“The long sobs of The violins Of autumn Lay waste my heart With monotones Of boredom.”
Just because you are missing something in your life, doesn’t mean it’s not still present. You’re just looking at the entire scene incorrectly. My “Focus” phrase works in all situations. Adjust it. I felt like going into a black & white direction with this one. Something about a jump start. I need it. Getting myself back to the start. You know that place I stood when I decided this is what I wanted to do. Whether it be a profession or just a great hobby for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to capture life. I don’t just shoot landscapes, I remember them. I look forward to having those moments to look back on in the future. Something I grew up doing. We looked at film images printed on a 4X5 piece of photographic paper you got from the local Longenecker’s Pharmacy.
I think from now on I will start my posts with a quote or part of a poem just to get the juices flowing. Back to the task at hand. I don’t shoot, I capture. Meaning before I blast off a couple of rounds out of the old 645, I like to take the time to sit and study a scene. Whats there? “where’s my magic and what are my supporting elements. That’s a pretty bird or man that snake looks mean. Do you think about this stuff before you trip the shutter? Take this image for example. I saw the light coming through the top of the canyon and I moved around to make it just a small amount. Can you tell me why I did that? Correct I wanted a starburst! If I didn’t take the time to study that scene I would of just shot the cliffs with a super bright light at the top. Always make sure you are choosing the best image out of them all. You don’t have to shoot 1000 pictures to get one good one.
Have you ever took a picture. ONLY one picture of a certain subject and than got back to your house only to realize you didn’t get what you wanted?! This is what we call bracketing. No not that kind of bracketing, HDR is a completely different thing. I’m saying to you that when you’re in the field do it right the first time. Make sure you shoot multiples of you scene. Zoom in, zoom out move to the left or right. Be positive you have your shot before you leave. This still does not mean you need 1000 pictures from that spot. Think about it like this. When you get back to Facebook what picture will you share with your friends and family? If you said all of them then you didn’t read this post.
Let’s say I was out shooting my D800 in Acadia and we came upon this reflection. How many pictures do you think I would take of this location? We will say I took 8 pictures from this spot but you will only ever see one of them. Why is that? Because one of the images is stronger than all of the others that I shot that day. Man how do you narrow it down to just one?? Well I go through and weed out the ones I don’t think work at all. After that which are the strongest in composition? Exposure and focus. It all boils down to which you like the most. But I like them all!! Of course we love all of our pictures but not all images are created equal. Be picky.
Ohh the Great Smoky Mountains. Can you imagine how many pictures come out of Cades Cove each year? Just the fall alone probably produces in the quadrillions. How many of those images do we see? probably none because we aren’t friends with those people or they never do anything with the three memory cards they filled up. So my next point would be making your images stand out, no I’m not saying Photoshop the stuffing out of your image. Let’s say, be on location at the right time to catch amazing light or even put together some powerful compositions. The normal snap shot out of the window isn’t going to be any different than the last person that visited the location.
Alright so enough preaching, I didn’t get off track to bad in this post. Be selective, be creative and focus. Ed Heaton will always tell you “the best way to improve is to slow down.” I honestly think this was a major help for me. Slowing down is a great way to focus on what you’re doing. No need to rush through what you’re doing..You love doing it right, so whats the hurry?