This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Wow! Thanks for the very kind words! I’m very honored to be contributing something to SRFD other than just my Taste Test Dummy skills. Not that I’m complaining about that job … but I digress, as I often do. Trish–the main love of my life … asked me to write about my other love: photography.
Where do I begin? Trish and I have occasionally discussed adding every-so-often posts about photography. If this is something that interests you, or if you have questions or are having some challenges with your images, just let Trish know what you’d like to talk about and we’ll tackle it.
One of my favorite shooters is Chase Jarvis www.chasejarvis.com who says “the best camera is the one you have with you.” So don’t be intimidated or discouraged if you don’t have a big bag of fancy schmancy equipment. Just go with what you have. It’s amazing how often serious photographers shoot with an iPhone. In fact Chase has published a book of iPhone photos, which are amazing.
These first few frames were shot and edited on my iPhone, even though I had one of Nikon’s top cameras–a D3s–hanging on my shoulder.
Even if your goal is just to post something on Facebook that says “I’m shooting photos of the cherry blossoms in DC”…. pay attention to the critical elements of a good photo: lighting, composition, and most especially “the moment.” People are more important than pixels.
This lady looks like she wants to kick some blossom butt! Like holding a baby causes us to make goofy faces, holding a camera causes us to take goofy stances. I’ve laid on the ground, hung off catwalks, hung out of helicopters, etc…..all to get the camera into a certain spot.
One other tip while I’m thinking of it. Understand your camera’s basic functions and how to make it do what you want it to do. STUDY your owners manual. Don’t just skim through it once and then lose it. If you have whats referred to as a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)…know how to set your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, at the very least. And the more menu diving you do, the better your images will be. If you have a point-and-shoot or even just the camera on your phone…know as much as you can about it’s capabilities.
WHY? Because photography is like anything else. The better you understand the fundamentals, the more you will be able to manage your results. If you’re a good golfer you can more or less put the ball where you want it to go. Same goes for baseball, softball, fishing, gardening, knitting … whatever. Don’t just “spray and pray”—meaning randomly press the shutter HOPING that you miraculously get a decent photo. Instead, understand how to create the results you want.
OK, sorry to get all lathered up. I told you photography was my passion! 🙂
Whether you have all the gear and gadgets, like the guy on the left, or just a tiny point and shoot like the lady on the right…get out and have fun! Get up close. Just today, David Hobby wrote on his blog www.strobist.com a quote from Joe McNally: “It’s not a camera, it’s a visa!” Meaning “cameras open doors to new experiences and friendships.” Also check out Joe’s blog when you get a minute. To me, Joe is The Man: www.joemcnally.com
A few pre-dawn shots from the Lincoln Memorial–my favorite spot in DC. In fact, one of my favorite spots anywhere. I’ve been there dozens of times at all hours of the day and night but this was the first time I’ve ever been there alone. Well…that is if you don’t count Abe, and the US Park Police Officer.
I was joined a few moments later by a fellow photographer. We’d just met for the first time a little bit earlier in the lobby of our hotel and cabbed over to the Monument. Yet another example of a camera being the catalyst for experiences and friendships.
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In the foreground is the World War 2 Memorial. Then the Washington Monument—which is expected to stay closed for at least another year because of damage caused by last year’s earthquake–and after that the Capitol. They are not as close together as they seem. The appearance of them being adjacent is known as “compression” and is the result of a long telephoto lens. We can talk more about compression in later posts.
And finally….post-processing—-meaning using a photo editing program in your computer–allows you to edit for maximum impact. Something else we can talk about later.
If you have other photo topics you’d like to tackle together….just say so.
Thanks again Trish for the opportunity to ramble on. You might have created a blogging monster! 🙂
Thanks Ed for giving me the night off and for all these lovely photos and tips. I still have so much to learn!
And thanks so much to our readers for stopping by!