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Habit 1 for Amazing Photographs.
Habit 1: Always Have Your Camera.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the idea of always having your camera may sound pretty obvious when you are talking about photography, but the fact is most people don't think about having their camera with them unless they are planning on going somewhere to take pictures.
I'm talking about taking your camera with you to school, to work, when you are running to the grocery story - whenever. I do understand that is not always convenient, however I can assure you that if you have your camera with you then you will be more likely to keep an eye out for photo opportunities.
One thing you might try to make carrying your camera easier is to invest in a small camera bag. I have a large camera bag that I keep all my miscellaneous camera equipment, extra lens, and battery chargers in - but I invested in a small camera bag just large enough to hold my camera so that I can easily carry it in the car with me. It I don't want to take it in to work or to the store with me I can slip it under the car seat so that no one is tempted to break into my car and steal it. Of course since I live in Texas I have to be concerned about the temperature. When it is 110 degrees outside I will take the camera inside with me rather than leaving it in a hot car.
Again the main reason you want the camera with you at all times is that you never know when that perfect photo moment might happen. The first photo in this section is of a statue of an angle that is on the front of the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Texas. There are actually two statues on the front of the building, each of them stand 48 feet high and are magnificent works of art. The photo below includes both of the statues.
In 2008 I was working in downtown Fort Worth and I had taken photo of the statues on numerous occasions. One evening in mid December as I was getting off work, I noticed that the sky was the most amazing blue I had ever seen. The weather was crisp and cool and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Fortunately I had my Nikon with me and I hurried over to the Bass Performance Hall before it got dark. I took a number of photos that evening and to this day they are some of my most treasured photos. I was approached several months later by a travel web site that wanted to post a number of my photos on their web site to show off the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.
Don't Hesitate To Use Your Camera.
Not only is it important to carry your camera, but if you are going to go through the trouble to carry it with you, then be sure you take the time to use it. A number of my favorite photos were ones that I took the time to stop the car - or even took the time to turn the car around and go back in order to take a photo of something I noticed along the highway.
The best photographs are rarely planned, they simply happen along the way. The following photograph happened one morning on the way to work. The sky had a wonderful color to it and as I was looking at the sky I notice a series of towers holding power lines going off into the distance and I decided it would be a great photo opportunity. I actually had passed by what I thought would be the best vantage point for a photo so I had to travel several miles down the road in order to find a place to turn around. Once I came back I had to find a place to park off the road and away from traffic which was another challenge. Fortunately I pulled it off and the result was a really interesting photo.
One Photo Leads to Another.
One thing that I have found to be true time and again, is that many times while trying to hunt down one photo opportunity I will stumble across an another opportunity quite unexpectedly. While trying to find a place to turn around so that I could go back and take a photo of the power lines in the above photo, I turned on a little country road that I had not been on before. On this road was a horse ranch that had a riding arena right next to the road. They had decorated the arena with pairs of old cowboy boots hanging on the fence. As I was turning around in the same area I couldn't help but also take a few photos of the boots on the fence.
Because I took the time to turn around and take a photo of the power lines, I also discovered the riding arena with the boots hanging on the fence. In just a matter of minutes I captured two very interesting photos and both while on my way to work that morning.
If It Catches Your Eye - Capture the Image.
Since you have your camera with you make it a habit to use it more. Again the wonderful thing about digital cameras is that you can take all the photos you want and it doesn't cost you a dime. Although it is easy to get caught up in the rush of the day try to make time to not only smell the roses but take a photo of them as well.
One method of identifying photo opportunities is to take photos of things that catch your eye. In other words if you are driving down the street and you notice an old building, a row of lights, anything that makes you take notice - then take time to take a photo of it as well.
Great Pictures Start With Taking Pictures.
One thing you might have noticed in my first few articles - and you will continue to notice throughout the remaining articles in this series - is that we have not talked about any of the technical areas of photography such as the shutter speed, f-stop (or aperture) or the ISO. It's not that those things aren't important but in my humble opinion they don't matter at all if you can't learn how to find great subjects and create strong compositions.
I have been taking photos for more than 40 years and I am more than capable of setting the proper ISO, aperture or shutter speed for a photo, but to be perfectly honest I take almost 80% of my photos with the camera on Auto mode. I would rather spend my time locating a gorgeous butterfly- get as close as I can - and make sure I have a great background to frame out the shot - rather than hassle with camera setting.
I promise you that if you take the time to read through this series and apply the majority of the habits and techniques that I share with you - you are going to be taking amazing photographs and you are going to have fun doing it. Once you have these habits down you will be ready to take on the more technical areas of photography - and if you like this series of articles please let me know and I will plan on putting together a series on how to use the more technical side of photography.
Thanks for staying with me - now get out there and take a lot of photos.
But most of all have fun. Bron
Click on the link below to move on to my next article in my series on taking better photographs, or if you just came across this particular article and would like to learn more about the habits or techniques for taking great photographs you can find my opening article to this series at the link just below that.
- Habit 2 for Amazing Photographs.
Although I believe all of the 7 Habits of Effective Photographers are important, I personally believe Changing Your Perspective may be one of the most beneficial.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers.
Taking amazing photographs has very little to do with the cost of your camera or the number of Megapixels. Apply these habits/techniques used by great photographers and take amazing images instantly.
© 2014 Bron Praslicka