You need context. A single shot of a chicken does not a story make. I am parsimonious. How can I not be? I was raised poor. No! I was never hungry, cold, or forced to sleep without heat. Yet, we were middle class and I always felt the edge of the budget envelope. Poor I was not.
You need that extra picture to provide background and to tell the story. Why am I reluctant to shoot a useless picture? Simply shoot a title shot for the day’s activity. I did. I guess. Anyway, I know where we were. So, the chicken has context in the end. But, yes, even now, I try not to shoot pics that are wasted shots. I have plenty of those without doing it intentionally. And yet I need context! By the way, I never particularly enjoyed getting up early. Maybe the clouds were the sunset from the day before?
Festivals. They are quintessential opportunities for candid photography. Everyone is snapping pictures. Shoot away. No one even glances in the direction of your camera. Weirdness abounds. If you dress that way…. Be sure to wear clean underwear.
Have you had a lifelong dream to visit a place in the world? Scotland. Colleen’s dream came true and we found ourselves immersed in the countryside of Scotland. We were hither and yon chasing her dreams and whims. Yes, there was a flock of yellow sheep. We never did quite find out if it was a prank or whether there was true purpose to this unusual photo op. The images could be anywhere but the brands and stores kind of tip you off if you are worth your Sherlock Holmes.
Travelogue. You collect images and try to represent a brief picture of but a moment in time. Once done we look forward to a return. We were sidetracked longer than we anticipated – Covid. But soon enough we will be back to see what we saw and to find new adventure.
Digital memory is inexpensive. Shoot early and often. I shoot all kinds of things. From dawn to dusk any subject is fair game. In a day I shoot as many images as I might have in a two week vacation with slide film. $$ I was always aware of cost. Keep shooting. it’s all fine and good.
A family of deer stopped by my front yard for breakfast. Ever ready my camera was on my desk and I took the shots.
The closeups lack context to a neighborhood development. It could just as well be a clearing in the wood. Focus is good. Composition leaves the viewer with a bit of tension. We do not have large predators nearby. Deer are naturally suspicious of human activity of which there was none. Their appearance is a regular occurrence and we all moved on after my shots.
Here’s something unique in my collection. I have seldom caught one animal eating another. This fish was too big to swallow easily. As the heron struggled, I had an opportunity to shoot. Gruesome? Dinner.
Work the scene? I just shot this pose. I composed vertically. I suppose I could have cropped the image or zoomed in closer or gotten a horizontal composition. Either way the picture told the story and the image composition was not the focus of the subject at hand.
Family outing. We had a tribe of deer on the golf course. I stopped, a biker stopped, and one other car was stopped. It was as though we had spotted moose in Maine! I got shots. The Sony RX100 has great telephoto. Close?! Yup! Very! And I got the whole family. Smile. Focus is soft. We were in low light at dusk. The deer were moving. I got a shot. It worked out. It was better than iPhone.
We were headed out. There on the golf course was a pair of young deer. There was a young buck with his first set of antlers. I stopped. I got in the way of the passing golf carts which had to cross the road. Oh well. I got a nice shot. No one was put out. And we all moved on.
Composition. I like the symmetry of the body and head positions. It’s not expected nor seen frequently. It gives the feeling of doing more than pressing the shutter. No, they were just in position conveniently. So, I took the shot. It works.
Eyeball to eyeball. One time only. Three! A bull! And, a mama and her baby! Once and only once. I was headed out of the park. Defeated! No moose that day. Two cars were pulled off by the side of the road. I stopped and wandered into the woods….
A large bull moose was grazing calmly. I sidled up to the man and his wife to shoot the moose too! Another photographer, obviously amateur, was sidling down the hill toward the moose. He had the grin of ignorance and was probably gonna be killed by the startled bull. Drat and damn! I never thought to take his picture before he was (potentially) killed. I planned my exit strategy if the bull charged. The man next to me replied, “No, worry about the big boy. Ya gotta worry about the two behind us.” What! …. A mama and her baby. Great!
I shifted position to where the woman was shooting this pair. She had a Nikon too and I graciously loaned her my big telephoto. After I mounted the lens on her camera she asked me how to use it. It was then I discovered she was a novice and had only just arrived in Maine ready to start a moose photography expedition. Oh boy! I’ve been looking for moose in the wild for years….!!! Dammit! Fine! I shot away long after this group left. No one was injured, especially the moose. I knew that I could be of no threat to any moose. They must have understood as they calmly munched on the leaves and ignored me.
Years later I showed these shots during a medical lecture. Afterward someone asked in awe, “What did you shoot it with?” He meant what gun had I used to “shoot?” Really?! Oh my, the misunderstanding of the term, “shoot.”
The object?: Get a shot. Close up. Antics or behavior? Not necessary. It was a privilege just to get a shot in the wild. I shall be forever grateful I was there on that day. Any shot would have done. I preferred my camera over a gun.
Little did I know in early 2003, that my conversion to digital commitment was about a year away. I used film and sprinkled in digital here and there. Generally, I used my film camera primarily punctuating my shots with a few digital images. Not bad though, the digital images were solid shots. It seems I was less hesitant to include the use of built-in flash in the Canon G3. Ok!
Lots of things were happening in our lives at the same time back then. Jules was headed to college. Dave was a high school senior. Life was about to change significantly for us all. Who could know the future (digital) was right around the corner?
I am not a fan of flash. It tends to be too contrasty. Too many shadows. Exposure is a challenge. Fill flash? not something I much cared for. I used bounce flash after taking lessons. But flash was not built in (for my film cameras) and built in flash on the G3 does not bounce. So…. I did find and was pleasantly surprised at the results of using built-in flash on my digital camera. I considered the flash to be “dinky” and yet it proved itself quite capable. Lesson learned.