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on Aug 3, 2012 in Friday Thoughts

Where’s that Kodak Spot?

You have to understand, I am incredibly fortunate, incredibly lucky and really good at what I do. Because of the first two things, I try to share what I’ve learned and because of the last, some people want to listen. Jay Maisel is an amazing photographer who gives one of his keys to success away for free all the time and it’s real simple. He carries a camera with him all the time. I am no different, I have it with me all the time and when coupled with being blessed to travel to some cool locations, I’m able to create images that inspire others. I take this all as a huge responsibility which comes in part from a long ago conversation.

Long ago, before I really even knew I was going to be a photographer, I went to a presentation by a very prestigious landscape photographer. His images inspired me to get out and see these locations but when questioned where these exact locations were, he would not reveal the exact locations. His reasoning, if everyone went there then it would be ruined. And history has proved his reasoning as being very true. On the flip side, it belongs to us all, it is all our wild heritage. So when it comes to sharing places I go except for a couple locations where I was asked not to reveal the location to protect a population of a species, I have put it all out there.

Now if you read this blog, you know I share a bunch of those locations. Some are provided for free either in a blog posting, article or in our BT Journal. Others I make folks pay for the information, they’re called workshops. But whatever the case, here’s the one thing photographers seem to miss in this entire process. What you see in my photograph, you will never see again!

No, I don’t set off a nuke when I leave so you can never see the scene again. Rather, no two moments in time are the same! I chase light and when it comes to landscapes, I chase light and clouds. Both are essential elements in my photography and both are fleeting and both are never, ever the same again even if I go back to the exact same spot. Those who travel with me would argue this because they have experienced those magical moments with me, repeatedly, but like I started this whole piece. You have to understand, I am incredibly fortunate, incredibly lucky and really good at what I do. This combination when combined with the KISS theorem makes many aspects of photography repeatable. I have this well honed knack of looking at the elements around me and like Sherlock Holmes, use deductive reasoning to “predict” with some accuracy where I should have my ass to make the shot.

Looking at a map, having a simple iPhone app like Sun Seeker, knowing the light you like, you can do the same thing! In the thousands of pages here on this site, there are lots of suggestions where to be and when. I want YOU ALL to experience the same magic and wonders, capturing them with your camera and then share those results with others. That’s how we will preserve our wild heritage for future generations. That’s why I share so bloody much! Just understand I’m very fortunate, lucky and good at what I do. I do not have the Harry Potter Map to North America Kodak locations nor written it to make the perfect shot any given minute. The key is to simply be out shooting and the rest does tend to unfold. Do your homework, camera, technology, location, weather and I know you will find that Kodak spot for yourself!