Saturday, April 4, 2009

What Does it Take to Get Great Pictures?

If you take a look at the images in my posted slide show, you might think they were easy to get. So let's talk about that.

When do you usually take pictures? When you're on vacation? Out with friends? At a family gathering?

Most people take their camera with them to record specific events or milestones. These are personal images that have no meaning to anyone except you and perhaps your family members.

Serious photographers on the other hand, don't wait for events. Like the postman who braves rain, hail, sleet and snow, the avid photographer goes out into all kinds of weather in order to capture eye-popping images.
My Grandfather, E J Cour, a photo journalist for Chicago news, captured this image in the 30's.

Let's take for instance, a day like today. It's windy, cold and snowing on and off. There is ice on my windows. It was a day similar to this (actually worse - it was snowing quite heavily) when I photographed "Cold Duck." Would you go out on such a day just to photograph geese and ducks?

To capture the "Doe and Fawn" in Rocky Mountain National Park last summer, I was awake and out of my tent well before dawn and followed this pair for over a mile. They led me through thorny shrubs, thick forest, and over trecherous rocky terrain.

These little ventures often find me having wandered quite a distance without a clue, having to pray for the strength to carry on and find my way back.

I'm not an able bodied person. A nicked nerve during back surgery some years ago left me with little strength in my left thigh muscle and almost total loss of the muscle that controls my right ankle. My left thigh is dependent on the strength of my glut and calf muscle to ambulate. My right foot drops because of the ankle problem being a major tripping hazard and wearing me out quickly. In addition, I'm in chronic fiery pain which will never improve. This also zaps my energy. I don't write this seeking pity but to emphasize the lengths a photographe will go to for "that shot." It's just the way things are for me. I feel blessed and amazed that I can walk at all. But I'm still waithing for that one image that takes my breath away. There are many I'm happy with but not the "one." Brokenness be damned, I'll keep truckin' until I fall off the mountain...

I give what many aren't willing to find for themselves. Enjoy the views.

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