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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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    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Cool! Some of the best shots are point and click. I submitted 5 photos to Popular Photography Magazine Photo Contest 2011, (deadline today BTW) and one of them is from a point and click. You would never guess which one....

    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK

      Great hub Robin. Some handy hints and tips. I like photography but don't take it seriously and think sometimes that helps me take great pictures. I'm a 'point and click' person myself and yet have some photos from my treks which made the 'professional' photographers jealous. Plus it didn't take me as long to set up! Capturing the moment is definitely the one for me.

    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      "Point and Shoot" rox

    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Point and shot rocks! Have fun with it.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      This is a gorgeous shot indeed, Robin Anderson! Excellent tips. And welcome to HubPages!

    • profile image

      Renee 5 years ago

      Wow, everytime I read your blog I realize how little I know about photography. I'm a point and shoot kind of gal. ;-)

    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Absolutely Laney - My children were the same way, and now that they see me getting so much enjoyment they are pointing out cool shots to me! "Hey mom, that would make a great picture"! Happiness is a magnet. Good vibrations, as the song says.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 5 years ago

      Great tips and this gives me incentive to buy a new camera. I have an old Sony Cybershot (7+ years old). Time for a new camera.

      Thanks and Welcome to Hubpages!

      Easylearningweb

      Hubgreeter

    • profile image

      Laney 5 years ago

      Ok now you're inspiring me! I love to take pictures, but it seems like all my boys don't like having their picture taken any more...."MOM! STOP!" I love taking pictures of "things" but my family thinks it's stupid....why would you take a picture of a tree or a close up of a flower? That's just stupid! But I guess it's what I like doing, and they're MY pictures, so why not?!

    • Robin Anderson profile image
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      Robin Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      LOL, thanks Dan!

    • profile image

      Dan 5 years ago

      Very informative.

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