Do What It Takes to Get the Photos You Want

January 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

If you want to take more interesting pictures, stand in front of more interesting stuff.

~ Joe McNally via Vincent Versace via Scott Kelby ~

Double Arch, Arches National ParkDouble Arch, Arches National ParkDouble Arch, Arches National Park

Double Arch, Arches National Park

Learning from the Best

I mentioned in my last post that I have learned a lot over the last year from the folks over at KelbyOne.  In their weekly show, "The Grid" they offer practical advice and discussion on the field of photography.  One statement from their "Become a Better Photographer in 2013" show (Episode 80) really stood out to me: to be a better photographer, you have to do what it takes to get the photos you want.

Doing What it Takes

I love shooting the grand landscapes of the American West.  Unfortunately, I live just north of Chicago and I am not surrounded by the "interesting stuff" I want to photograph.  Part of "doing what it takes" for me involves making it a priority to travel.

In the past, I have been far more opportunistic about photography - I've taken what's been given to me.  This year, I'm setting out a plan to go to places that I want to photograph and be there at the right time of day.   This spring I will travel to Utah and Arizona to spend my early mornings and late evenings standing in front of much more "interesting stuff" with my camera and tripod.  With some luck, I'll have another opportunity to be in Arizona this summer and I'm looking for options for the fall and winter.

This is neither cheap nor easy, but our family has talked about it and decided that it's important enough to make it happen.  (Have I ever mentioned that my wife is a saint?)

Getting Fit to Photograph

Another part of "doing what it takes" for me involves getting back in shape.  I've done several weddings, and it never ceases to amaze me how sore and tired I become after a full day of shooting.  (Side note: you will never meet a professional wedding photographer who is in anything less than excellent physical condition.)  My knees take a tremendous amount of punishment, and on one occasion, I was literally unable to move the next day.  Take that and add early mornings and all-day hikes with a full camera bag, and I realize that I have a lot of work to do if I even want to be able to stand in front of this stuff.

For the next two months, I will be working out and working my way up to the level I need in order to take these hikes with a full camera bag.  I have my motivation - now I just have to do it!

Thanks for looking,

Adam@LiC


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