Well, now that Fall has basically ended…at least the Fall that photographers care about with lots of color, dynamic weather conditions and lots of unique seasonal shooting opportunities….I find myself reflecting back upon the season. A few key points stood out for me
– No matter how busy you think you are, you can still find time to shoot some pictures. My life has gotten so much more busier in the last year, sometimes so much that I don’t know if I’m coming or going. It’s been crazy. But once I adapted to the new schedule, I found new ways to carve out time to go shooting. It might not have been in the exactly light that I wanted, or because of time pressures the location I would have preferred, but I still managed to go shooting and come back with some keepers. Don’t let the rat race dominate your life, make an effort to take the time you need for yourself
– My one indispensable piece of photo equipment during the Fall season is a circular polarizer(CPL). It cuts down the glare on wet leaves letting the colors come through, it can darken the skies, it helps lengthen shutter speeds to create a more dramatic effect and is completely adjustable to achieve which ever effect you want and what the scene needs. I have both a standard CPL and a warming CPL that brings a little more warmth to the scene. I also have a couple of different sizes to fit my favorite lenses. There are many things that you can fix in post processing these days, but the effects of a CPL are something that you really can’t fix in post and that’s why it’s indispensable. If you don’t own one, buy one now!
– Location, location, location! This year I was once again reminded what a beautiful place I live in. From the oceans to the mountains, the desert to the vineyards, Oregon has such an amazing diversity of landscapes and nature and it’s pure paradise for an outdoor photographer. Whatever your fancy, you can find a bit of it here in Oregon. This season I revisited well-worn places like Trillium Lake and the Columbia River Gorge and was reminded what true gems we have. And, I found some new places as well that I hadn’t shot before, which brought me that sense of discovery and wonderment, as well as the challenge of shooting a new location.
When I look back at how I “felt” about the shooting season, one thought that came to me was that varied locations give me different types of satisfaction in my shooting. Going to familiar places that I’ve shot multiple times, that I’m comfortable with, allows me to focus on pushing my creative boundaries. I don’t have to worry if there is another better composition, I know the likely weather behavior and all of those other little things that you have to worry about when shooting a new location. I can focus on my craft solely and push my limits a bit more, thereby growing as a photographer. On the flip side though, I do enjoy the challenge of shooting a new location. Assessing the lay of the land, trying to determine the best composition, dealing with unknown variables as your shooting, etc. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and helps me grow as a photographer.
– My passion is as strong as it’s ever been. No matter what is happening in the rest of my life, my passion for photography is as strong as it’s ever been. For me, photography is cathartic, relaxing and meditative, provides solace, invigorating, rewarding and so much more. It is the grease that lubricates my soul and helps me not just survive, but thrive in life. Words can’t express how thankful I am that this passion has come in to my life.
– Photography – Just Do It!
(originally posted 11/7/13)