Biggest Photo Tip of 2013 (Maybe)

Much of the Photo industry is driven by gear which fosters the notion that if I only had “that” camera, lens etc. What is more important is understanding what all those camera functions mean and how to access them. Even more important is to understand how those features help or hinder your particular type of photography.

I would ten times prefer to see a great image made by an average camera…

Light Changes


There are rules of thumb about how much time it takes the sun to rise or set but there are times when light moves faster than we think. During a storm or approaching storm as in the photo above. the light changed dramatically from the time I thought, “I need to pull over” by the time I found a vantage point I missed the initial light I wanted but the remaining light was enough to catch the mood. Sometimes you have to take the chance or not get anything at all. Changing conditions, finding a place to pull over and then dealing with the wind in a hand held situation are what makes photography, challenging and rewarding.

I can think of a dozen things to make this image better but if I hadn’t taken it, I would only have a memory that would become vague and then gone altogether. As Wayne Gretzky pointed out, “you miss and hundred percent of the shots you don’t take”.

Everyday Photography

We cannot make photos of the past or the future. What happens now in front of our camera is our canvas. We can only learn from the past. The great tragedy would be to miss now. Be ready to see, camera at hand and remember to think through the shot.

Why fall into the trap of making some macabre image to shock your audience. We see enough of that without going out of the way. Trying to shock on purpose is going to tire very quickly.

The Ten Percent Solution

With talent comes an immediacy; an ability to draw something up from the pool that resides within. It’s not always perfect or exactly what we want; it’s about 90%. Looks pretty good. The key to producing something that will make your audience sit up and take notice is in doing what it takes to make that last ten percent. Sometimes it can be very difficult because you must be brutally honest with your assessment. It might even require an outside critique; the scariest of all tests. But!

How do you get that last ten percent? There is no formula; step one step two… that will fit every situation. You must formulate your own guidelines for making that last mile of the journey. Talent is yours; you can enhance it but you can’t substantially change it. Editing what we produce is the key. Learn to edit and you will be gaining ground every time.