Get up early! Do it for a few reasons. I haven’t got up early in a while so when I did this past week on a couple of mornings I realized a few things. I realized how much I missed the peace and quiet before the ‘world’ gets going. It was so nice to be up and out the door before dawn and off towards the ocean. It was refreshing, soothing and invigorating all at the same time! As a photographer I would argue that early is the best light of the whole day. Yeah sunsets are nice (real nice usually) but a sunrise can’t be beat. At the beach the other morning were other photographers, joggers, walkers and just folks who drove up to the beach to see a sunrise. All of that was happening while you may have been sleeping. Get up early!
West Beach in Beverly, MA
And of course when you’re up early you should have your tripod. The light before sunrise will be dim so you want the best image you can get. Bring along a neutral density filter for when the sun starts rising and the light is much brighter as you may want to get that slow’mo look to the water if your at the beach. I adjust my ISO to get the ‘look’ I want usually trying to keep my aperture around f8 if possible. Sometimes I may go up to ISO 800 to get the slow’mo look I like (most folks wouldn’t think so if you’re using an ND filter!). I may drift my ISO down to 100 or 50 when it starts getting more lighter.
See what I mean? I stopped by these boats on my way home. Look how peaceful it was! So, ‘Get Up Early’ if you want to get great images. Oh, and don’t forget to take a moment……and just admire the view yourself!
Image processing is important too! As a photographer I need to think about my ‘art’ and what I’m trying to convey to the viewer. Taking a technically accurate and proper photo with one’s camera gear is really important for an image to be successful. But, that’s just the beginning. In the ‘film days’ we clicked the shutter and sent our slide film off to be processed. You had to ‘get it right in-camera’. Today with digital photography one has some ‘latitude’ when creating an image. Take the photo….then ‘process’ it yourself at your computer to get to the final image.
Processing in my opinion is a key if not critical step as part of the overall process of creating an image that ‘feels right’. If an image doesn’t feel right then is it truly fine art? Is it complete? Will anyone be interested in looking at the image? I can’t answer that but what I can say in my own images I:
Have a strong idea as to what the final image will look like when I’m done at my computer. I usually know this at time of capture! Plan ahead….
Get the shot in as technically capable manner as possible so my ‘processing’ will be easier.
Create the final image and make sure it’s complete. I check every part of the image, color balance, overall content, the edges and all four corners. It’s all got to feel right to come together and be complete!
For the viewer of any photograph: enjoy the images you look at and try to think what the photographer is trying to convey. Enjoy their work and put your own thoughts into the image as well.
Why a title like “You Had To Be There”? Because you really did. This image was taken at Schoodic Lake after a long day of drizzle and rain and just gray skies with no interest. That is until 6pm at sunset there appeared this rainbow (two actually), pink clouds and a beautiful sunlight on the shore to the left. I got the camera out and went into the rain and took about 3 shots before it disappeared as fast as it appeared! A beautiful sight to see. The image on your screen can’t possibly come close to what it looked like in real life. You had to be there!
One of the things I’ve learned when it comes to photography one has to be ready. You can’t be fiddling around with your camera and changing lenses or trying to find your tripod, etc. You’ve got to be ready to go especially when it comes to changes in weather.
Yup, off to the Smoky Mountains tomorrow. This New England boy ventures outside his home area to go with his business partner as co-owners of New England Photo Workshops (www.nephotoworkshops.com) explore the Smoky Mountains! This image from last year was one of my favorites. Looking forward to making some great images and working closely with the workshop folks.
Don’t you just wish everything was perfect? Hmmm, maybe not you think. Perhaps that’s right.
Don Toothaker & I did some judging at a camera club recently and it’s something that Don really enjoys a LOT. And he’s very good at it. I like it but find it difficult to do as I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Yet at the same time I want to help photographers learn. So, I ‘judge’ on occasion. It’s something as co-owners of New England Photo Workshops that we know may help our business (www.nephotoworkshops.com) as well by enabling camera club folks to meet & interact with us.
We got some feedback from one of the new folks we had just met. He said that he now knows he needs to learn to evaluate his images better to improve his techniques to get sharper photos based on our comments about his images. He was going to take more steps to know his camera better and learn how to use it easily. He even went so far as to say that we were an inspiration and he thanked us for doing what we do.
How cool is that?!
It was and is “worth the trip” to each us when we get feedback like that. We love photography and find things like this experience really rewarding.
Keep shooting, have fun, get the shot and shoot what you feel….