Watch: The 100 'Magical' Decisions You Have to Make to Create Meaningful Images

Preparing to shoot a scene, let alone an entire film, can be overwhelming.

There are lights to set up, cameras to position, subjects and props to block; all of these things and so much more make up the literally thousands of decisions you have to make as a filmmaker every single time you shoot. However, to help you get through the timult, one of Hallmark Institute of Photography's resident faculty members, David Turner, shares how he manages this daunting task in this inspiring video:

Probably the most salient point Turner makes is when he says that great photographers (and filmmakers) are not necessarily geniuses; they're just people that make a series of good decisions. It's true. Great artists struggle the same way poor ones do -- with the same issues, the same obstacles, and the same fears, but perhaps the distinguishing factor is a combination of patience and tenacity. Decisions must be made and you're the one to make them, so not only having the patience to make one decision at a time, one step in front of the other, but also the tenacity to keep going despite inevitable miscalculations is supremely vital.

The next step is -- you know -- knowing what those decisions are and then making the right ones. Easy right?     

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Ansel Adams, Vivian Maier, Henry Bresson, Fan Ho and thousand of brilliant photographers would probably not call this guy's photography "art". Where is sense of composition? Where is the balance, the use of correct colours, the rythm, the ability to seek light, and to embrace that moment that can speak to our soul? I don't know, I just feel the majority of people is losing their sense of what's a "good" photographer and what's a "cheap" one. I don't want to sound pretentions and objective. Photography is an art and everyone can give their own opinion about it, but as a really huge admirers of the REAL photographers, this little "motivational" video concerns me about the future of photography.

Ps: I hope I explained myself correctly, english is not my main language.

December 9, 2015 at 6:46PM

Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor

Seeing as how Adams was a master in the darkroom, wouldn't his photography be more akin to the skills of a colorists these days?

I mean, sure, he knew how to "seek" light and recognized what could be manipulated after the fact. He manufactured a lot of his signature work. It's not there on the negative. It's on the print.

Just sayin'

December 9, 2015 at 10:14PM, Edited December 9, 10:15PM


I wanted to say almost exactly the same thing!
I also would not count this very much as art...although it is of course possible that his photography speaks to some souls..

By the way, thank you for pointing out "Fan Ho". I have never heard of him before but his work looks amazing!
And I would definitely put Sebastiao Salgado and maybe Marcin Ryczek to your four mentioned photographers! :)

ps: I don't speak english as well...I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

December 10, 2015 at 12:37AM


You have to be careful about say what is or isn't art. Art like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what's art to you may not be art to someone else.

As a photographer I have a lot of trouble with well known photographers that develop an interesting technique and then stick like glue to this one technique until they reach the point where they call that technique their "style". To me this is simply an interesting technique, that anyone can replicate this look and they too can decide to call it their "style".

Now if you can throw away the technique and do something completely different but the end result still has that essence of your "style" to it, then I think you are on to something.

December 10, 2015 at 6:35PM, Edited December 10, 6:36PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Art selects its own Artists, so Photography is in safe hands 'Tommy', relax. David is primarily a Fashion Photographer and he is good at it. Check the portfolio in his website, you will find all the features that you mentioned.

Decision making definitely distinguishes between 'Stars' and 'Others' not just in Art but every other profession. For Example, difference between CEO and an entry level employee is decision making, one takes decisions while other follows it. The best decision maker will shine.

What I liked in this video is when David mentions about that 'Zen' kind of state wherein you use your gift of art to create something spectacular. If anything or anyone is blocking you from getting to that state, move them away. I guess its a combination of being focussed and being in the moment.

Nice effort, Thank you.

December 9, 2015 at 8:36PM

Arun Meegada
Moviemaker in the Making

When I was in theater classes in school, our instructor had a rule: "When you walk in the door, you leave the outside world outside." It helped me learn how to focus on something, and tune out anything else that might be happening in my life. There are exceptions to this, however. Sometimes you need to let stuff in, even painful things. Do this if allowing those emotions to influence you will help the viewer to adopt the proper perspective for your art. Good actors do this well, and as filmmakers, we should learn to do the same thing.

December 10, 2015 at 9:11AM

Joel Farabee

Baaaahahahahaha.... bahahahaahaahaahahahahha Thats gold!!! GIFT gift lift zoom art. He's very likeable but its hilarious.

December 10, 2015 at 1:14PM, Edited December 10, 1:14PM

You voted '+1'.