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.

One comment

  1. Dee

    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.