Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shoot Daily

This is the eighth in a 10-part series of posts on some simple actions that always lead to happiness!  Read the original post that frames this discussion HERE.
My favorite pic of the Tetons I have taken. Shot from the south in the Snake River Range.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  That seems like an understatement to me.  Images are powerful.  They evoke emotion.  While it is true that you can paint a picture in a reader’s mind with well crafted words, the reader’s ultimate interpretation will still be unique.  Not true of an image.  What you see is what you get with a photograph.  It will be filtered through the lens of the viewer’s personal perspective and emotional/mental state at the time.  Now combine heartfelt words with an amazing image and one can really stir someone’s soul.
Up high in Cascade Canyon on a stormy summer afternoon. Teton NP.
 I really wish I had discovered photography before the digital age enveloped gear, software, etc.  I believe I would be a better technician when it comes to manipulating, arranging, and combining the variables that impact the final image of a photograph.  If I had learned this craft in a darkroom I believe I would have a better understanding and command of all the aspects of light.  The essence of a photo comes down to light and the context in which it is captured.
Moose Family at Marion Lake on Crest Trail in Teton National Park
 It is easier now than ever to capture your view of the world through the viewfinder.  Every electronic device it seems has a camera incorporated into it.  No more film to develop.  Take and store 5,000+ images on your iPhone.  Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media outlets are exploding with images.  It seems everyone is capturing and sharing more images now than ever in human history.  There is also powerful software to fuel the endless creativity of the modern-day photographer.
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
 This is the area I am a bit weak in.  I have no formal training as a photographer.  Mostly I just shoot lots of images and adjust the direction I go through trial and error.  Since I moved to the Tetons 18 months ago I have shot almost 15,000 images.  I believe that if I beef up my technical skills I can really take my pictures to another level.  The one area I feel I am strong in is composition.  I have a pretty good eye for capturing an image from an interesting perspective.  I believe you can learn this skill, but I also think it is an artistic instinct that really great photographers possess as a part of their gift as an artist.
Sunrise on Flat Creek near the National Elk Wildlife Refuge
One of my goals over the coming months is to take a course in advanced photography techniques.  I will also pair that with a course and some study in Photoshop.  I am very fortunate to be in a place where Mother Nature provides a spectacular back-drop for me to use my abilities to capture some truly breathtaking scenery.  With some beefing up of my technical skills and some updated editing software ability I can get closer to reach my full potential as a professional photographer.
Sunsets over the Big hole Mountains never disappoint.
I do have one other hurdle to overcome before I move any of this forward.  Not too long ago I dropped my camera on the concrete while climbed off a jetty while shooting pics of the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog and Alcatraz Island!  It bounced.  Hard.  Ouch!  I can no longer look through the viewfinder and see what I am shooting and when I shake the camera something small inside rattles like a broken child’s toy.  I was going to upgrade the body sometime soon anyway, but was not anticipating having to do it right away.  I fear that the cost of repair is probably more than the body is worth.  It would probably more prudent to take those funds and invest in an upgraded, used body right now.  I am on a serious budget at the moment.  If anyone has a gently used Canon for sale please let me know!
One of my favorite shots of Teton Canyon and the magical full moon.
Writing, photography, and an intense connection to the natural wonders of our amazing planet:  These are my three passions that I am working to create fusion among to share my view of life and the world around me.