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The Zen of Finding a Good Photograph

Updated on November 10, 2011

Young Grasshopper

I took this photograph at the local Tae Kwon Do club during one of the student tests.  I didn't want to use my flash so I opted for a high ISO.
I took this photograph at the local Tae Kwon Do club during one of the student tests. I didn't want to use my flash so I opted for a high ISO. | Source

Robin Anderson Photography

Here is an example of a photograph that was begging to be taken. This little girl was sitting patiently waiting to test for her next belt in martial arts. I looked down the row of students, and there she was illuminated by the sun streaming through the window.

When I first began blogging, (approximately 10,000 photos ago) I would go out and try very hard to find a good shot to blog about. The harder I tried, the less I found. I couldn't figure it out... I was looking everywhere and I was looking all the time. When I drove to work, I scanned the side of the road and treeline, but I never saw any birds or animals, (for that matter - not even insects). I was beginning to think that Rapture had occurred and I was left behind.

The truth is... the photographs were there, but I was missing them. Over time, I learned to relax and let the universe come to me, (hence the title to this blog). There is a Zen to finding a good photograph. Here is are some of the tips that I have formulated:

Research - before I leave for an adventure, I know what's happening in the surrounding area... festivals, fairs, local events, and recent restaurant reviews.

Equipment- This comes in two categories, Me and the camera.

  • Me- as silly as this sounds, it is important to dress appropriately. If I am going into the woods, camo never hurts. If I am going out to shoot an event, I wear black. Black is the the camo of high society. A fancy restaurant is more likely to let you in wearing black rather than a surf tee shirt and sandals.
  • Camera - Don't wait to put the correct lens on your camera until you get where you are going. This will help you to be relaxed when you arrive... (pertains to my next point). As I am leaving the house, I decide which lens is best for the occasion, (and put it on), check the settings with a couple of test shots and set my white balance. If I am just driving down a country road, I put the telephoto lens on. If I am shooting events, I put the lens with the widest range. You get the idea.

Hang Loose - Have fun! A relaxed air about you will draw people and animals to you like a moth to a flame. The Zen of finding a good shot is being open to the universe. Take a deep breath, relax and let the pictures come to you. You will be surprised how your vision will begin to change when you put some of these tips into practice.

Robin Anderson Photography


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