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.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What I learned about photography during 2016

Every year I learn something new about photography. Sometimes what I learn is simple and sometimes what I learn really opens my eyes. What is most important is to keep learning. So here's a list of insights about photography I gained this past year.

1.  Old lenses are just as good as new ones...they're just cheaper to buy.

2.  It is good to look through your old photographs to see how far you have come...and to verify how far you still need to go.

3.  Stick to what you know to perfect it, but do not be afraid to branch out and try new things.

4.  Focusing on a project regardless of its scope is more efficient than taking random pictures and relying on random chance.

5.  Take notes and write about your experiences in the field. Keep them in some kind of journal or blog, then take time to read back through them from time to time.

5a. Don't worry about your writing skills, just write...your skills will improve over time as will your understanding of photographic principles. The writing helps you understand what is happening.

6.  There is a difference between being 'Well Dreamnt' and creating experiences by following your dreams.

7.  Photographing in the middle of the day in bright sun is actually okay provided you do it wisely and understand how to use the sun to your advantage.

8.  Even small weddings are hard to photograph effectively by yourself...but they are also very rewarding to do.

9.  Backup everything right away...and keep extra SD cards available...they can fail on you.

10. Share you work with others and always be open to critical review...others see your work differently and can provide insightful criticism.

11. Spend lots of time admiring other photographers work, but review it from the persepctive of 'How did they do that'...and then see if you can duplicate the technique.

12. Not all photography has to be a work of art. Snapshots are important family history pictures.

13. When photographing a group of teenagers...feed off their energy and use their energy to generate those magical moments.

14. Teenagers are great!

15. Shooting with off camera speed-lights doubles your potential as a photographer. Use them creatively and avoid the cliche.

16. Big skies are amazing but sometimes difficult to find in Kentucky.

17. Photograph everything...don't just always shoot the ordinary subjects. Look at the world with a creative eye and even a static display can become a work of art.

18. Harvest time can provide some fantastic photo ops.

19. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about photography as you are...but that is okay.

20. and finally....Find some time to just have fun with it and don't worry about always having to create a great image. The great moments will come...but when they don't, just have fun.


Brandon Porter said...

Thanks, Keith! I really like the journaling suggestion.

Always enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom.


Keith said...

Thanx Brandon...Started this blog back in 2010 thinking I would add an occasional post from time to time...maybe 8 or 10 a it turned out I now have over 300 posts, way more than I ever thought. I do believe it has improved my understanding of photography...causes you look more closely at what you are doing photographically not only from a technical point of view, but from an aesthetic perspective as well.