zone. Hopefully, this…

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Luck?

Are You Lucky? by Otto von Münchow (In Flow with Otto)

This may all sound very good. However, when you stand in the middle of period when nothing seems to work out, it’s not easy to keep expecting things to change to the better. It’s much easier to give up. I know, I have been there myself. Some time ago, I had put in a lot of effort, money and time into preparing a project that everybody told me was going to be a success. I was selling the idea for the project to a big national institution in hope they would finance it, in fact they had asked me to propose the project. The people at the institution were all positive and made me feel like it was only a formality before the project would be accepted. But, when it came down to the final decision, my project was turned down. Instead, money was given to another project that seemed to have nothing about it at all. Later on, I heard that it came down to connections. The person behind the project that “won” knew the people on the board of the institution. It was a devastating blow to my self-esteem. I was about to give up.

[exif id="36685"] Maybe. Or maybe lucky people just got "lucky". I think Otto's story points out that sometimes hard work and dedication are not enough. Sometimes luck means knowing or meeting the right person. Success lies in knowing when luck is about to strike and seize it.

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