Summit is Far Away
Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
In-line with my thoughts from the other day, I would like to move my photography a little higher up the mountain. The summit is usually out of sight when climbing up the mountain but is easier to see from further away. For that reason, I have been going back through some of my older pictures and trying to find which of my older pictures appealed the most to me. This is a technique I’m pursuing to see if I can identify them so I can make more of them.
I’m not finding many that I really like. What I am finding is that in the past during my travel days I shot a lot of pictures which in hindsight showed that I did a lot of spraying and praying; i.e. I took a lot of pictures with the hope that one of them would be good. I was able to get by with this approach as long as I used the pictures in my travel videos, but it didn’t result in many, if any, memorable pictures. One lesson learned: be more deliberate and give more thought to the end result before snapping the shutter. Making memorable pictures is different from making travel videos.
Another lesson learned. In the past I used cameras with smaller sensors which had less resolution and lower quality lenses. I also took all of my pictures as jpegs. The end result is that I have very little latitude to work with them. If the composition wasn’t quite right I don’t have enough latitude to do major cropping, and if the exposure wasn’t quite right I don’t have the ability to do much about it. Second lesson learned: use the highest quality lens, largest sensor, highest resolution camera-lens combination that I care to carry and can afford, and shoot in raw rather than jpeg format.
The primary answer I was looking for is still out of reach. I still haven’t decided on the subject and style of picture that I like best, but I’m learning that I prefer simpler compositions. While I have looked back through my older pictures I have converted many of them to B&W since I am finding that lets me focus on the composition without the distraction of color. In all likelihood I won’t settle on one subject or style but I’m still hoping to narrow the range and I will continue climbing the mountain.
Those are wonderful cloud formations above that volcano. I love this pic. I have several pics of looking down into a smoldering volcano in Niqaragua, but can’t help thinking how much better mine would have been if you had taken them with your camera. I guess the blessing is that I have the memories. Enjoyed your blog, loved the analogy to the summit, upwards is always good.