I’m sure it’s just me (it usually is) but there is something weird about kids going around and trick-or-treating while they text on their cell phones. Seems like if you are old enough to have a cell phone you shouldn’t be out begging for candy. Like I said, probably just me….
Let’s kick November off with another waterfall image. On our recent club outing to Brevard someone mentioned that they thought it was interesting that there could be 20 photographers standing in front of a waterfall and I would be the only one with my lens pointing away from the waterfall. Well, not always. In this case I was pointed at the waterfall, but at a really small part of it.
This is a detail from Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. Not too many people get this shot, most of them don’t even see it. But sometimes I do actually shoot waterfalls!
My, how time flies! October already, the busiest time of the year for nature photographers. Kathy & I have a big month coming up, although we won’t be running around quite as much this year as we have in years past. One big week starting with a CNPA outing in Brevard and ending with Kevin Adams’ Fall Photo Tour, plus a few random day trips thrown in, will be a great time and should make for some productive photography.
Fall can be so easy that it ends up being hard. When the color starts to show it can be tempting to just point and shoot. The trouble with that is that it’s hard to go beyond the obvious. And that is really going to be my focus this year – to go beyond the obvious. I intend to photograph mindfully and intentionally, seeing lines, patterns colors and relationships. We’ll see how how I did a month from now.
I liked the photo from my last post so much I’ve decided to make it the October wallpaper calendar. It’s a little bit different look at Hooker Falls in Dupont State Forest. This photo illustrates what I mean by “beyond the obvious” and is the kind of photograph I hope to make a lot more of.
I hope you enjoy this month’s calendar, and hope you all have an excellent October. See you somewhere along the way!
This past weekend I attended a presentation by noted nature and wildlife photographer Bill Lea. During Bill’s presentation he showed a number of excellent wildlife images – bear, deer, fox, wolf and more. At one point he made the statement that a successful animal photograph should always include a “glint” in the animal’s eye. I agree completely, but to take it a step further, I feel that a successful photograph of any kind is one that puts a glint in the photographer’s eye.
I subscribe to receive e-mails from Christie’s and Sotheby’s with results from various art auctions. Sotheby’s recently had an auction of photographs, many of which were historical photographs by famous photographers. A large number of them were daguerreotypes from the 1840’s. There were a few Westons, a Cunningham or two. Adams, Strand, Stieglitz and Steichen were among the names listed. But what struck me was the number of photographs – primarily the daguerreotypes – that were listed as being by “Anonymous American Photographer.” I couldn’t help but think, “is that our fate? Are we either famous or anonymous?” Scary thought.
I was having a conversation today with a friend about my approach to photography, and it caused me to think about the fact that although we make dozens if not hundreds of photographs each time we go out, the percentages of “keepers” can vary dramatically depending on our approach, our intended result and our ability to make tough editing decisions. It occurred to me that our approach toward what and how many images we keep is a lot like our approach to shopping. Some people buy lots of “stuff” even if it isn’t really something they need. They like it, it’s on sale or something caused them to want it so they bought it. Sometimes they buy these things and keep them forever, even once they decide they no longer want them. Others buy less frequently but what they do buy is well thought out, the purchasing decision is fully analyzed and the item purchased is exactly what they were looking for.
My approach to shopping made that transition long ago. I rarely shop, but when I do it is for exactly what I want, I get it and I go on. My photography is headed in a similar direction but is far less developed. My approach toward photography seems to be evolving from one of quantity to one of quality and as it does, I find myself keeping fewer images. The ones I do keep are ones I am happier with and that I will probably hold on to for a lot longer period of time. I feel like I am making better choices and that the resulting keepers are much stronger than when I was keeping a lot more. I wonder if this is because I am thinking of my images as prints instead of just pictures on a hard drive. Somehow thinking about and making prints forces me to take a harder look at an image. I find that a lot fewer of them are making the cut. Something to think about.
Now I just have to convince The Boss….
She’ll probably tell me to clean my sensor more often.
Image is a combination of 5 photographs of a tree that I shot during our visit to Hilton Head this past February. It was shot in different kinds of light with different sky backgrounds. I’m trying to figure out what to do with it.