July 8, 2011

photography tip friday.....


okay
to be honest with you, i'm not really sure if this is a photography tip or merely a suggestion, 
but i feel it's worth talking about.


i think sometimes it's too easy to get into a rut with photography. the kind of rut where we end up shooting only the things right around us. the things we are most comfortable with. the things we find in the perfect late afternoon light, right in our own backyard or the things we see when the morning light whispers it's way onto our kitchen tables.


now i'm not saying that is bad or wrong. but what i'm asking is 
"where's the challenge" "where's the fun" 
"where are the mistakes you learn from" "where are the photos that turn out perfectly, that you thought you'd never be able to take"


i think sometimes we all have the ability to become stagnant. in anything. 
how we dress. what we eat. how we decorate our homes. even how we live.
but most importantly 
{since this is photography tip friday} 
what we see and what we shoot


so really all i'm talking about today, is livening things up. 
seeing new things. going new places. 
finding new faces.
challenging yourself. 
taking your camera off auto.


wait. 
did i just scare some of you with that auto comment. sorry if i did. but i know you can do it. i know you can put your camera on aperture mode and play around with your depth of field. but you have to want to do it. you have to want to shoot crappy photos and screw up and start over again. 
and 
if you want to screw up even more, put your camera on manual mode. i guarantee you'll take photos you hate, but you just might take some photos that you fall in love with.


i was bored the other day, so i grabbed my camera and went to one of our {many fantastic} lakes. 
it was three in the afternoon and the sun on the water was still blinding. 
i used my 70-300 lens for all of the photos i took, as it tends to be my most versatile lens and 
since it was 85 degrees, i only stayed about 30 minutes.


and
in that half hour, i talked to a few hispanic strangers with beautiful daughters and an older gentleman who asked if i was with the newspaper {which i wish i could have answered yes to} 
but most of all, i shot. i shot a ton of photos, while constantly changing the settings on my camera, 
since i was feeling that i wasn't getting the color of the water exactly as i saw it.


but
i wasn't discouraged. i was excited to be challenging myself. 
i was excited to be PLAYING. i was excited to see who or what i might see next. 
and 
i was excited to see what i was capturing,
even though i knew that wouldn't happen until i got home, since looking at the screen on my camera in the bright sun proves to be a waste of time.


so this weekend. go out and play. in a new place. with new "everything" around you. go to a park you've never been to. or an event that you don't want to do {like log rolling} but where you'll have lots of things to photograph. go to your favorite little bistro, but order something you've never had and take photos of it. ask your hubby to go outside and jump for you, if you want to practice the jumping photos i so dearly love. sure, maybe we've already seen your hubby, so you're asking "what's new with that" but i'm guessing we've probably never seen him in midair.




my guess is that once you venture out of your comfort zone, you'll do it more and more often. you'll realize how exciting people and areas right around you can be. now if i was telling you that what you really need, is to go to another country and spend thousands of dollars on a vacation, just for something new to shoot, you'd all be throwing bricks at me and i would totally understand. 
but i'm not. i'm just suggesting you go somewhere new and see things you haven't shot before.


and
the best part. after all your "new shooting" you will feel exhilarated, like you just exercised. 
and
since i don't exercise regularly enough, but will climb up a tree or a hill to frame what i want to shoot, or squat for thirty minutes in order to get a 2 year old on his level. 
well i consider that a win win.


happy weekend everyone
and
happy shooting

*

49 comments:

  1. Awesome words of wisdom...I think I'll do just that!

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  2. Yes.... but some folks simply don't get the opportunity to get out and shoot other places, or like me are simply stay at home people in the summer months especially.

    For those who are TRULY serious about their photography or selling it... yes, they need to expand their location horizons. Your photos, no matter where you take them are always simply lovely though. :-)

    Di

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  3. fantastic tips, very helpful post and i really love all of your shots!

    just a Q. how did you manage to make only the background of some photos here to look blurry.

    i adore that.
    thanks in advance

    happy weekend!
    betty

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  4. These are all some great photos. I love the one of the little girl in blue bathing suit with it creeping up her "behind". Can't we all relate to that feeling! Great advice. I just got a new camera and playing with it is what is fun. But it seems to eat up the batteries. Any advice about that?

