Take the Time, and then take that Great Shot.
When I started shooting back in 2008, I was photographing everything I could get in front of my camera, but it seemed my main focus, at the time, was nature and landscapes. It wasn't until later that I understood more about what I was photographing, why I was photographing it, and to slow down and really think about what I was shooting. The more I thought about photography and what the possibilities were, the more I realized that it's not about the camera gear, (although good gear helps, but we'll get in to that later), but it's about life and the land around you. It's not about taking 1000 photos a day with your eye constantly pressed against the viewfinder as you look around for a subject. It's about keeping the camera at the ready, but more than that, being very observant of your surroundings with both eyes focused.
You're in your house. There's a fly buzzing around your head to the point of maddening. You grab your Bug Zapper 3000 and set out on your quest. Upstairs, downstairs, up on a stool, and running through the rooms, you constantly chase this fly. You've chased it for an hour until you've finally got him. That half a second it took to swing your arm to eliminate the fly is only a small part of the story. It was your patience, your drive, being very observant, and your perseverance that helped you reach your goal. The same is with photography. The shutter click may only last 1/800th of a second, but the real story is how you arrived there. What was your motivation? What is it that was so important that you spent an hour of your life chasing, or even several hours, to only get 1/800th of a second in return? These are all things to think about.
Try walking around a nearby lake, park, etc., and only allow yourself 3 shots. What will you photograph? What will be worth it to you to use one of the 3 shots available?
Really try to get a solid idea of what is going on around you and learn to anticipate your next shot. Try and take a much more mental approach to your photography as opposed to a mechanical one and motor driving the shutter. Shooting nature, and especially landscapes, more often than not, affords you that time as opposed to photographing, say, a wedding or concert. Take that time, and then take that great shot.
If you have any questions concerning this, feel free to leave them in a comment below.
Good article, i love the idea of taking just three shots on an outing. The economy of photography gives one the opportunity to make every shot count. Think back to the days of film, you had a finite number of shoots each time you loaded that film. It will do us good to go back to that mentality, we may be amazed at what good shots we come up with.
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