In my famous quotes category, they don’t necessarily come from well-known photographers, writers, or musicians. They are quotes I’ve heard over time that have stuck with me for one reason or another. Yes, in order for me to identify with them they need to have some bearing on what I happen to have been doing for the past forty-eight years…and that would be taking pictures.
Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”.
Photographically speaking, that refers to being mentally ready to take on whatever is coming your way…either from behind you or straight at you. In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, I’m constantly pointing out that light, among other things comes and goes so fast that it’s easy to miss out. Sure, it takes talent, but it takes fast reflexes, being alert to the forever changing light, and a very good knowledge of your camera. I sometimes just scratch my head when a fellow photographer signs up for one of my workshops and shows up with a brand new camera and assortment of lens he or she has…and bought and so very proud of.; without ever reading the manual or shooting with it before the workshop.
I specifically remember being at a location in Paris at sunrise. Not just a typical beautiful sunrise, but one that was anything but typical. It had a perfect mix of a glorious sky and beautiful warm light. So beautiful, that one could just stand there and admire it…which incidentally was exactly what this photographer wound up doing. She had purchased a new camera system and four lens, and had no idea how to use it; since I didn’t shoot with the system, I could not help…a sad lesson learned.
When you put your camera over your shoulder, you are basically going out hunting that wily-rouge OMG photo, that keeper that you can put on your wall and be proud to say you shot it…when asked. You need to be ready and alert mentally for anything, because that’s what’s liable to come you way…anything and everything. That also includes always looking over your shoulder.
A well known pool hall expression is…”When you snooze, you lose”. One example is if you had just been shooting on the Aperture mode and suddenly something happened that would require a fast shutter speed, you would probably miss it if you hadn’t thought about it (very quickly) and changed your setting. This is one of many reasons I always shoot on manual…but that’s another story.
In the photo above, I was returning back to the San Juan airport after shooting the coastline from a helicopter. I looked to my far left and saw this incredible sky, and for a moment it had mesmerized me. To my right I saw a jet taking off and quickly got myself into position to shoot the jet as it headed towards the clouds and before the jet was gone…which took about ten seconds. As a result, I was able to capture this amazing (un-retouced) image that has always been one of my favorites.
Btw, imagine what it must have looked like to the pilot and co-pilot.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. I have one opening left in my next “springtime” workshop in Portugal.Next July 26th I’ll be back at the Maine Media Workshop for my 27th year. a fantastic place full of energy and lot of photographers on the campus to share your experience with. I always pick this same week as it’s the week of the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. A different set of photo opts: people watching and portraiture, color, light, and design.
I have one spot left for my “Autumn in Provence” workshop to be next October 21st. We’ll be shooting during the Fall foliage.Keep those photos and questions coming into:AskJoeB@gmail.com.