The “Effort” in Photography

This hobby takes some work!

When I first got back into photography, I thought that it would be pretty easy going.  I could do it in my free time.  The right shot would come opportunistically.

Sensor: Canon 6D
Location: San Francisco, CA

S_Lim_2012_00030

But in writing this blog, I think I need to be a little bit more proactive in trying to find some good images to post.  Otherwise my blog will be starved of images before it began.  So I find myself working a lot harder at this hobby than I anticipated.   Lots of experienced photographers will tell you that the work is in the preparation.  I thought I’d give my take on where the effort goes.

  • Lugging the bag – You can see what I carried recently on my trip to Macau, Hong Kong, and Japan this month in the last photo.  Body, 3 lenses, filters, batteries, spare point and shoot, tripod, and laptop.  I’m used to carrying a full golf bag around 18 holes for 5 hours, so it’s definitely manageable. But the camera bag gets in the way frequently to be completely mobile.  All together I’m probably carrying about 20 lbs of equipment.  Maybe if I got a backpack instead of a single strap bag it would help.
  • Setting up the tripod – I’m still trying to figure out how to make this piece of equipment become second nature to me.  Setting it up, collapsing it takes more time than I’d like to admit.  I’ve tried carrying it around with the camera attached, but since it is a ball head, the camera can get loose and flop around.  Still feel like I’m a guy with two left feet in handling the tripod.  I’ve got to get to a point where it becomes second nature.
  • Managing all the filters – I carry around protective filters, polarizers, and graduated filters.  Each presents a different type of hassle.  find myself constantly removing the protective filters for a variety of reasons.  Replacing it to put the polarizer on is the probably the biggest.  Other times its to clean it and need to take it off to check to make sure I got all the smudges off.  Sometimes I need to take it off because I want to minimize reflections, like if I need to take a shot through a window and I don’t want light reflecting off the window glass and into my shot.  The graduated filter is another great tool, but I need to be really careful with these.  First, I usually hand hold it rather than mount it.  Second it’s made of glass so I have to be very careful with it.   Others are resin based, so they can scratch easily.  But then when I’m done with it, I need to find a place to put it quickly and that can be a hassle.   But don’t get me wrong, I think filters are one of the top 3 things that separate great pictures from good pictures, so I don’t see this going away anytime soon.
  • Expanding the waking hours – Most photographers say that the best time to take photos is in the early morning hours, or at dusk.  I kind of ignored that advice, but I’m here to report that I find it’s true.  Not because the air is clearer or because the light is not as harsh, (which it probably is), but because the light is just more interesting and the sky is more complex.
  • The Relationship with the SO about photography.  Need I say anything more?

Sensor: Canon 1D Mk ii
Location: San Francisco, CA
Title: Escape from Alactraz

S_Lim_2012_00069

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