Rod Planck Works Both Sides Of The Creative Fence
Less is more. But too much
less is boring. What you're looking for, Rod Planck says, is the
kind of balance you find when you "work both sides of the creative
What often happens next is
that those photographers go to the other extreme. If less is more, they
reason that a lot less will be a whole lot more. "So," Rod
says, "people above entry level who've been doing this a while
and have figured out technique and what works in terms of composition
tend to oversimplify."
So what is the change these
photographers should make? What's the antidote to oversimplification?
"I try to teach people to keep an open mind," Rod says, "and
try to work both sides of the creative fence; to use simplification sparingly
and to work for a photograph that shows complexity, but not one that's
complicated--and there is a difference."
The Elements Of Style
Rod says of the field workshops.
"We cover everything from useful equipment to exposure to the creative
side of photography."
AdRod believes that the type
of camera he, or anyone else, uses makes very little difference. "The
techniques aren't that different between film and digital cameras.
A macro lens works the same; composition is the same. The way I'm
approaching digital is that it doesn't matter that it's a
different imaging method or format. I'm still going to go out and
make the very best pictures I can. Most people I know in nature photography
who are using digital exclusively, their technique hasn't suffered
a bit. They're just as good technicians as they were when they used
film because they realize that the better the in camera image you make,
the easier it is to deal with the computer side of it. It's a fallacy
to think that the computer can be used to fix everything. So for all my
workshop students, whether film or digital users, what I really stress
And the technique he's
talking about is specifically the technique of the nature photographer.
"I'm not a photojournalist," Rod says. "I'm
a nature photographer, and as a nature photographer a lot of the work
I do is slow and methodical." In fact, he says that he uses his
35mm and digital SLR about the same way a landscape photographer would
use a large format camera--with care, patience, and deliberation.
"I teach people the importance of a sturdy tripod, of really slowing
down and working the subject matter."
Best To Show
Note: To view
more of Rod's photography, and for complete information about his
workshops, with locations and schedules, visit his website at: www.RodPlanck.com.