When a photographer is out in the field, she must think on how best to shoot. My number one influence is light. Then I consider what I plan on shooting. Combining those two situations, I then proceed on how best to shoot.
I recently viewed a short video by Scott Kelby, a well known and very well respected photographer, explaining how best to take landscape shots. His advice was to shoot at an aperture of 22 and on a tripod. For a sunset yes I would consider this advice but for most other occasions, I adjust my shooting methods according to light and what I am capturing.
If I had the means to hire someone to carry my tripod and other lenses too, that would be great. Or if I was as strong as “The Rock” I would be able to carry everything upon my person. Since neither situation applies to me, I have to consider me and my needs when I plan on hiking around in a forest for hours.
I use common sense. I deploy what works best for me. I also am presently shooting with stacked filters on my lens, which in of itself steps down the shutter speed. Shooting at an aperture of 22 (very small opening which means less light coming into the lens) is out of the question. It will decrease the EV (exposure value) dramatically, therefore directly decreasing shutter speed. That would give me an impossible shutter speed to shoot while hand holding my camera.
I normally shoot landscape using a low aperture (large opening meaning more light) and attempt to get a slow shutter speed which to me is anything under 1/80th of a second. I can get as low as 1/6th of a second while hand holding my camera and lens, but that takes a lot of concentration. My intention is creating a soft look to my images. I will not, however, be lugging around my heavy tripod when I am traipsing around in a forest. My camera with lens and perhaps one spare lens is more then enough to carry. I also carry a bottle of water on my person. Even in cold weather, yes I do get thirsty out there.
Listening to professional photographers’ advice is all and good, yet to develop one’s own unique style is more important then copying someone else’s style. For this reason I shy away from “how to” books for the most part, because I am of the mind I like to discover my own way when I shoot. Oh yes I do refer to photography books when I want to brush up on how to do something that I’ve honestly forgotten how to or learning something new. I aim for the relevant information, and then fly by my own steam.
For those of you who find yourself behind a camera, I highly encourage you to develop your own style. Yes I do give hints how I shoot yet nonetheless, don’t copy me. Apply what I say if it speaks to you but do one better then that. Throw in something of your very own to make how you shoot uniquely yours. Does that make sense to you? Does to me.
All pictures seen here were taken in Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve Park. That day I actually started driving towards the park without my camera, with the intention only to go for a walk. Yet, I turned my car around to head back home because I just knew I would SO regret leaving my camera behind. And I was right. If I had not turned around to get my camera, these images would not exist. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely happy I decided to get my camera.
Photography/ “When A Photographer”/ December 2018©AmyRose