the photoshooter's journey from taking to making





MOST OF US HAVE A MENTAL ROSTER OF UNFINISHED TASKS, a rolling inventory of things not yet achieved. The popular film featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as a pair of terminally ill men who devote their remaining time to their “someday” projects illustrates that we all have items, big or small, that we need to check off. However, when it comes to photographers, the roster gets a little more focused, since we all have dozens of unshot shots, if you will, swimming around in our heads. And the images we have yet to make are, let’s say, a little obsessively detailed in our minds. In that spirit, here’s what you might find in the notebooks of your favorite shutterbug, on any given day….to wit, a literal


Points to consider for shoot

1. What kind of bucket? Zinc? Plastic?

2. Would adding a mop and brush make a stronger composition?

3. The light is hitting the left side of the bucket a little hot. Underexpose by a third of a stop.

4. What does the bucket say about us all as human beings? That we’re empty? All wet?

5. Patina vs. rust: make a decision.

6. Won’t be able to shoot the bucket in France as planned. Just shoot it on a cracked sidewalk in a rainstorm instead.

7. Just found out Steichen did a series on pails in 1937. Dammit!

8. If the bucket has bait in it, should I shoot the bait in RAW (sorry, it’s late)??

9. Just saw the first 400 frames. 83 and 367 are okay. The rest just look like pictures of a bucket.

10.Funny, my front door key doesn’t seem to work. Probably should call my wife…..


Of course, if the bucket deal works out, there’s another project I’ve always wanted to try. How about a photo essay on all of my “things to get at the grocery store” notes from over the years?

That’s right, a “list” list.

Say goodnight, Gracie.



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