Monday, June 6, 2011

Commitment to the Shot

One of the photographer's in the Foothills Camera Club made reference to being committed to the shot - doing whatever it takes to bring your vision to life. It makes sense because that it is probably the biggest difference between a snapshot and a great image.

The best shots are the result of planning, preparation and committing to getting everything in place to give your camera the best chance it has to get the image the way you, the photographer, want it. And really is this much of a surprise? With any endeavour the more you put into it the more you get out. Whether its scouting a location or finding the perfect model or getting up with the sun you have to not only want to get the shot but you have to put effort into the getting it. Just because the actual exposure is often measured in tenths or hundredths of a second, doesn't mean you can't measure the effort of getting the shot in terms of hours, days or even weeks and months.

An example of this was a shoot I did yesterday. I have photographed Vermilion Lakes a number of times, at different times of day and at different times of the year. On one level its kinda "been there done that" but I still find I can get markably different and unique images so I keep heading out there. Thus far, for all the times I have been out there I haven't shot the lakes at sunrise.  The challenge, however, at this time of year is that sunrise is especially early. Try 5:29 am local time. Added to this is the fact that I am about an hour and a half or so from Banff and of course a sunrise isn't something you want to arrive "just in time" for.  So in light of this, my day started at about 2:50 am.

So my personal commitment to this shot meant getting up extremely early and driving a fairly long distance to get the shot. I even got my feet wet to get my tripod and camera in the position I wanted.  The image I wanted deserved this commitment though.