Yin Yang Photography

I’m in the middle of reading David DuChemin’s book ‘Within The Frame’. He suggests in it that there are two types of photographer: The more artistic type and the more technical type. I know which one I am from conversations I have had with other photographers trying to explain why sharpness is less important to me than the conveyance of emotion in a photo. I have some photographer friends who are obsessed with getting the sharpest shot and a good shot means a sharp, in focus shot, but for me that isn’t the case. I think that we can both learn something from each other and Mr DuChemin suggests how.

Having studied Chinese medicine for a long time (almost 10 years in UK, China and Japan) I see this as a Yin Yang issue. Yin (bones, skin and to some extent blood) unlike Theresa May, is solid and stable, it is firm and unmoving but not particularly exciting. Yang (from thoughts to heat in the body) on the other hand moves all over the place and has no grounding (the artistic type). In Chinese medicine the ideal state is balance – not too much Yin, not too much Yang, but enough Yang to move the Yin and enough Yin to stop the Yang from going out of control.

So if you are the artistic type try to focus your studies and practice of improving your technical skills, maybe spend a day reading your camera’s manual or go on a photoshop course, spend time learning the keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom. If you are more a technically minded photographer who is all about the pixels and sharpness, then spend a day just shooting what you like (check out this article) and focus on telling stories rather than getting a perfect looking photo.

It’s great to be different but we can all hone ourselves so we don’t get stuck into one way of thinking and can be more flexible, which opens us up to greater possibilities and skills with our photography and makes us more whole as people and photographers.


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