Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Luck Photographer

When I read this  particular article, I knew what I was when I started this digital adventure.  I would stop by the road, see something that I wanted to shoot, and take lots of pictures, hoping for the best.  I was stuck on auto, afraid to change any of the settings on my camera.  I was shooting only JPEG, fighting all advice to shoot my photos in RAW.  My reasoning behind this was that I had purchased a camera that had a great brain, so I could get great pictures..no matter what.

I knew about composition, I was aware of the rule of thirds, and I understood that lighting was what it was all about.  I had one goal in mind with my new camera - I wanted the perfect waterfall shot!  Once I had accomplished "misty water", I would be accomplished!  I could take the world by storm, and hang my photos on every wall in my house, garnering compliments from all who stopped by. 

I won't say it was a dare, but it was the closest thing to it that got me off the AUTO mode.  I knew in order to shoot the perfect photo, I would have to not only go to the Manual mode, but carry that silly tripod through the woods.  I practiced and practiced on little waves, fountains, anything that I could find.  A trip to the beach gave me waves to slow down..still not quite right, but I did use the tripod, and decided it was okay to be seen in public with all of the gear.  That week in Florida and up the East coast I shot almost a thousand pictures, but I was pleased with quite a few.  I was learning more about composition..leading the eye through the scene. 

Enter Fall Creek Falls State Park in Spencer, Tn.  The water was low, so the falls weren't racing as fast as I would like them to. I got some good shots from the base of the smaller cascades, but still not the one I wanted.  A few hikes later, I got a great shot in Tellico, TN, of a friend at Conasauga Falls..then I took myself on a trip last week.  I found the perfect  setting, the perfect falls..the sky wasn't great, but I was able to NOT use the sky in some photos..

Cumberland Trail - Heiss Mountain Trailhead

I walked around and around, set up my tripod, and there it was...my perfect waterfall.  I shot it in JPEG and RAW, set my aperture and shutter speed, and shot not twenty, but  three shots at this angle.  I took a chance that my planning would get the photo I wanted. 

And yes, eventually I could Photoshop another sky in here, but I don't think the waterfall could be any purer, nor the water any mistier.  And I couldn't be any happier to realize that the "Luck Photographer" was learning a little something about how to start taking pictures on purpose.


1 comment:

  1. How did you do that??? You stole my thoughts, my words exactly! lol And you are right, that is a perfect waterfall!