Especially with toothy critters like this lurking around waiting to gobble you up!
Ian’s recent post about Kermit the Frog’s awesome meter being permanently set to awesome got me thinking about our general approach and outlook on the craft of photography. My conclusion? There are way too many people out there taking this whole thing way too seriously (Ian not being one of them). Most of us started taking pictures for one simple reason; it’s fun as hell. The reality is that professional nature/landscape photographers aren’t out there saving the world. We don’t do the hard work that keeps society upright, things like public safety, health care and education. We are basically trying to figure out a way to scrape up enough cash to bum around the countryside chasing the next epic light show. Oops, I just let the cat out of the bag… Great, now I’ll start getting hate mail from my counterparts around the country because I just revealed something our mothers and spouses have known for years, we’re bums!
I’m of course kidding, but there is some truth to my sentiment. There are countless blogs, tutorials and purveyors of technical gospel out there preaching the best way to do just about everything from choosing lenses to post processing techniques. And that’s just the useful stuff, how about all the blogs describing the “trials” and “tribulations” the photographer went through to finally capture the scene he/she had been envisioning for the past decade and a half of minus tides coinciding with a new moon, the sea star migration and a two for one sale on chimichangas at Taco Bell?
One of my favorite parts of Ian’s last post came in the comment section when Ian described his highly evolved and quite technical method of light metering, “…I just shoot a picture, and then look at the histogram, and then shoot again making any necessary changes.” Beautiful! I don’t mean to get on a soapbox or rant too much but I can’t overstate the importance of having fun and not taking photography or life for that matter too seriously. If you’re not having fun in photography then why bother doing it?
About the image: as many who follow my work no doubt have noticed I spend a lot time fly fishing and photographing the art and soul of this great sport. I’m currently working on an assignment/article for a prominent fly fishing publication and was out recently with my friend and guide in search of some great fishing images. I made this image using a Canon G11 with an underwater housing. It’s pretty tough to use this set up with any level of precision without of course donning a wetsuit and/or snorkel. As a result I find the best technique is to set the camera to auto with the autofocus set to auto point selection, go wide, turn on the macro function, get close, mash the shutter release and hope for the best. You can’t see what the hell you’re doing or even focusing on and the entire process feels a lot like shooting from the hip. And you know what? It’s wicked fun! You occasionally get a workable image that makes the whole endeavor worthwhile from a professional point of view but the fun factor is off the charts. And that after all is the whole point if you ask me.
I’ll leave you with another mantra from an equally wise and green guru of the 80s that seems to have some photographic significance. “Do or do not; there is no try.” Master Yoda