Posts Tagged: California

Seriously, You Gotta Remember to Turn Around!

I posted previously about how important it is to look around when shooting landscapes. I shot this image when I was shooting the La Jolla beach overlook images I blogged about last week.

I was focused intently on shooting La Jolla and almost forgot to look around me as the sun was setting. In spite of my fixation I glanced around at one point and noticed this view of the sun setting over the ocean. The colors were intense, the light perfect and the sillhouetting tree branches added drama and foreground interest.

For a minute I debated moving the camera because I had it dialed in nicely for the beach overlook shot. Then I remmebered another lesson I have learned over the years: you don’t regret the shots you take, only the ones you don’t.

So I lined up to shoot this image and it’s a good thing I did. I love this shot. The conditions only lasted 30 or 40 seconds so if I had dithered for even a minute I would have missed it.

You can see the full sized image and order a print if you wish in my on-line print store.

Of Course, Mine is the Best Ever

Everybody takes an evening skyline photograph of San Diego from the exact same  place. There’s no option — there isn’t any other good place you can shoot a skyline of San Diego from in the evening.

So I shot it from the same place as everyone else.  You may say why bother?  Fair question.

It’s hard to shoot some places without doing the same photograph everyone has. After all, how many shots are there of every square inch of the Grand Canyon?

It used to bother me to shoot something that has already been, pardon the pun, over-exposed. Then I realized something. When you go and shoot the same location that so many others have already shot, you learn a lot. You have to.

When you make your photo, you are hoping to bring something to the shot that no one else thought of.  Sometimes you are fortunate and it happens. Most of the time you only wish you were so lucky.  Either way, you learn a lot just from the mental exercise.

On the other hand, you always get the chance to compare what you are doing with what someone else did. You might say to yourself, “hey why can’t I get that color in the sky like so-and-so did?” Dozens of questions like that crop up as you work. They trigger new ideas for angles, settings, lenses, etc. that you take with you to the next shoot and the next..

So, go ahead and shoot the Grand Canyon just like everyone else. Maybe you’ll hit paydirt and come up with something completely new. Either way, I guarantee you’ll learn something.

See this and other photographs from my San Diego trip at my on-line store (and order a print or two for yourself!)