August 26, 2012
Barriers to Success In Photography
Have any of these words interfered with your ability to get that perfect image, nerves, hectic, fast changing light, lens choice, perspective, anxiety, tension is mounting, I must get this shot, mind racing, and more. If we over think a photograph we have already lost the natural flow of the scene and your relationship with the subject. Your imposing on the scene your inner desire for the absolute best composition, the best color, the best of everything and by doing this you are limiting your ability to intuitively recognize the good photograph wanting to be taken right in front of you. As a matter of fact I think if you are overly concerned with the technical side of image taking you have already missed the shot. I am not saying don't be prepared. With experience we all have an artist's ability to previsualize an image. I have a lens rotation I do when taking photographs. I start wide and keep narrowing my focus until I have found a close-up macro shot.
I bring this up because the other day I went back to one of my favorite small lakes up in Snohomish County, Lake Cassidy. The lake sits in a valley and usually has fog hugging its calm surface. Fishermen will come in and launch their small engine boats (sometimes canoes, kayaks and fishing inter-tubes) on the west side of the lake right as the sun rises over the Cascade Mountain Range. It is a wonderful landscape and has all the ingredients for making a great picture.
I hadn't been there in awhile and as the light got better and better I heard a boat in the distance heading my way. I had a 50mm lens on my camera and had a great composition with Mount Pilchuck to the right in the frame and the sun coming up through the fog on the left side of the frame and a boat in the distance coming perfectly into the composition. But instead of thinking calmly I got excited about a potential new image and in mid-stream decided to change lens to a 105 mm. As I put the lens on the camera I looked up and saw the small boat come out of the fog and right through the frame before I could re-compose my image and get the shot. My nervous energy sabotaged what could have been a great scenic photograph.
I did go back to the lake the next morning and this time waited patiently as the fishermen entered my composition. The light was great and I will post some of those when I get them processed through Lightroom. The images below are from previous morning shoots.