With the latest video from COOPH Ralph Gibson reveals that to be a good photographer, you need a point of departure. There are some great overall tips too, but what this means is what kept coming back to me.
To have a point of departure is not to go out and shoot. It's to have a project in mind and going out looking for a shot that represents or showcases this emotion or concept that your project is about. I've been out in Paris shooting up the city. It's a beautiful city with a lot of history and the streets are buzzing with people dressed in the most interesting attire. But I never asked myself what my point of departure is. What was it that I am trying to show here, and will it advance my photography, challenge me in some way and be unique enough to stand apart from other photographers?
From now on, before I go shoot, I'll consult internally to focus on one thing I want to capture, and have that point of departure. It'll give purpose to my work and me being out there. The advantages are that I'll learn patience, presence and a deeper sense of observation. This is a powerful and deep message. Have a point of departure.