Out for a late afternoon walk close to home the other day and I managed to photograph the above scene. There are a couple of lessons I want to share with you regarding this. The title of this post, It Pays To Wait, is one of them and the other concerns an approach to photography that Stuart Sipahigil wrote about last year that has resonated with a lot of people. Before I get into those, a few details about the photograph for those of you who are curious about that kind of thing. It is of the crepuscular rays after the sun dips below the horizon as viewed looking over the Danshui River and out to sea. I shot it with a Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40mm lens at 17mm. The camera was mounted on a carbon fiber tripod and a 3-stop graduated neutral density filter was used to give an exposure time of 3.2 seconds at f16 ISO100.
Following on from the success of Clarion Call, Selina Maitreya is organizing another photography telesummit scheduled to take place in June. Clarion Call II will be a one day event on June 10th. We got together on Skype yesterday to chat for a while about Pricing From Value and covered topics like how photographers can assess value and what constitutes value. You can listen to it below.
Some photographs are nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. Cases like that, turning up sometimes seems like it’s all that you need to do. Other photographs require a lot of planning and preparation with a fair amount of patience thrown in for good measure. Then there are others that you see in your mind and know it’s possible to create even though the conditions you’re faced with aren’t optimal. Such was the situation I found myself in last Sunday. My wife’s company organizes a monthly event for staff and clients and this time they decided on a day trip to the tourist village of Jiufen on the north coast of Taiwan about an hour out of Taipei. It’s a popular place for Taiwan photographers but this wasn’t meant to be a photography trip but it is a picturesque place and most, if not all, people were carrying cameras of various kinds. As we wandered through the lanes and alleyways of Jiufen, the group split up and headed off in directions with plans to meet back at a certain spot at a certain time. We found ourselves in a tea house that had an excellent view of the East China Sea to the north and the foothills stretching away westward towards the city of Keelung. As I looked out over the hills, I could “see” an image in my mind that I thought would look great. That’s what you see at the top of the page which I call Dawn In The Evening. Why? Well, my mental image before I picked up the camera was the same type of view but as a first light kind of photo not an evening photo. Now when your view is west, you’re obviously not going to get the same effect in the early hours of the day but with a bit of work in the digital darkroom, it’s possible to create something similar. Take a look after the jump at the original unedited RAW image as it came into Lightroom.
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Here we are at the end of a long, sometimes difficult and ultimately rewarding journey. Last year I resolved to create a 365 photo project with a difference – not just an image a day but a phototip of some kind a day. Some were easier than others but along the way I tried to cover a wide range of areas that would appeal to photographers of all levels, from the beginner first starting out to the seasoned professional. Making a photographic resolution and following through on it is a test of patience and discipline at times, but it’s worth it in the long run. I’ll write more about the whole process in a couple of weeks after I’ve had a chance to decompress a bit. For now though, let me ask you this.
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With the new year fast approaching, one thing you can count on seeing over the next couple of days is fireworks. So how do you go about photographing fireworks?
Well, the good news is that it’s quite easy but there are a few things you’ll need. First, make sure that you have a camera that can be operated manually. Look for a “B” or bulb setting. You’ll also want to be able to focus manually. If you leave autofocus on and try to take photos like that, it’ll just hunt for something to lock onto in the black sky and you won’t get anything. Once you have the camera, you’ll need a sturdy tripod. This is a must as we are going to have exposure times of a few seconds and any camera shake will ruin the picture. Some kind of remote release is required as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s wired or wireless, as long as it’ll let you trip the shutter without needing to touch the camera.