Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrying a camera at all times

Many photographers carry a camera with them everywhere they go so that, whenever a photo opportunity presents itself, it can be captured.  For beginning photographers this is good advice.  Beginners can get plenty of practice at trying new angles and perspectives to learn to compose a shot well, or even just learn what makes an interesting image..  But as you become a better photographer you start seeing less and less “keepers” coming from these happened upon photo opportunities.

The reason the good photos fall off as your photography gets better is that there comes a time when you've made all the big leaps in learning how to improve your photography from the camera side and you start finding that something called "quality of light" is what makes others’ photos better than the ones you’ve been taking.

 
Quality of light is what makes landscape photographers get up before sunrise to catch the warm light of sunrise on a hillside, tree, or rocky cliff.  It makes macro photographers hope for an overcast day, and makes architectural photographers get ready just before dusk to capture that magically blue sky balanced perfectly with a building's inside or outdoor lighting.  In short, it’s the exact opposite of happening across a shot.  A lot of planning and forethought go into capturing photos with the best possible (natural) lighting.  

 
When this realization is made it's easy to decide that photography is work and that simply carrying a camera around and keeping an eye out for photo ops won't yield any significant successes.  In fact, that's what this blog post was going to be about.  The fact that good photography takes work and planning.  But I didn't finish the post, so I left it in draft form to finish later.  Then on Saturday I ended up proving my post wrong when i came across the scene below and was happy I had my camera with me so I could capture it:


Beach Sunset
 

So, I'll leave the question of whether or not to carry a camera at all times to the reader while noting that you can increase your chances of getting good shots by paying attention to the quality of light and shooting accordingly.  If you see a sunset, it's instinct to shoot it, but make sure you turn around too and see if the warm light isn't putting your best shots behind you.  Make the best of an overcast day by focusing on macros, and use the twilight hour to concentrate on architectural photo opportunities.

10 comments:

Debbie said...

You take amazing photos, but I just had to comment on this blog post. For starters, it did highlight why pros resent carrying the camera around daily. However, I think if photographers - pro or novice - limit themselves to defining special moments only those that have the right quality of light or perspective are missing the world around them. Of course, I am only a novice and suppose it depends on your definition of success and what is your trying to accomplish, but I think there are moments all around us. Check out http://miksang.com/ for a different frame of reference.

Asheville Wedding Photography said...

Great article! I always have my camera on me and recommend to everyone that if you want to get good shots you have to have a camera with you!

Nude Photography said...

I personally bring my camera with me at all times if possible. I love taking pictures of everything especially those precious moment with my family. The captured photos are something that I can keep forever.

digital cameras said...

Though it would be preferable to bring my DLSR with me all the time, it is just impossible to do so. I just use the camera of my iPhone to take some pictures when opportunities arise.

wedding photography said...

I always take my camera with me whenever I go somewhere. It's good to have it inside my pocket to take photos and images of different spots and scenery. By the way, you've got great photos. They look very compelling as well.

mother of the bride suits said...

It is so beautiful, I also take my camera with me all the time to record the beauty, thank you for sharing!

Fotograf nunta Ploiesti said...

I'll take my 5dmkII everywere in my backpack. but only one lense 50mm f:1,4 :)

photography_lover said...

I am new to this field. I try to carry my camera every where and take photos as much as possible. I am going to learn how I can grab the best moment for taking a picture.

FRANCHISE DAVID said...

I think if photographers - pro or novice - limit themselves to defining special moments only those that have the right quality of light or perspective are missing the world around them. Of course, I am only a novice and suppose it depends on your definition of success and what is your trying to accomplish, but I think there are moments all around us.

Gerry Gibbs Camera House

Mario Verville said...

I always take my camera with me whenever I go somewhere. Keep up the good work.