Enjoying photography often means experiencing the day at times filled with wonder – times not normally enjoyed by everyone else. The feeling we photographers get when we are actually there is impossible to express in words and the overall point of this type of photography is to “be there.”
In the early mornings (and especially in winter), bed is oh-so warm and comfortable. The temptation to postpone our photography until tomorrow can be great. If we do succumb, we will miss one of the major benefits of our hobby. Wherever we are in the world, the early hours of the day can be magic. It is almost a feeling of solitude, or rebirth.
When we arrive on site we should take time to just enjoy the moment. Take time to absorb and appreciate where we are. We should, as the saying goes, “Become one with our environment.” People in a rush risk missing one of the real benefits of our fascinating hobby. If we only focus on the end result, we will miss the calming benefit of our hobby – enjoying the whole process of photography.
We should ask ourselves, “What do I want to achieve?” Unless time is really of the essence, like a sunrise, we should practice the art of looking and absorbing.
To quote Luke Skywalker, “Breathe, just breathe…”
Our equipment is really secondary to our vision. We should not set up our tripods until we are happy with our vision, as the tripod could act as a visual straightjacket. Once someone has clipped their camera to their tripod, they seldom take it off to look at other perspectives. We also should not get concrete feet – zoom lenses are great but they cannot always give us all the possible perspectives.
With camera or smartphone in hand we should explore all the composition possibilities – kneel down, lie down, sit down, whatever.
Take trial shots and examine them critically. Take the time to enjoy what we are doing. This is our chosen hobby – make the most of everything.
Once we know what we would like to capture, when we have our vision, then it is time to think about what equipment/techniques we are going to use to capture this vision.
We should really try not to let our equipment dictate our vision. We may well have to adapt our vision to take into account the equipment on hand, but chances are that we will still end up with a more creative image while also enjoying the exercise.
This is a clear example of what can be achieved by taking our time, wherever we are and whatever the time of day.
There are hidden gems to be found.
About the author:
Roger Lee is a Johannesburg-based photographic trainer and cruise ship speaker on Smartphone Photography. He runs a “Enjoy Your Camera” course and has eBooks for people who don’t want to drown in detail and just take good images at www.camerabasics.net and www.smartphone.org.za.
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