Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make more mistakes....

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker that wanted some tips on photography. She got a new digital camera over the holidays. The best advice I can give is if you want to be a good photographer, take pictures. (that means practice) If you want to be a great photographer, take lots of pictures. (In other words, practice alot.) Not too long ago I visited Hardware Ranch in Hyrum, Ut. There wintering elk come to be fed, and for a small fee you can take a horse drawn wagon ride out into the middle of them. As long as you remain on the wagon the elk, though nervous, don't perceive you as threat. And you can take pictures up close and personal.
 With good editing you can produce some fairly good images of wildlife. At hardware ranch I had the same difficulty that I have at the zoo. Most of the animals aren't aware that they should be posing, so instead of National Geographic, it looks more like a picture book of jokes.

Keep in mind that the wagon is moving, so I am counting on the focus feature of my dslr. The above picture blurred out the grass in front of the elk, so there is a slight blur running up the center. This is because the depth of field was limited to the elk, so most things in front and behind are less sharp and clear. So why did I start the post with "make more mistakes"? Because the things that go wrong often make the best memories. My favorite shot of the day won't win any prizes and has little significant value, other than the memory.
This is a young bull elk. Most of the elk that winter at Hardware Ranch are pregnant females and their still suckling less than year old calves. The mother elk are basically eating for three so they find an easy meal in the meadow and teach their children to do the same. As the males mature, they don't frequent the meadow as often. They are big enough to forage in the deep snows. This bull elk seemed embarrassed to be seen at the meadow and had it's head buried in the straw. The shot I took is not perfect because I bumped along in the wagon I focused on the straw (in focus)  instead of the elk (less focused), but right or wrong, I captured the memory.
So if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. Be far enough outside your comfort zone that you can't perform perfectly. Flawed may not be perfect, but it is more interesting.

The "END" of course.

1 comment:

Georgia said...

All of your mistakes must have been before I knew you, Lisa!

Love you; love your photos!