The Jekyll and Hyde Photographer


You remember the old story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde don't you?  Well, if not...  Read a book...

Anyway, Dr. Jekyll was this mild mannered doctor who develops a potion to separate himself from his darker side but in doing so he started losing control of himself...  this would be Mr. Hyde.  Sometimes photographers find themselves in the same predicament as Dr. Jekyll.  

For the sake of this analogy lets look at who Dr. Jekyll is as it relates to photography.  The Dr. Jekyll photographer is one who studies past masters and reads books on composition.  For Jekyll, photography is about the gesture of the subject and the mood or emotion of the photograph.  He wants to convey what he feels when he captures an image.

Then, there is Mr. Hyde.  The Mr. Hyde photographer is the one who seeks out all the gear he can get, worries extensively about shutter speed, ISO, aperture, jpeg, raw, post processing, effects, dynamic range, and a slew of other things.  He is only concerned with the technical and has no room for Dr. Jekyll and his fluff.  

But see, we have to have both.  They are just different sides of the same coin and if we want to truly make a compelling image we need Mr. Hyde just as much as we need Dr. Jekyll.  It is when we have both under control we really start to progress as photographers.

So, if you are a Dr. Jekyll, create the formula and take a drink.  However, if you are already a Mr. Hyde (and I suspect there are many more of you than Dr. Jekylls) then you need to give in and rejoin with your other half.