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  5. I could not agree more, I'm totally refreshed after venturing out somewhere new.. and I love my 70-300 lens.
    I do have a pic of hubby in mid air.. it's not pretty!! hahahaaa.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcgillicutty1/5915342107/in/photostream
    Happy Friday :)

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  6. great photos and ideas ...

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  7. Great ideas, love it. I'm actually at the point now where I don't hyperventilate when I click that knob off auto. All thanks to you. Have a great weekend.

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  8. Okay, you have helped me. I am the kind of person that looks at an object and thinks of other uses for it not what was made for. I walk through a thrift store and look at all the items and name three or more things I could use this and that for. I need to get the same mind set when the camera is in my hand.

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  9. Fine advice. I almost never shoot in auto but neither do I often venture away from shutter speed preferred. I need to play with the aperture more.. or better still.. full manual.

    Your photos are lovely. I think I love the first one the best.

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  10. Good advice ... but auto is sooooo easy! Yep, being lazy!
    Lovin' these pics!

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  11. i feel your joy in every photo, in every word

    i adore you and i'm inspired by U

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  12. This is wonderful advice, especially for those of us who are into photography. No, wait a minute - it's good advice for everyone. It's always good to get out of your rut now and then.

    Love the first and last photos ~ and the inspiration here.

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  13. It is fun to experiment . . . I starting much better shots when I took things off auto and played around. Yes you end up with a whole bunch of crap ones but usually in the pile you'll stumble upon some gems. Great pics.

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  14. That's what I've been telling myself - get out and find some new pictures! What a fun day you had, first taking the pictures, then playing with them!

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  15. I have stepped away from auto and dived into the world of shutter speed, Aperature, F-Stop, etc. etc. etc... and I will tell you..

    I still stick it in auto when the going gets tough, dammit.

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  16. Great suggestions! I have been shooting on aperture priority for 3 years now and I'm just now forcing myself to go completely manual. Scary! But exciting. Lovely images you've displayed here today.

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  17. Your post has planted some seeds. I'm excited about harvest time.

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  18. Great advice and so well put!

    I have recently renewed my passion for photography and have lots to learn about digital photography. I get out as much as I can and am constantly playing with the settings. I'm loving the digitalness (if that's a word!) and the capability of seeing my image immediately and either trying something else or deleting it! Such fun!

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  19. Thanks, beth! Don't like auto mode, manual mode scares me a bit - but I occasionally try. Mostly in aperture mode. Love your photos always. I did take a day away on Wednesday to play alittle with the camera and some pictures will show up next week from the beach. I had fun there too! I do find it to be a challenge when the sun is bright to get the right color of the sky and water.

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  20. You are a very wise one, I love the shots, it seems I have been stuck in the house, but I am going to venture out tomorrow, thanks for shaking me up. lol.

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  21. I found you through Kate and am so glad, this is a wonderful post full of great advice!

    Kat :)

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  22. Just followed the link from Kate over at Chronicles of a Country Girl knowing I would find inspiration as she indicated. Oh yes, what a great post, you've inspired me! ~Lili

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  23. What a wonderful day out with your camera. I feel like I was right there with you. Beautiful shots!

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  24. Thanks for kicking me in the pants! I needed it. Can't wait to see whatnhappens!!
    I love your photos.

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  25. I wish I had had the guts to go up to a group of Harley Davidson bikers yesterday. They probably would have let me potograph them. But, Iwas intimidated by all the black leather jackets and goggles. Good post. xo Jenny

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  26. I can't remember the last time I shot in auto mode... Now, I don't shoot perfect pics all the time...far from it! But it's much more fun to shoot in manual. :) xo

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  27. What a bunch of fantastic tips, very helpful post indeed... and i really loveee all of your shots!
    hugs
    lila

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  28. awesome! i still only have a point n shoot and even that, i never shoot in auto. never. and i don't like seeing ppl w/ these $700+ cameras n take horrid photos. it's like... do you know what i'm missing out on that you have? lol... and i love, love going to new places to capture beautiful photos! you really do have an eye of an artist/photographer, climbing on trees, squatting for a toddler, love that!

