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My Favorite Quotes: When you get lucky, be ready

I was lucky and I was ready.

Over the years, I’ve managed to mentally acquire several quotes made by famous people in the arts that apply to my approach in teaching with the PPSOP, an online school I’ve been with with several years and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

These are quotes that really hit home for me, and as a result have made me a better photographer for the past now closing in on fifty years, and a better teacher for the last thirty-three of those years. This is one of my favorite quotes and the first of many posts tin this category that will cause you to “stop, listen, and learn”. The first quote I want to talk about was said by Eddie Adams, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer. He once said, “When you get lucky, be ready”.

For years, that has been one of my many Mantras, and it couldn’t be truer. Over those same years, I’ve had dozens of my fellow photographers ask me how I can capture some of my photos that are exposed perfectly, especially since I take most of my pictures in the camera with little or no post processing. I tell them that when I’m just walking down the street with a camera over my shoulder I always take a few generic photos just to get the exposure down. I’ll take several different exposures, usually based on a fast shutter speed and pick the right combination of shadows and highlights. This is when the action is happening to fast to bracket. Now I’m ready and waiting to get lucky.

The above photo was taken in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. I was coming back down after seeing the Kandinsky exhibit ( my very favorite abstract artist) when I stopped to look at this work of art. While I was pondering what the artist’s message was this man walked up and started reading about the painting.

I always have my little Lumix DMC-LX-7 with me and since photos are frowned upon above the lobby I had it in in my pocket with my finger on the trigger (Texas talk) just in case something was to happen; and for a moment it did.

Since this guy couldn’t figure out what the artist was saying, he read for a couple of seconds and was gone…but not before I got off one shot.

Although there’s many interpretations of this quote that apply to my style of shooting, this one sticks out the most as it seems to happens all the time to me.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2013 workshop schedule at the top of this post. Come get lucky with me sometime.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com


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    { 3 comments… add one }
    • Jim May 24, 2013, 11:13 am

      I think it was Bob Gilka from National Geographic who defined photographic luck as: “F8 and being there.” In other words, you need to know enough technical stuff to take the picture and and you need to actually get out of bed (earlier, later, more often than the rest of the pack) to be in the right place at the right time.

    • Joe June 5, 2013, 9:55 am

      Thanks for the look and the words!!!


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