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Taking Risks to be a Better Photographer

Updated on May 15, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. | Source | Source
public domain (CC0)
public domain (CC0) | Source

Many if not all of us who get a brand new, expensive camera, specially the new DSLR ones, usually tend to handled it like if was going to break with the slitless touch.

We often think of it as a newborn and continually wipe off dust, remove dust, and make sure that we have a strong grip on it at all times less it may fall or bang into something.

Professional photographers think of their camera and all of their gear as what they are; tools to be used for a purpose.

You use your car as a tool, hand tools the same, even your computer is more than likely a tool used by you for a specific purpose.

You need to think of your camera and all of your photo gear the same way and you also need to take some risks along the way if you want to get great instead of just good images.

This is not to say that you should handle it like the way you handles a hammer or any other tool that is unlikely to break if dropped or gotten wet but you need to think of it as a special tool nevertheless, fragile in many ways but a tool still.

It's OK is if gtes some scratches here and there that's what the body was meant for and they are usually quite sturdy since manufacturers know that you will rub it and bang it along the way while you use it.

Yes water is a very dangerous thing for any electronic device but if you want a special shot of a subject near the water, sometimes you need to position yourself and your camera very near the water to get that eye level image that makes that shot great. If at the beach sand can damage your camera but so long as you clean it afterwards, risking shots while the wind is howling and sand is whipping can mean the difference between "soso" and great shots.

Protect your gear from the elements while scouting a location or subject but do not handle it as if were going to break when ready to capture a great image. | Source
public domain (CC0)
public domain (CC0) | Source

Know everything about your camera. The more you know about it and the more you know about all its functions can make a difference by cutting down the time it may take to fidget with it when photographing.

Many pros often do this without even looking at the camera between adjustments or taking their eye away form their subject. That's how well they know it and how often they use it.

By quickly changing a setting or making any other adjustments you minimize the risk of the gera becoming damaged. You expose it to some risks but you cut down the time that you do so. | Source | Source

Knowing your subject and the location is also a great way to minimize risk to your gear. If you know everything you can about habits, the weather, the location and everything else that deals with what you want to photograph you can be set in place and ready to shoot besides having your gear out and messing with it.

Don't get me wrong, you should always have your camera out of the bag and into your hands when you get to where the subject is but having the right lens on, or the camera on the tripod, or assuming a good position before the action starts is better than to star doing all of this when the subject is right where you want it to be.

Make sure to watch the next video after this one!

Truffula Trees at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii | Source | Source

The same holds true in your career. You need to tackle difficult assignments or situations in order to get those award winning shots.

If you play it safe with your attitude as well as your equipment you will probably have a great collection of nice shots but probably very few great ones.

Not involving yourself in situations that might not be the most comfortable ones, the most pleasant ones and the most safe ones is playing it safe.

If you want to excel at photography you need to take some risks with how you approach a shoot as well as how you take the shot.

You know how award winning wildlife pros get that magic photo of a grizzly? They more than likely use a long lens but also more than likely position themselves within yards of the subject.

Yet it is safe to say that they have done their homework and know how to precisely approach it and when it is safe for them to be that close.

Being informed is your best tool just like for great images your camera is the best tool too. | Source

Although most of the images you see here are of wildlife subjects this same principle applies to most any type of photography.

Take risk with the light, the poses, the location and you will learn in the process besides also getting good shots. If you photograph something or someone the same customary way that it has been photographed before you are just one more photobug and making a name for yourself becomes that much harder. | Source

Ready to take some risks?

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© 2016 Luis E Gonzalez


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