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Friday
Mar182016

zooms make you lazy

As Cartier Bresson remarked- 'if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not getting close enough.' The single biggest leap in quality for a photographer can be made instantly: by framing the shot, then getting two, three, four or more steps closer. Or just force yourself to get closer than seems comfortable. I was given this advice by a twenty two year old fresh out of college and its invaluable. And it also applies to writing.

Writing requires broad scene setting- at the start of a chapter or section. But we quickly get stuck in this broad distant mode. We miss details and most essentially we get BORED. But the answer is not the zoom. Like in photography, zooming is easy and lazy but you miss the essential reassessment you do when you are CLOSER. what looks interesting from a distance and down the zoom may actually not be that interesting. By getting closer you can weigh the whole scene and decide. You can be closer to everything. You scan that much faster- compare looking through glasses adjusted for close up with looking through a magnifying glass.

When you're closer to what you want to write about- proximity I'm talking about not emotional closeness- you can see more clearly, feel more clearly and smell everything. Things don't have a smell in longshot but they do close up. You know you are in the right range of closeness when you can actually in your imagination start smelling the thing you are writing about.

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