I am back from a trip to Lake Superior and it was a 3 day whirlwind. We were up at 3:30 am to take dawn shots and still going at 10 pm. Trips like this are long and make me question my drive to be a photographer. The lack of sleep effects my personality and I get worn down. I made it though and the 9 hour drive back home with the help of caffeine. What did I notice on this trip?
On every trip I take I pick up a piece of advice from the professional that I am with. Sometimes I agree with what they are doing and others times I don’t. But, most of the time I find something that clicks with how I want to take photography. I also notice how everyone works around me and how they flow. I try not to be complicated myself about taking a shot. When I was with Glenn Campbell from Lightstalkers he said, “I only take three to four shots and move on.” This little piece of advice really stuck with me because I notice people get stuck in one spot with their tripod. I look around a lot when I am at a location to see shots. You can’t see other shots if you only look in one direction all of the time. I think of what I would have missed if I would do that.
I notice other photographers struggle to set and then struggle to compose. They fiddle with their cameras and take forever to take a shot. “Just take the Shot.” Really, we are in the digital world and if you make a mistake you can learn from it. I took many shots in the beginning that were just plain wrong. I still take shots that don’t work but I try anyway so I can look at it on the screen when I get home. I learn from my mistakes just as well as my successes. Am I a Pro? No. Am I working to be a better photographer? Yes. And that is what we all seek.
My best advice is to not to be afraid of making a mistake. I look at a lot of other peoples work to see what I like and what I don’t. I try and try again. However, I don’t try to get bogged down by worrying about the perfect shot. I also realize that I must learn to do it my way and not someone else’s way. I have to learn what works best for me. So, my best advice is to take photo’s to make yourself happy. Yes, it is nice when people like them but it is more important that you like them.
The above shot is taken in Lake Superior while everyone else was looking up river. I turned around and saw the shot behind me. I noticedthat most people only look one way on the river, for a shot, a long time ago. Well, I don’t want the shot everyone has and so I look for the shot most people don’t even see. Try it next time and see what you see that others don’t.