Lessons from a Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher passed away today, and I heard a remarkable quote that I think we would do well to learn from. It is from the movie "The Iron Lady", which doesn't mean it is an accurate quote. It is at least in her character, if not her voice. But it is still something we can learn from her.

Watch your thoughts for they become words.

Watch your words for they become actions.

Watch your actions for they become... habits.

Watch your habits, for they become your character.

 And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny!

What we think we become.

~Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher 2011

Reminds me of something my mother used to say, though hers was much shorter: "Practice make permanent." 

When you take a shot, practice good habits, lest bad ones become routine.

Rest well, Lady of Iron.

Missing the Shot

Rebecca Flambe

A few months back, my wife ran in the Spartan Race here in Charlotte. For those of you unfamiliar with the race, basically you run, crawl, walk, and climb through mud and obstacles. It was her first time running. I thought cool. Practice photography. Get some cool shots.  I forgot one thing.

I don't shoot sports.

The type of photography I do is mainly shooting beautiful women in glamorous settings that move in a controlled fashioned or landscapes that don't move at all.  I have very little experience shooting moving things.  Looking at this picture I see several things that I have done wrong.  Rebecca is out of focus is the big one. My buffer kicked in on my camera and I missed her jumping over the flame itself. But it is still an interesting shot. The flames look great. The smoke and heat impart an almost water-color look to the photo.

So what did I learn from this? Take your time. Anticipate your shots. Pre-focus and pre-visualize your shots.  Know your aperture and depth of field. Slow down. Know the limitations of your camera. Consider JPEG for sports shots, so the buffer doesn't fill up.

What did you learn the last time your shots didn't turn out so well?  I would be interested in hearing from you about this.

Whitewater Falls

I drove up to Whitewater Falls, expecting to take some awesome pictures of one of the most impressive waterfalls in North America. What I came away with is a lesson in photography.

Taking a few lessions from previous outtings, I wanted to go light. I took just my body, the 24-70 lens (I wanted to focus on more wide angle/landscapes), A spare battery and a spare memory card. If you take too much, sometimes you are bogged down and miss amazing images. I also wanted to take some HDR photos, as the light was low.

What I didn't take was a tripod.

I ended up with a bunch of shaky pictures. Only a few were steady enough to turn out well (but I think they turned out very well). And I didn't end up with good enough photos to compile a HDR. And part of my problem was the apperature. I wanted a deep depth of field, so I set the f stop to 20, but that required me to set the shutter speed way too low. Had I a bit more experience, I would have realized that I could have used a larger apperature at the distance I was at. It wouldn't have made a difference in the depth of field, and the picture would have been even sharper.

I also should have left home earlier in the day, as I had to turn back before it got too dark, and that was before I got closer to the falls.  I will go back and I will take better picutres.

So what this means is that instead of a photo outting Saturday, I had a workshop on what not to do when taking photos.

And I am ok with that.