Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fifty things I've learned about photography...

(I wrote this about a year ago...slightly modified)

1. Watching someone take an unexpected swim with a $2000 camera in one hand and several thousand dollars of equipment in the other hand is not a pleasant experience for either party...just less so for the swimmer.

2. Repair bill for a drenched $2000 camera...$300.  Repair bill for a water logged $1000 lens...$200.  Aggravation costs waiting for return of equipment...Way too much $.  Having insurance on said water logged equipment...Priceless!

3.  The piece of mind about having insurance on your camera equipment is of far greater value than the small price of actually getting it insured.

4.  Just like Writers Block...there is such a thing called Photographers Block.

5.  The technology just keeps getting better and better...but the old style equipment made a better learning tool.

6.  A good camera backpack is better than a camera bag slung over the shoulder.

7. A good camera backpack is essential for cross country hiking photography trips.

8. Photographing a dragonfly is not easy.

9.  What's left of the Tallgrass Prairie is one of the most under utilized photographic opportunities available.

10.  Wild buffalo (American Bison) are indeed wild and unpredictable.

11.  Did I mention the having insurance thing yet?

12.  Planning ahead and anticipating where and when a great photo op might occur is more productive than relying on random chance.

13.  Random photo ops often produce spectacular results...only if you're prepared for it.

14. When photography stops being fun...well, its time to take a break.

15.  Photography has yet to stop being fun.

16.  A great model(s) can make an average photographer look good.

17.  Getting up before daylight to catch that great moment of light is worth the effort.

18.  Sleeping in because you're too lazy to get up before daylight to catch that great moment of light is a lot easier to do...just less rewarding.

19.  A quality lens is worth the extra cost.

20.  A photogenic spouse is often your most critical critic.

21.  Be optimistically critical of your own work...and less so of others.

22.  Some pro's can be very willing to help...others no so willing.

23.  Try to get something doesn't hurt to try...and it just might pay off.

24.  Publishers are a finicky bunch of characters.

25.  Why do publishers overlook your best work and settle for the lesser submissions simply because it better fits with their publishing requirements?

26.  An 85 year old parent and DVD and/or computer technology don't mix well.

27.  Take all criticism of your photographs constructively..most praise with a gracious grain of salt.

28.  Photographing coyotes is pert-near do they do that?

29.  You know when you've created something special doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

30.  Sandhill Cranes are goofy looking birds...but magnificent to photograph.

31.  The best times to photograph is now.

32.  There is always time to learn something new...just less time to perfect it.

33.  Going on solo photo trips offers a lot of flexibility...going at it with others offers great fellowship.

34.  Photographing with a purpose in mind maybe more productive than relying on random just takes a bit more thought.

35.  Check your batteries before you head out.

36.  Standing exposed on top of a prairie knoll during a prairie thunderstorm to photograph the moment is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can's also very stupid.

37.  Photographing lightning is much harder than it looks...but an exciting thing to attempt.

38.  The weatherman gets it wrong a good deal of the go anyway...the predicted good weather just might turn out bad...which is usually good for photographers.

39.  Complaining about the conditions won't change them.

40.  There is no such thing as bad conditions for photographers who take the time to look around and seek out the opportunities that are there at that moment.

41.  Skill is better than luck...luck is better than nothing...nothing results if you don't try.

42.  You don't have to travel very far to find great places to photograph...just look out your back door.

43.  When you do travel a long ways to find great places to end up showing the people you meet all the old photos you took at home.

44.  Figuring out how to create effective HDR photographs is like trying to re-fold a map in the dark...I eventually just wad it into a mess and shove it into the glove box and hope I don't get lost.

45.  Plastic grocery bags make decent rain covers...just trying to find one when you need it most might be a bit tricky.

46.  Work the scene...don't settle on one or two shots.

47.  There is a difference between a slide show and a photo presentation.

48.  A photo presentation set to great music can make even mediocre photographs look great.

49.  There is no such thing as a mediocre photograph if someone likes it...even just yourself.

50.  The Good Lord created a beautiful world out there...photographing it can help you begin to more deeply appreciate what is there.

51...bonus entry...Did I mention the insurance thing?


Jenn said...

I'm looking forward to following your blog! I read your wife's and through her found out about yours! I love photography and from what I have seen so far on your blog, you are an amazing photographer!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thanks Jenn...Kris just raves about your site...I'll spend more time over that way myself...Keith