journey

There is Always Something to Photograph

Starting to work on a new area of photography can be a challenge but a lot of fun. I have been wanting to start shooting different types of subjects and I wanted to explore shooting more black and white images. I didn't want to shoot just anything. I wanted to shoot subjects that display a type of mood, tell a story and has a simple, minimalistic quality to them.

This past week I had the chance to visit Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury North Carolina. I wanted to hike to the top of the Hanging Rock and get a photo or two. I wanted to record my trip and do a little vlogging and capture a little B-roll footage along the way. It was a nice day, but a little breezy and brisk. Nevertheless, it was a good day to do a little hiking. My goal was not to get an image from my adventure but I would capture one or two if I could.

The hike to the top was challenging for a guy that is almost 60 years old. But I knew I could still do it. I figured I am not dead yet. As the hike began it was pretty easy until I reached that mass amount of steps, boulders, and the uphill climb at the base of the Hanging Rock. I had to take a few breaks a lot the way to do some vlog recording and rest. I am not a young man anymore.

When I reached the top of Hanging Rock I was in for a little bit of a shock. The winds were gusting over 60 mph. There was a reason I was the only one upon the Hanging Rock. No one else wanted to be there. Once I arrived I took advantage of having the whole place to myself. Normally, I would have to work around the crowds to get a good shot. On that day, that was not an issue. I had the whole place to myself.

I took a look around for a good composition and to try to get a shot that I thought was unique. I located two lone trees at the rear of the Hanging Rock formation. They seem to stand out. Even though I had passed by them on several occasions there was something special about them that day. I knew I wanted to get a unique shot of the two trees. So, I decided to experiment with shooting the image in a 4:3 format rather than my usual 16:9 format. I also wanted to shoot a latitudinal image. I knew from the start I also wanted the image to be in black and white. I was very pleased with the image and after posting the image on my social media sites, I was very pleased with the positive feedback from others.

Family Trees

Family Trees

It is always good to experiment with new techniques as a photographer. I feel creative people need and want to challenge themselves. They know the challenge makes them a better creative. It can be very easy to become bored as a photographer. You have to get out of your comfort zone and remember there is always something to photograph. For me, it took climbing a mountain, hiking over boulders, taking a lot of steps, and battling 60+ winds to get the shot. That made the journey fun.

Until next time!

Roger

Getting the Image

Living Country

Living Country

Photographers are always looking for great images. It is what we do. We look for compositions, lighting, angles, and other elements that could make a great image. In the past, I have had jobs that required me to travel. I am not a big fan of traveling unless it is for pleasure like a great photo shoot. On one business trip a few years ago I traveled to a another part of my state and I and my trip back and forth between home and my assignment required me to drive. I really don’t have a problem with driving because it gives me an opportunity to explore new locations and of course, photo shoot opportunities.  

On one of my trips I passed by a location that really caught my eye. The location featured a pasture and farmland off of the main highway. Those that know me know I love to take photos of old historic locations that represent a part of the past. My job required me to travel pass by a beautiful county side location for about 5 days. Each morning and each evening I told myself I have to get the shot before my assignment was up. I really had no reason not too, but each day I put off stopping to get the shot. Each day was a nice day for the photo but not a great day. The skies were clear, cloudless, and blown out. However, on my last day, I told myself, no matter what the conditions I will stop and get the image.

On the last day, the conditions were completely different from the other four days. On the last day and my last opportunity to get shot, the weather began to become rainy, stormy and a low-level fog blanketed the county side. Most people would think that the conditions were too bad to get the shot. Of course, I did not. I felt the conditions for the shot provided the mood I was looking for the the image. The mood was perfect.

I learned a valuable lesson about putting off getting a shot. I learned to never think I could always get the shot anytime and get the results I want. Sometimes it is better to be patient and wait for the right conditions to get the right shot. I also know that sometimes there may never be a good shot. I was lucky to photograph the image that I call “Living Country”. Those that grew up in the country understand what this image means and it creates a warm feeling for them. I love to hear stories of how others grew up in a place just like the one I photographed. When others tell me how the image touched their hearts, I know I got the right image. A great image should move people, regardless if it is the viewer of the photographer. My advice is, never pass up a great opportunity to get a great shot and never take for granted the image will always be there. 

