On being a better photographer

Richard Charpentier HDR, hiking, Notes from Rich, Off Road Adventures, Photographing Arizona, Photography 7 Comments

Oh so many posts have been written on this.  And after a while they do get slightly annoying, don’t they?  Then there’s the whole genre of how to make it as a professional photographer…..Can’t tell you how many I’ve read.  Go figure, I stumbled across another one today that got me started.

Not long ago Zack Arias also did a post on the “Top 10 ways to become a professional photographer.”  It was tongue and cheek.  I think some people got it, some people didn’t.  But it left me thinking…….Combined with the post I read today I figured I’d better make a list too, just to look cool…….

Now, for the first time ever, I’m actually doing a post with quick tips to being a “better” photographer.  This list won’t make you a pro.  Heck, you might still look silly out there.  But maybe you’ll look less silly…….

  1. Take the lens cap off:  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve moved locations shooting landscape, popped my lens cap on, arrived at the next location and held up the camera to only see black through the view finder.  Friends love it!
  2. Charge your batteries:  Over the course of my time taking other photographers to fun locations I’ve seen more than one client with a dejected look as they realize the battery is dead.
  3. Put a memory card in:  Shooting digital requires a memory card.  Without one you’re going to have issues.
  4. Nice shoes rarely work out in canyons:  Appropriate foot wear in the desert, wet canyons, or crazed rock formations really helps.  You wouldn’t believe how quickly a person can slide down granite in $200 loafers.
  5. Focus:  I just spent some time looking at a portfolio site where I reached one conclusion…….everything was purposefully out of focus.  At least I hope it was purposeful…….
  6. Charge your flash batteries:  Yeah, we covered camera batteries above, but speedlites with no juice just make for extra weight in your camera pack.
  7. Dress appropriately:  Trying to photograph White Pocket while shaking in your boots because you packed for 60 degree weather and found 30 degree weather makes you look silly.  It’s also hard to hold the camera steady.
  8. Tripods don’t make you look cool:  But they do help you take a sharp photo while you’re shaking because you didn’t dress for the weather.  And yes, this is based on personal experience!
  9. Shoot landscapes:  They don’t talk back, they don’t complain that your photos made them look heavier than they are, and no model releases are involved.
  10. DO NOT CHANGE LENSES IN A SAND STORM…..YES, I’M TALKING TO YOU:  Seriously, you’d even consider doing that?
  11. When in doubt, shoot HDR:  Yup, HDR guarantees that all your photos are perfect.  Even the out of focus, shaking cause your cold, sliding down a rock in your loafers photos look good if they’re in HDR.  Works every time!

So, there’s my list of what I’ve learned over the years.  I know, I did 11 instead of 10.  I’m figuring it will make me stand out.  And seriously, no loafers in the Granite Dells.  I won’t catch you as you slide away, but I will save your camera!  🙂

And as far as looking silly?  Take my advice with a grain of salt.  I’m always running around the desert with a Tilley Hat, so I don’t have much room for commentary do I?

I promise, no more lists from me.  Scout’s honor!

Comments 7

  1. Post
  2. Post

Leave a Reply