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  29. Aah! Though I am below "moron" level with a camera, this post is just so wonderful and gorgeous to me, that even I want to take some good photos! LOVE the canoes and water and babies and.......aah. Thanks, Beth. You rock. (Now, when are you stoppin' over to teach me how to use this camera thing?) ~kath

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  30. Beth, Well, I will do that starting on Sunday, My hubby has to go out of town for the week to Philadelphia and since it is summer, with the kiddo's out of school, I got the brainy idea to say...."Hey why don't we go with you since Philly is a historical town, the kids and I can go learn some American History while your at work!!" but then as usual..I started to second guess myself..thinking holy cow me and three kids(13, 12 &10) in a town where I am not familiar..what the heck was I thinking when I opened my big mouth to go with him! and of course my backup was to sit at the pool with them if things didn't go as planned...but of course this hotel doesn't have a pool!!! So wish me luck..as I have not yet packed or grocery shop to leave my two oldest kids(21 and 19) food staples while we are gone
    and I can already feel the butterflies of nervousness in my stomach.

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  31. Beautiful photos, Beth, and wonderful advice. Im headed to the beach this week for a few days, without my usual muse, so I'll give it a try!

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  32. I do tend to get in a rut with my photo's and my photo paths...pretty good idea!

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  33. i'm taking "baby steps" with the manual settings on my camera (and my daughter's SLR, when I can steal it from her ;)

    i love that first photo of the little girl in the hat and sundress, and also the second one of the swimming markers (nice DOF), AND the one of the little girl with the edges of her bob just wet and the line of water droplets shimmering behind her.

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  34. Beautiful images...and such encouragement! Thank you!!! I will do!!

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  35. Great advice! I do get into such a rut, taking the same photos over and over. But (thanks to one of my son's friends)I do shoot in manual most of the time! Yay! You took some beautiful images there on the lake!

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  36. Beautiful photos, very nice.

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  37. Home for a couple of days so I'm catching up with my fav bloggers! This is wonderful advice for sure Beth. I have been in that mind set for a while as you can only photograph so many flowers. Enjoy your Sunday!

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  38. It's funny, for most of my photographic life, I used a Pentax P3 35mm, SLR, in the manual mode. Then digital came along and I started using the auto setting primarily. Your pictures are just wonderful and I'm inspired to try manual on my digital camera. I just love your photographs!

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  39. my favorite pictures are always the ones i shot on manual while playing around. and i was just thinking the other day that i need to get out of my own backyard. so thanks for the little nudge...

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  40. yay for singing the praises of exploring!!

    although texwisgirl certainly sees things differently...
    ha!

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  41. oh, i should add, how beautiful these are!
    ;o)

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  42. What words of wisdom! I do so much better if I make myself take a class or try something new....Love that last shot!
    xoxo

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  43. I started doing this this very spring... when I went full on manual (which at first scared the bee jeebies out of me, but now that's all I shoot in). I picked Wednesdays to go up to our university, to a near by lake, to the town square (we live in the South where every little bump in the road has the quaint town square). I had a ball. It's a bit harder now that summer and the crazy heat we're having has descended on us, but I'm determined to start my little adventures up again very, very soon. : )

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  44. I do get into ruts--but sort of in the opposite way. I don't tend to take photos of the things around me; I take photos only when I leave the house, in places that are at least an hour's drive away. But I go to those same places over and over again. And I almost never take the camera of "auto", but you're right--it's about time I did. That's what I got a dSLR for anyway, right? =)

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  45. This is just what I needed! I find it difficult to budge out of home somedays!

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**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth