Monday, May 23, 2011

Wait, I gotta get the SHOT!

  A beautiful photograph is priceless. Capturing a moment in time that would otherwise be gone forever... is the reason I LOVE photography. I would love to make the viewer feel something. That is what I strive for with my paintings, and thinking about photographs in this way is exciting! The goal is to get the viewer to evoke an emotion or have a connection with the photograph. In college when I really started falling in love with taking pictures I thought maybe I could be a National Geographic Photographer. So after I graduated from college I bought an expensive camera and started taking pictures of everything, playing and experimenting. It was so fun. I thought maybe photography would be my career path!
   I subscribed to National Geographic magazine, I was in love with the colors, the new worlds, the wildlife, the cultures. What an adventurous job I could have if I was a National Geographic photographer! I bought lots of photography books, even took an all day Nikon seminar. And then they were having some of National Geographic's best photographers and film makers come to the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, I bought 2 tickets and took my mom. That night I was so inspired, so excited! They were living my dream! I get excited and happy just thinking about it! And although my dream of becoming a NG photographer has faded since my college days, I'm still quite obsessed with taking pictures. While trying to find something to watch on Netflix the other day I came across the movie National Geographic The Photographers. Although the movie was little old it was fun to see what it would be like to BE A NG PHOTOGRAPHER! Surprise, surprise I'm not not the only one that thought that would be a dream job! The movie talked about how everyone thinks it's the dream job and gave a peek into the reality of what it's all about. When I went to the presentation at the Orpheum one photographer touched on the living conditions, and how extreme they were at times, living in a tree house for weeks with no one to talk to, no showers...ect. The movie talked about bad living conditions, being away from family, getting sick with diseases, and getting better, the traveling conditions to get to certain places took days and there were delays, obstacles mentally, emotionally and physically. It doesn't sound as enticing as it once did. One thing the photographers talked a lot about was the moment they knew they got the shot!

  Getting that one shot, getting the COVER shot for the NG magazine! WOW! How does that happen? So many of them talked about how they could be shooting in a place for 8 weeks and only get 1 killer shot (If they were lucky!). I know your thinking ya right, but when you REALLY look at your own photos, not all of them are are A+ photos. (Be honest with yourself) An A+ is not only rare, but usually doesn't come with taking 1 picture. It comes with taking LOTS and LOTS. The colors, the emotion, the once in a lifetime unique shot, it's not as easy as you think. I know the feeling and oh, I know it so well. The moment, their face lights up, the lighting hits your subject just right or something amazing happens, the eagle soars right above your head! It's the best feeling in the world, you got the shot! I've learned that if I take 20 photos of bud in one session or 100 at an event, if I got one killer shot would be amazing. My husband laughs at me I'm always "WAIT!!!! I gotta get that shot, pull over, stop the car, wait, I gotta go back!"

Here's an example:

I took about 45 pictures of these cherry trees... I posted a handful of my rejects above and my fav. out of all the shots would be the large one. And really, I'm not even really sure I got the 'cover shot,'  But it was my personal favorite.

So here's my tip for the day... when taking pictures don't just take one! Take lots, from different angles and play with the settings on your camera, even if you don't know what you are doing. Experiment, and then when you look at them on the computer you can pick THE COVER SHOT if you are lucky enough to capture it!
Happy shooting!


  1. I'm constantly stopping what I am doing, taking a lot of them, and making Steve drive back somewhere to get the shot. I know the feeling. I will go back through my shots later and delete the really bad ones, and keep the decent and of course "the shot". Photography is so fun! I love having those shots to go back to later. You never lose the feeling you had the first time you saw "the shot".

    I started a weekly post, posting some of my favorite shots throughout some time. So others could see what I love about photography!

  2. My mom had a chance to meet a NG photographer who was friends with her uncle. This was back in the film age (late '80's) and he said he would take rolls and rolls of film and only get one good image. The important thing was to keep shooting. Great post Nat!!

  3. That last one is truly stunning! Well worth the eye rolling you may get when giving directions to stop the car...haha!