If you are a photographer, or if you have photographed with almost any type of SLR camera (there are a few models excluded from this) then you should really know about anticipation. To get slightly technical for a moment here is something to think about.
On most SLR cameras, digital or film, it doesn’t matter, there is a mirror which reflects what the lens is seeing into the viewfinder. When you push the shutter, the mirror lifts up, the shutter opens and then the mirror drops back down. What does all this mean? This means that you really are not seeing the image you create. Sure, it is a very small amount of time, but think about blinking your eye, it too is a small amount of time, but you can miss things.
So when I think of all of the thousands and thousands of images I have created over the years, and lets say my average shutter speed is 1/100th of a second. I have over 80,000 images just on the one hard drive that is on my desk right now which adds up to only about 13 minutes of time, but this is just from recent shoots and does not have everything on it. If I were to figure out all of the time I have been creating images technically blind this could add up to several hours over the last 20 years.
In the grand scheme of things, this really is not a lot of time. But it does bring me back to my point of anticipation. I have talked about connecting with my subjects, whether it is a fashion model or a bride, I need to have that connection in order to anticipate the mood and the vibe I wish to create. When the expression is right I need to know when the eye contact is going to be made and when the smile is just right. This is also why I am a firm believer of being in control of the shoot. Some models do move better than others, but I don’t want to deliver the same images as every other photographer who has worked with them.
It is these in-between moments that I love, the ones I do not get to see until I load the images and confirm that I have got the shot I wanted and had anticipated. I guess my whole point is to slow down, make a connection and create an image that has the mood I want, once again bringing it all back to style. 😉