On one of the photo forums the topic came up asking “What would Jesus do?” (The asker was referring to your own personal god of photography and not the biblical character.)
Here are just few of my favorite photographers…
Lisette Model, Robert Frank, Mary Ellen Mark, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Michel Chelbin, Les Krims, Maggie Steber, Don McCullin, Salgado, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus, Gail Halaban, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Bruce Davidson, Robert Doisineau, Jane Evelyn Atwood, W. Eugene Smith, Martin Munkasci, Larry Fink, O. Rufus Lovett, Weegee, Robert Capa, Judy Dater, Ray Metzger, Erich Salomon, Harry K. Shigeta, Emmet Gowin, Jill Freeman, James Nanchez, Helen Levitte, Shelby Lee Adams, Brassai, O.Winston Link and William Mortenson.
The list of photogs, whose work I admire, is too long for me to run through my head every time I am ready to press the button. Nor does it mean just cause I like them, that I like their work better than mine.
Even then, no matter how god-like your idol is, they are not perfect.
If your a Winogrand devotee then there is a good chance your dream shot would be a jumbled up mess as well as crooked!
Really, if you have the time to ask advice from the mentor in the sky before you press the button…your shot must not be one of which time is of the essence. Asking what your idol would do is OK in the beginning. But for authenticities sake your goal should to be at one with your cam. You want to be able to shoot at will and not have to think much.
The only time praying to Jesus may help you is when you do street pix like Eric Kim…you ask permission and shoot 80 pix of the person hoping you get something. In short, photogs that specialize in staged work can take time to pray to their deity for advice. When I shot these, I didn’t have time to think ‘what would Jesus do’. There was just enough time for pressing the button.
BTW…these are all one-shot wonders.
In the stone age our film cams had no bells or whistles on them. Later models had a clunky light meter that could attach on top. but we had no zooms, no on-the-fly ASA choice, no autofocus, no program / auto exposure options and no anti-shake. Now they’ve just announced a camera that offers a focus fix by stacking numerous version of the image at different focus lengths! The camera fondlers must be in heaven!
Still, I shoot most of my work in manual, with the exception of the hard to adjust cams that I can’t figure out. (I shoot them on the dummy setting.)
In the end, getting the great shot sometimes just boils down to being in the right place at the right time and having the skills to bring it home.