With a digital camera, you can take as many pictures as your camera’s memory card can hold. That’s the beauty of digital photography. Once you own the equipment, it doesn’t cost anymore to take a dozen pictures than it does to take one. So, take advantage of the creative equity stored in your camera and take a lot of shots.
Another great advantage of digital photography is the instant feedback of an LCD screen. With traditional film, you wouldn’t know what you had until you used up the roll, sent it to be developed and picked up your packet of prints – a process that could take weeks or months. Now, with the click of a shutter, you can see the image you shot…kinda. That 2 or 3 inch screen can be deceptive. What looks pretty good on your camera’s screen, might be a mess on your computer screen. Another shot or two of the same subject increases the likelihood of capturing the image you really want.
When I can, I try to take several shots (and sometimes a great deal more) of each photo I’m after. Taking more pictures gives me the opportunity to vary settings and try different techniques. With people, eyes blink and the nuance of expression morphs continually. The more pictures I take, the more I have to select from and the greater my chances of getting an extraordinary final product.
Honestly, I’m not as good a photographer as some people might think. A great photographer could take a few shots and most of them would impress you. On the other hand, I can take a couple of hundred and only produce a few I feel are worth keeping. As I become more familiar with my camera and develop my knowledge and skill, my ratio of keepers will increase.
I’m not suggesting you simply fire off hundreds of shots like a 9-year-old with a submachine gun, thinking the spray of bullets is bound to hit something…eventually. Be a thinking photographer. Think of a different approach, a unique angle, experiment with depth of field, play with the fill flash, vary exposure, fiddle with filters, etc.
One of my favorite quotes, attibuted to a number of people – from Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Goldwin – is, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
We can apply that same concept to the art of digital photography: The more photos we take, the more masterpieces we’ll find.
Last Saturday I stopped at Crescent Beach in Algoma, WI and snapped this image. Beyond the fence and out of view is the open water of Lake Michigan.
I took several shots – with the sun shining brightly and with the sun behind the clouds. I preferred the bright sun (as seen here) to emphasize the contrast of the shadows on the snow.
After downloading to my computer, I added the sepia tone in Photoshop.
Instead of posting the photo of a snow scene snapped last Saturday, I thought something a little more optimistic would be a better choice today.
These are some early blooming wildflowers I captured on a hike through the woods of a state park near Sturgeon Bay, WI.
The simplicity and the colors of this image make it one of my favorites.
These guys are harder to photograph than I had imagined.
There’s an avairy in the lobby of a nursing home where I visit a friend. I’ve walked by it a hundred times and admired the dozen or more birds that are part of the display. Since my friend wasn’t up for much of a visit, I stopped on my way out and fired up the camera.
These guys are fast! They rarely pause for more than a second or two. They are continually bouncing from one perch to another, squabbling with one another or preening with their head under a wing or other unsightly places. My camera has a “Continuous Advance” setting, where, if you hold the shutter button down, it will keep clicking off photos. I held the button down for a round of about 7 shots and not one of them caught the bird in an appealing pose. This is one of those times where I snapped 60-70 photos and only kept two.
The aviary is constructed of oak and plexiglass, so I employed a Circular Polarizing filter to cut down on the glare. It didn’t totally eliminate it, but it helped. I don’t notice any glare in this image.
(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)
Life and light are happening all around you. If you keep your camera close you’ll be ready when you stumble along breathtaking beauty…when artistic inspiration grips you…when the unusual, never-to-be-repeated event occurs.
I’m making a concerted effort to keep my camera with me. I haul it around, along with a variety of other basic gear, in a good case. Many days I carry it around and never take it out of the case; but I’ve got it should I need it. (Lately, my greatest challenge is pausing from the rat race long enough to snap a few frames.)
The number of interesting images that populate my camera’s memory card tends to have a direct correlation to the amount of time I spend with my camera. Great photo ops are popping up all the time – you might as well capture them.
Keep your camera close!
This is an early morning edition of the pier light that marks the harbor entrance at Algoma, WI.
If you follow this blog, you’ll notice it’s one of my favorite subjects.
When I take photos, I usually take a lot. Then I load them on to my computer and pick out one or two that I like and share them. All the other images from that day are still on my computer. When things are slow – photography wise – I’ll look through some of those photos I passed on the first time around and see if there’s something worth bringing out.
This photograph is one taken in 2009 using my old Kodak EasyShare DX7590. It is the Kewaunee Lighthouse. The lighthouse is actually a supporting actor. I think the clouds are the real star and makes this image a keeper for me. The flock of birds provide a nice accent.
As I often do with photos that don’t quite dazzle me on their own, I added a digital effect to this one using a Photoshop filter.
Feel free to leave a comment.
I had to run an errand to the nearest town, Kewaunee, WI – on the shore of Lake Michigan. I kept an eye open for something to photograph. Not much caught my eye so I stopped by the beach and experimented with some night photography, trying a variety of camera settings.
This is a view of the Kewaunee lighthouse. The lighthouse light overpowers the image, not leaving much else. Still, something about the image appeals to me. I really like the red of the navigational light on the north pier, across the harbor from the lighthouse. I added a slight texture to give it character.
So, what do you think? Worthwhile image, or no. Leave a comment with your thoughts.
Image details: 280mm, F8, 20-sec., ISO 800
I’m always watching the sky. Here, in northeast Wisconsin, we seem to have the coolest sunrises and sunsets. This prime example dates back a few years; back to March of ’07.
My wife and I had just settled in on the sofa to watch a DVD when I noticed some color in the sky out my living room window. I had to pause the video and run outside with my camera to fill a few frames with this beauty. I remember being very excited about what I was seeing and hoping, beyond hope, that the camera would capture the shear glory of it. As you can see, I think my old Kodak Easyshare DX7590 did an exceptional job.
About being left on the sofa in “pause” mode, my wife simply said, “I kinda thought this was going to happen.” She knows me well.
Starting the new year off with a new blog site for my photography. Welcome to PopsDigital.com.
I’m looking forward to the images 2011 will yield. I’ve recently stepped up my digital photography game with a new camera – the Sony SLT-A55. It’s going to take awhile to really be able to harness all the capabilities and features of this camera. I’m still researching and adding new accessories. I have my eye on a new high quality printer. (My mind says, “Yes, yes!,” my wallet says, “Not now, you fool.”) Nothing like new equipment to get your creative juices flowing.
Like all websites, this is a work in progress. I was intent on getting something up and running on January 1st. Obviously, there are more images to add, more tools to implement, more entries to post, but everyone has to start somewhere. If I waited until I had it exactly as I’d like it, it would never be ready.
I hope you’ll check back on a regular basis. You could also subscribe to the RSS feed or friend me on Facebook.
This first photo posted is a digitally-altered, self portrait. That’s me, Bill Pevlor, aka Pops Digital.