Saturday, August 4, 2007

Take your time and get it right to begin with.

A little while back, Anne and I took a few days off and drove to Sequoia National Park for a retreat away of the daily grind. We rented a small primitive cabin with no phone and no TV. Our cell phones were also out of range. Of course, we did have our Pentax K10D and a few lenses and tripod. The idea was to get away and spend some time with Mother Nature.
We got up early the first morning and headed toward the park. The giant sequoia trees are found scattered, mostly along the west slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, between elevations of 5,000 and 7,000 feet. We got to the top about twenty minutes after sunrise. Morning mist and fog were present all around us. We took advantage of the situation and took many pictures. In some areas, the sun was piercing through the thick fog, and projecting rays of light. The atmosphere was almost magical. Of course, with pictures, you can capture the visual, but the birds chirping, the wind whistling through the trees, the smell of fresh mountain air cannot be expressed with any pictures. For us, every time we look at the photographs, we hear the sound and we smell the smell in our minds.

The lenses used were the Pentax DA 16–45mm and the DA 18-55mm. All photos were taken with the camera mounted on mu Giottos tripod. I know …the Pentax SR system allows you to take hand-held pictures at low speed without blur. But, if you have the time, always use a tripod. Not only does it produce clear pictures, but it allows you to scan the scene while the camera is stationary. I find that the composition is less spontaneous that way, which is a good thing with landscape photography. Why rush?
We did the same trek two days in a row and brought home many memorable pictures. It’s tempting with digital cameras to take hundreds and hundreds of pictures, without taking the time to compose. The law of average certainly produces at least one good shot for every 100 clicks. The problem with that is that you don’t learn the fundamentals of photography and it is also a lot of pictures to edit once back home. Why not take the time to get the best possible pictures to begin with. Keep the machine gun shooting for sport photography.
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