Friday, February 22, 2013

Slow Down, Slow Down!

This is Michigan in winter. These pics were taken this morning as yet another snow storm blew through, snarling up traffic and making for slippery walks.

This isn't a particularly interesting photo but it does give you a glimpse of my backyard being blanketed with a fresh coating of snow.

This photo is better than the first but it isn't my best either.

These photos are examples of what I believe will be my biggest challenge to overcome in improving my photos... slow down and THINK about what I'm doing. I have a real tendency to rush my picture taking, even when there is no reason to. It's not like I didn't think about what I was doing at all, just not enough. I thought about composition (yeah, it probably doesn't look like it in the top photo but I was trying to omit several objects, like the BBQ grill and patio furniture, that would have detracted from the photo) and I thought about white balance but I didn't give a thought to depth of field. That's especially evident in the close-up of the snow on the pine branches. They should have all been in focus. Sigh.

Why do I rush my photo taking? I'm not sure but I think it comes from not wanting to miss the shot because I took too long to set up. This morning while watching a video on photographing snowflakes I was reminded about the Nat Geo photog who when asked what tips he could share for getting terrific pics said, "f8 and be there!" And that is so often the case when it comes to shooting sunsets, weather, sports, etc. You need to be in the moment. The lighting/drama/action can change in an instant and if you take too long thinking about it you may just miss your chance at a great photo.

What can I do to help myself? Well, I can learn my cameras better so that I can change settings faster. That will help some but in the end it won't solve my problem because I still need to think about what all settings I need to change. It needs to occur to me to change more of my settings. That sounds so obvious, doesn't it? But it isn't for me. I get excited about taking a picture just about every time I get a camera in my hand. And when the excitement comes the thoughtful analysis goes right out the window, or in this case right out of my brain. I need to learn to slow down and become more deliberate in my picture taking. Especially when I'm taking pics like these this morning. I had plenty of time to take those photos. So what if the doorwall was open and the snow and wind were blowing in the house and making me cold, lol!

I think this will be my biggest challenge going forward. If I can master this tendency to rush my photo taking I know my photography will improve.

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