I felt the way you do when you walk into a pop quiz at school and haven't studied — unprepared. I should have known better.
On a day trip to Niagara Falls this summer, I was looking forward to checking another iconic location off my bucket list. I was so excited in fact, that I did absolutely nothing to prepare. I only threw my camera bag and tripod into the car.
When we arrived at the falls, it dawned on me. I didn't research the best places to shoot. I didn't have a shot list of things I wanted to photograph. I didn't know where the best vantage points should be. I didn't know when the light would be best.
I just showed up — like a tourist, not a photographer. I should have known better.
Mike Randolph knows better. As a professional travel photographer, his work has appeared in all the magazines we love. He shares some of the lessons he's learned in today's episode. He tells us how to prepare; what to bring; and what to photograph.
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The Steines family pool must have looked like a bonafide Hollywood set -- lights, models, make up artists, and of course, cameras.
It was no movie blockbuster in the works, however. This was Mark Steines at play.
Mark is a veteran Hollywood journalist who fills his time inbetween his work in front the camera making magic behind it.
What photography lessons can we learned from a journalist and producer at heart?
Listen to the podcast of view the show notes at bit.ly/shutterbuglife033.
Jim didn't want to admit what his girlfriend already knew.
I met them both last week, and early in the conversation they asked what I did.
When I told them I taught photography, Nancy exclaimed. "Jim is a photographer. He takes great pictures!"
"Is that so?" I asked Jim.
"Wait a minute," he cautioned. "Let's not go too fast here..."
Nancy looked shocked. "You are a photographer. You take great pictures!"
Jim was clearly uncomfortable.
We've all been there before.
Someone asks the direct question, "are you a photographer?" and we hesitate.
How should I answer that question? Am I an amateur photographer? Am I an aspiring photographer? What kind of photographer am I?
I'm going to make the case that you don't need the qualifiers. You already have everything you need to answer that question.
"Yes. I am a photographer."
Why is this important? Because as Jeff Goins writes, activity follows identity.
If we believe something, we generally act in a way that is consistent with that belief. If you tell yourself that you are not a photographer, you will pass up opportunities. You will shy away from challenges. You will act like a pretender.
If you allow yourself to own the title, you will act very differently. Words and labels matter.
Are you a photographer?
Listen to the podcast and read the show notes at bit.ly/shutterbuglife032.
If there was any joy shooting broadcast video in the 1990s, it wasn't in the equipment.
In the Army, I was recruited to be a broadcast news journalist. My commander handed me this huge video camera that I had to hoist onto my shoulder just to shoot. When I wasn't taping, I had to drag the camera around in this huge anvil case. When we arrive at our location, unpack, mic the subject, grab some video.
It was a cumbersome process, but we did it because it was the only way to ensure professional broadcast quality video.
That was then. Today, most of us can create HD professional quality video straight from our cameras.
But it's not as simple as pointing and shooting. Let's talk about some of the things you'll need to consider to get great video. In another episode, I'll talk about principles for shooting videos.
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