Until next time, keep shooting! 

Roger Younce  

A Photographer's Life Should Be All About Balance

Let's face it, photography is a lot of fun and a true passion for many of us. Most photographers love to travel and go see unique places and they sacrifice a great deal to get some amazing images. However, I have noticed a negative trend from some photographers that I enjoy following today. I have noticed a trend where some photographers are trying to do too much, too quickly. One travel photographer that I follow plans to do some meet ups as he travels across the United States and leaves for Europe. That sounds exciting but he plans to do about 8 to 10 "meet-ups in 4 days. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy meeting up with other photographers to get some great shots but after about 2 days I would enjoy sleeping more. 

Some of the photographers I follow are young men and women and are much younger than I am and can go “non-stop”. At one time in my life, I was one of those people. I felt I was unstoppable and I would be that way forever. I was a little mistaken. Over the last couple of years, I have followed several photographers and their journeys and I have really enjoyed watching them capture great images, travel to unique locations, and tell their stories of their adventures. Their journeys and adventures are very inspiring and entertaining. But, I wonder is there a price they may pay in the future for the amount of time, money, and energy that they put into their craft. I see photographers that travel very heavily to get unique images and frankly, I don’t see how they can afford it. I see photographers spending a great deal of money on equipment and gear they I guess they really can’t afford. I see photographers that devote more time to their photography than they do their own families and friends. That is not a good thing. 

In my opinion, there has to be a balance between one’s love for photography and other more important things in life. It is not a good thing to concentrate on one thing. If you do, you miss out on other important things in your life like family and friends. I feel that some photographers try to do too much and they will eventually burn themselves out. That could be avoided if they work smarter and not harder. In my opinion, understanding the importance of balance comes with age and maturity. 

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger

Never Stop Learning!

I have always been someone that likes to study others and try to figure out how those that are skilled in a particular art become so highly skilled in their craft. What I have noticed is that many outstanding photographers seem to have a couple of unique qualities; a desire to learn more and drive to become better at their craft. What I have also noticed is great photographers are never really satisfied with their work. I know for me, I continually go back and work on old photos that I took many years ago. I want to make them better. By the way, if you want to go back and work on old images, make sure you shoot in RAW.

It all goes back to never stop learning. For photographers, it is much easier today to improve one's skills. I continually seek to study other photographers to get inspriation and to find out how they created a beautiful or unique image. Today there are so many great photographers who specialized in a variety of styles and I really enjoy that. I enjoy studying photographers who specialize in nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. I even look at wedding photographers work even though I have no desire to photograph a wedding. I don't have the patience for that. For me, it is all about learning and I learn a great deal from other photographers. They do inspire me to do better. 

I have found that a great resource for learning and improving my photography skills is through the use of Youtube. Today, photographers on Youtube provides so much information on products, equipment, software, tips and tricks, webinars, online classes, free tutorials, and so much more. Just this morning I found some great tips and tricks I could use when using Lightroom. The video was from photographer Jamie Windsor who demonstrated 10 great Lightroom features that I could use in the future to help me with my post processing workflow. If you would like to see the video check it out at 10 Lightroom Features Tips. They are pretty cool and can be very useful.

For me, photography is an art form that has no ending and I will never learn everything about photography and that is great. For me, my journey in photography keeps me wanting to learn more and to find out how much I can improve my skills. I have seen over the last few years that my photography has greatly improved. I look back at the images and I had taken in the past and they really were pretty bad compared to what I do now. I want to improve my skills as a photographer. I know to do that requires me to never stop learning and enjoy my journeys as a photographer. That starts will a continued desire and a strong drive to learn more.

Until next time, keep shooting! 

Roger Younce