Sometimes we’re lazy. These days I’m more physically lazy than mentally lazy, but it all amounts to the same thing — laziness.
But that’s okay, because if you learn to see what’s beyond your windshield or your bedroom window or even your office window, you might just surprise yourself. Of course, making sure you always have a camera with you is important, too.
This first shot was taken a five-minute walk from my bed. Granted, my bed was a five-minute walk from one of the most beautiful views in the world. actually, I could see the lake from my bed. Yah, I know, unfair. The point is, this shot of early morning canoeists was taken in my back yard. Do you live near a river or lake? A creek, even? Maybe a forest? Look for rowing clubs, fishermen, kids playing, wildlife wandering in… and remember to keep your camera’s batteries charged and a fresh memory card (or film) handy.
Next we have a shot came across while driving with a friend along the Trans Canada Highway from Lake Louise to Banff. Just before we reached the Banff turnoff this is the sight we saw. We took the exit and zipped down to the shore of the Vermilion Lakes to join about fifty other photographers snapping this same shot. I know for a faxt that one of them used his shot in one of his books. I actually entered the horizontal version of this in the National Geographic Traveler Magazine Annual Photo Contest, and although I didn’t win a prize, they did write and ask if they could use it in a calendar! Yes, I sold a photo to National Geographic! And it was one I took from the side of the road (with a tripod and a wide angle lens).
The next shot has a much less exciting pedigree but it’s one of the few photos I’ve taken which so thoroughly captures the feeling of cold rain, especially with the steam rising off of the gas lamps. This shot does not have a sepia filter, by the way. That was the colour of the day.
This shot was taken while a group of us stood under the eaves of the service entrance at the Banff Springs Hotel (where we all worked), waiting for a taxi to take us into town. Have camera, will snap. This was taken in 1981 with my Olympus Trip 35 rangefinder. Mom & Dad gave me that camera for my 14th Christmas and I still have it (and it still works!), 35 years later.
So, take what I said last week about getting out and stepping off the beaten path to get unique shots, combine it with this week’s admission that sometimes cool images are found right beside the road (or the back door) and start shooting. The main thing to remember is that what every successful photographer does which separates him or her from the pedestrians walking past them is that we keep our eyes open. We look and see and imagine. Sometimes we see something that’s quite ordinary but we can visualize it in different light or under different weather or with a small child in a red coat. See, think, imagine, capture, repeat.
Now get out there and shoot, dammit!
Ciao for now,
NEXT WEEK: Natural Lighting — it’s not all good.