Last updated on July 5th, 2022 at 03:10 pm
The votes are still being tallied for your suggestions on where I should go on my Top Photographer Dream vacation. To date, Alaska and Santa Fe seem to be the front runners!
The main reason I like to travel alone on some photography trips is simple — I am on my own time.
Photographers like to wander. We hate to rush. We wait for things like the “right sunlight.” We may come back to a specific vantage point 3 or 4 times at a certain time of day just to get ‘the shot.’
This type of vacation approach tends to be boring and downright frustrating for companions who may not understand why we want to do all of that.
So in preparation for my dream vacation, I’ve started reading a series of articles from www.picturecorrect.com — The most recent article, “The Art of Seeing: An Exercise in Photo Composition” By Paul Faust caught my attention.
Here he highlights the two basic components of photography — how something is composed within the frame, and how exposure settings enhance the image itself.
The composition of an image is the easier of the two for me. It’s about having a “good eye” and knowing what will visually make a good photograph. I can’t remember ever having to learn that. It was something I just knew how to do.
Image exposure for me, however, has not come so easily!
“Successful” exposure detail in my photography images has always been about luck, fiddling with settings until I see a result I ultimately settle for or letting the camera automatically tell me what settings to default to – what Faust calls the “P.H.D. Feature” – (Push Here Dummy!)
My growth towards becoming a top photographer means I need to put myself in situations that force me to learn how to adjust for exposure — understand my cameras’ settings and wait — take images on purpose and not just continue my random acts of spinning the exposure wheel approach.
Faust talks about an exercise he learned years ago on how he strengthened his image composition and exposure skills. He writes,
You take one camera body, one lens, one memory card – and you pick one subject to shoot. That’s it! Then go out and take your time capturing images. You are intentional about each shot you take, making notes about the (exposure) settings you used, and why.
Also, be conscious of your point of view (composition) — could you move a few steps to the right or left? How about laying down or climbing up a ladder? Be aware of the entire frame, not just the main subject matter. Watch for “distracting items” in your backgrounds and foregrounds, and be selective about the images you keep at the end of the day.
He doesn’t state a rule about what lens to take, but he does note that the bigger growth opportunity will come from using one of your wider angle ones because you will have to work to get things right with the larger field of view.
This challenge takes a lot of patience and can feel frustrating at times, trust me – but I’m up for it.
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