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on Nov 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

What is a Rut? – 11.01.06

CT Graveyard Photo captured by D200, 28f1.4 at 1.4 on Lexar digital film The weather is bad, the camera is old, I don’t have the right lens, my computer is acting up, the light sucks, when I hear excuses like this for continually not shooting, it’s a sure sign the photographer is in a rut. What is a rut? In photographic terms, it’s when the creative juices aren’t flowing any more, the passion is on the verge of slipping away. Burn out in layman terms. It’s not a good thing. Can this happen to anyone? You bet! I’ve seen it happen all to often to photographers who had lots of potential but for many reasons, were never able to live up to it. The books are full of images from great photographers who, in general terms, hit a rut and were never to dig themselves back out again. Do you exhibit the warning signs? Do you use any of the phrases, or a whole lot more, to justify why...

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on Sep 2, 2006 in Thought of the Month

When All Else Fails – 09.02.06

Ever noticed how there are some days when you can’t do nothing right. You ever set up your tripod and getting everything just right, just about to press the button and one tripod leg slips messing everything up because you didn’t tighten it enough? Here’s one everyone can relate to. You’re out shooting a sunset and dial in minus compensation to capture the perfect color. The next day you review your morning images only to find you forgot to dial out that minus compensation from the sunset. How about you put your normal body cap on your teleconverter by mistake? The list of technical errors can go on and on but they are nothing compared to mental errors. We all know about trying to shoot a series of shots when the film counter was at 35 (yeah, talking about film). There’s always that time when you took one extra step closer to a subject, one your gut said not to take, only to be taken and the subject takes...

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on Aug 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

Where Does Your Vision Take You? – 08.01.06

How many of you have been to Mesa Arch at Canyonlands Nat’l Park? I’ve been there just a couple of times personally. The first time I’ll never forget. I’d seen thousands of photographs of the arch, a couple just blew me away which is why it was high on my list of locales to photograph. What I saw in the photographs though is not what I saw standing at the arch. The first time I went to the arch I had Laurie as my guide. We got up early and drove the 45min from Moab to be in position at the arch long before sun up. We arrived at the parking lot and it was one of those rare mornings, no one else was there. We walked up over the ridge and down the trail which is when I saw the edge of the canyon. I was confused and asked Laurie, “Where’s the Arch?� She said, “Right there!� I looked to where she pointed and saw a lump of...

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on Jul 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

What’s Going on In There? – 07.01.06

This photography thing, it’s quite a mental game. Ever notice that? Whether it was the brain power to earn the money to buy the tools, selecting the right tool out of all the ones purchased or then thinking about the best way to apply that selected lens for the given subject, the whole thing is a mental process. You can go even deeper realizing that selecting the right f/stop and position for the right composition takes even more brain power. Going all the way, you have to take your brain in combination with your eyes and analyze the light to determine not only exposure but if the light itself is worthy of your photographic efforts. Dang, this is one brainy hobby/avocation or occupation! Ever upload your photos and ask yourself, “What was I thinking about?� Your images are missing something obvious. Perhaps you used the wrong AF sensor so your focus point is off, you used too much DOF or not enough. You simply blew it because, you weren’t...

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