Happy Mistake Making

We’re well into summer in Australia which means its the season for hot rod shows and show and shines, which seem to be every weekend and they attract people from all walks of life and some of those people have clearly made some pretty bad choices and mistakes along the way. Mistakes like the mullet haircut (why?), poor clothing choices (pockets go on the inside) and rubbish tattoos which led me to think about mistakes I’ve made in photography and I was about to make another without realising it.

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Originally the plan was to photograph hot rods and cars as they cruised passed using a technique called panning. This technique requires slow shutter speeds and the subject needs to be tracked as it passes by. You also need to give consideration to the background as it may distract the viewer away from the subject and the one criticsal technique you need is patience as you shoot because you will more than likely need to adjust shutter speeds on the fly to perfect your shot.

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It wasn’t until the images were downloaded that I realised that none of the subjects were in focus. This is a direct result of my unwillingess to wear my glasses when photographing and resulted in blurry images. I firmly believe that If I had worn them I would have realised that the shutter speed to needed to be increased to ensure the subject is in crisp focus. Lesson learnt…..again

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Even though the subjects are not in focus these images convey movement, exposed properly and the location is, to me at least pretty good. Overall I actually like a couple of them however I am yet to determine if they are print worthy.

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You may not be able to see it but these lovely gentlemen were flashing their rubbish tattoos as their mullets were flapping in the breeze whilst showing me a rarely seen bird but what does stand out is their incredibly bad choice of car.

The key take away for me was to (wear my glasses) not to be afraid to experiment with the camera settings and shoot in manual. I also realised that every mistake I make is another lesson learned and hopefully that mistake won’t be made again in the future.

But we also need to remember that skills are learnt by trial and error. This is the method that we as photographers and creative types learn and grow.

So get out there and make mistakes.

Like a 5 Year Old in a Lolly Shop

Not every photo or photo opportunity works out, some times no matter what you do or how hard you try, it just doesn’t happen and thats what happened to me. Late December, I spotted a group of race horses training on my local beach and an idea formed to photograph these beautiful horses. I conjured up images of horses galloping or swimming on the beach with moody clouds in the background, maybe even a little fog or early morning mist. To achieve that I needed everything to align including the Weather Gods to do their job at the same time the horses were training on the beach but alas it was not to be.

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Yep, its a horse on a beach, with rocks in the background!

I don’t know why but several weeks went by with no luck of seeing any race horses however there was plenty of evidence that they had been there as they had left hoof prints in the sand. Taking this to mean that they must train either pretty early in the morning or only on specific days. For the next couple of weeks, I got earlier and earlier every day determined to spot these horses, finally spotting a lone race horse.

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Excited like a 5 year old in a lolly shop to finally see the lone racehorse caused me to forgot the basics and I didn’t ask myself any questions. Over time these questions become second nature these questions are asked and answered pretty quickly before I hit the shutter which reduces the amount of mistakes that could be made in a high pressure situations when getting it right counts.

  • What’s in the background’? Rocks! – Move to improve!
  • Am I shooting into the bright morning sun?’ Yes, maybe photograph down the length of the beach with a telephoto lens would be a better option.
  • What’s at the edges of my frame?
  • Where is my focal point? Is it on the subject
  • Is it in focus? Do I need to put my glasses on for it to be focus? Sadly the answer is Yes, I need my glasses to see the LCD screen/view finder clearly.

As I said these questions form part of a mental checklist in an attempt to reduce the amount of mistakes but there are occasions that the answer you get may not be answer you want or neded. This then provides you the opportunity to determine then and there on the spot if you need to change anything to improve or accept the result.

I may have come away with something different and something that I was happy with if I had asked myself any of the above questions, but I didn’t ask any questions. Maybe I’m being a bit to hard on myself, I’m not sure however these horses train reguarly so there is ample opportunity to improve the overall result.

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When I achieve something decent with this project, I’ll post an update until then I’m off to the lolly shop, anybody want anything?

Oh and remember, Move to Improve!

Something Special about Panormas

I’m not sure what it is but there is something special about Panoramas that if done right make a pretty good photo. Maybe it’s because there is so much detail in them or that they have managed to capture a scene that can’t be captured without photographing a panorama or maybe the average person thinks that there is something special that goes into photographing them.

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The Olgas

It was while were travelling through the outback of Australia that I realised that the Sony A7 has the ability to take a panorama image and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I took quite a few panoramas along the way with the idea to printing a few to hang when we got home. I was excited because I’ve never stitched an image together using image software before so I thought that having the panorama ability was pretty cool but as it turned out I was going to be sadly disappointed. It wasn’t until download that realisation smacked me pretty hard that the image out of camera would be saved as a JPEG not in RAW format to the memory card as I had hoped. So there goes the ability to make any real adjustments.

I did try and make some adjustments to this image and I think it’s turned out ok but in future I think that I’ll learn how to stitch the images together to get a better result. What do you think?

The Shop Sleeper

This poor fellow looked like he had been at his shop front all night and was completely exhausted and he just needed a quick nap.

Photo taken in China Town, Singapore

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