Daily Archives: August 9, 2012
I started thinking about this on the plane yesterday, flying down to Austin. I often challenge myself to see what I’ve learned from experience. I think you will find this a unique list of thoughts, and I’m pretty certain, if you take them to heart, they will make a big difference in your work!!!
1. Always have a camera with you. Murphy’s law says, “the best shots happen when your camera is at home!” Even a small pocket point and shoot or your iPhone will work fine in a pinch!
2. Practice learning to see and understand light. Where is it coming from, what is it’s quality, and most importantly what is it doing to the subjects around you?!
3. Look for color that stands out from the background, both screaming color and muted tones, then crop down to just a photograph that is color for the sheer sake of color.
4. If you can’t or won’t carry a tripod, work very hard on your handholding technique. Learn how to use solid structures to brace yourself against. Determine what is the lowest shutter speed you “know” you can hand hold and still get sharp images, and then discipline yourself to stay above that speed. Practice exceptional technique! If nothing else, consider a good quality small table top tripod that you can keep handy.
5. Except when driving, use a zen like calmness to truly visualize your surroundings. Take the time to find all the intricate patterns, line, color and light interplay that make for great images. You will find the more you look, the more you will see!!
6. Shoot wide, tall, close, then even closer, and shoot from all angles, high to low. I even learned to fly an airplane so my tripod could be 500 feet tall!
7. One camera and one lens of exceptional quality are better than two mediocre cameras and 10 lenses. It’s actually easier to make great photographs the less you have to think about the equipment. Though quality equipment matters, it’s your vision that matters the most!!!
8. Study the work of others, on the internet, like 500 pix.com, and great magazines like National Geographic, Geo, or old copies of Life. Exposing your photographic soul to great work will inspire you to see differently, and expand your own vision and approach to the most common of subjects. When I need a visual pick up I study the work of Christopher Burkett, Bill Cox, Mike Moats, Scott Kelby, Jim Begley, and Art Wolfe. I walk away every time convinced that I have so much room to improve!!!
9. Practice, Practice, Practice. My best periods as a photographer, over the last 43 years, have been the times that I was most active as a shooter! Practice may not make perfect, but it sure makes you a lot better!!!
10. Have fun! The best work comes out of a great enthusiasm for the craft, light, and the incredible visual treat around us, that we call the world! Smile, you’re behind the camera!!!
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
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Always loved that song by Little Texas, later met the lead singer, Dwayne O’Brien, he’s a pilot!! Anyway, love to be back in Texas where great friends love a get together and some of my finest burgers that have been scarfed down!! A few years ago I had two breakthrough burgers in Texas; Pappa’s Burgers in Houston, and Hut’s in Austin. Sharlie and I were back at Hut’s tonight and they haven’t lost a step! Still a great burger joint! You just have to love a place with steers head wearing a National Championship hat, Hook em’ horns!
The people are great the burgers are good and juicy and the history makes it all the better! Hut’s Burgers have been voted Number One in Austin for 26 straight years, and have also been voted TEXAS Best Burger in 2011! In a state that knows how to make great burgers that’s a real statement. Hut’s holds on to it’s 4.7 rating and remains one of America’s best burgers!!! The company, my pal Sharlie and Butch (her husband) get’s a 5!
Wish I had made this last shot, but it was from there website, someday, after another “Dagburger” (Double meat) I’ll try to stay up late enough ot make this shot!!!
God Bless Texas,