Love is a verb. You can give it by showing kindness, through a shared experience, or by simply listening to someone. If you manage, somehow, to accomplish all three of those at the same time? Well, that’s a little bit of heaven on earth. This image is from a moment like that, and I will hold it in my heart and never let it go.
I wish you peace, joy, and an active verb. 😉
My husband and I recently returned from a glorious trip to Norway. It is now one of my most favorite destinations, and if you were considering it, I highly recommend that you go. One of the things I wound up, most unexpectedly, falling in love with were the seagulls. They are very different from their thinner, fry chasing, cousins here in Florida in that they are big—very big—very healthy looking birds. They are also plentiful and seem to love being around people (very close) but not uncomfortably close. Hard to explain but they soar above and around a person with a subtle confidence that makes you feel at ease. I loved them! The photo above is of seagulls that followed our boat out to one of the Fjords. It was exciting because there were so many birds, flying so many patterns, and with so many amazing backdrops, and I knew, if I were patient, paid attention, and fired off enough shots that I would get something I liked. This photo above definitely qualifies as one of my favorites as these precocious birds wound up perfectly framing the landscape. I was lucky enough to get several well-timed images, and I credit them to waiting or actually, how I wait.
Waiting for things to line up the way I want used to be difficult for me until I discovered a secret. One day while I was waiting, I could feel my heart rate increasing as I felt myself getting anxious—and then it hit me…
I realized that, ultimately, what I wanted was to have the image—to have the bird, animal, subject or moment, captured. What I was most fearful about was not getting the image at all. I knew if I didn’t get it at the exact right moment—I might have waited too long and it (or the moment) would be gone. Aha! Figuring that out was key. So, what I’ve started to do is take a few (or more) shots before that all too critical moment so that I know I have it. I have something; even if it’s not perfect, I have it. Once I’ve taken a photo or two, the pressure is off, and I can relax and wait.
When using the iPhone (and it’s time to get a shot like this), it’s probably best to let the camera autofocus (you’ll know if that’s the case because you’ve already taken a few shots, remember?) Also, you’d better be taking advantage of Burst Mode—I use it all the time. Any iPhone above the 5 will take ten shots per second and will continue to fire as long as you press (and hold) the shutter button. Then, all you have to do is go through the images and pick your favorite.
I hope this makes your waiting a little easier and if you use the burst mode, you won’t miss a thing.
“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Pick up a good book.
It’s a fairly easy answer, but one I believe could make a world of difference to so many photographers struggling with their creativity. Think about it—if photography is storytelling, then you need to supply your imagination with many stories (tucked away in your sub-conscience) so that when the time comes to be creative, you have something to draw from. It is impossible for most of us to have lived enough really good stories, and even if we have lived some really good ones, even great ones, we only have our one lifetime to collect them. On top of that, how much of that life have we lived before becoming a photographer? However, if we read great literature, novels, and poems we can turn all those stories into a deep source for our own creativity. It’s similar to technically knowing how to operate your camera—you learned it well so that you don’t have to think about how to use it when you need or want to use it. In that same way, you will draw on the stories you have read (learned) when you go on to tell your photography stories. At the very least, it won’t hurt you, and you’ll have read some great books.
I wish you all the creative life you seek and I hope this helps some of you get a little closer. Have a great weekend everyone!
It goes well with tea. Try it, you’ll see.
Happy Tuesday, Friends.
My little Maggers was kind enough to model for my first iPhone X shot. Good job, Maggie—now let’s get you a treat! ☺️
Have a great weekend, everyone!
…is that they’re still calling them phones.
Bear with me for a minute because I don’t limit this to just a problem with the new iPhones (or any recent iPhones) but also any recent Android smartphones too, like the Samsung Galaxy Note8. The problem is that we’re still using the term “phone” when we talk about them and especially when price becomes part of the conversation it can get silly — fast!
By far the typical comment for smartphones upon a new release is, “That much — for a phone?!”
I think any reasonable person would agree that spending $700 to $1,000 for just a phone would be ridiculous. In fact, $500 or $300 or maybe even less would also be ridiculous because a “phone” is simply an electronic device that is meant to transmit sound or speech to a distant point. I think the conversation needs to change because the “phone” sure has. These smartphones like the iPhone X have now become our:
- Cameras. And what a wonderful world it became for me when the first iPhone came out with its camera. Honestly, it changed my life. It helped me be a more creative person, a more spontaneous creative person and allowed me to capture moments that I would never have been able to capture before its invention. Then they introduced Portrait Mode, and now they’ve made it better. For the technical reasons why visit the specs page at Apple.com
- Lighting. There is a flash and a flashlight built right in.
- Post Processing. Don’t get me started. Hahaha! One of my favorite things to do is the post processing of my images on my phone. So many, incredible, apps that make it easy, fast and fun!
- Theatres. This is big too. We watch movies, sure, but we live-stream TV, YouTube, and Training — we learn and improve our lives with these devices.
- Communication. Finally, we get to the phone part of our “phone.” We can make a call, video chat or text someone. Although it really can be frustrating to get interrupted with a call when I’m trying to take a picture. Hahaha! The fact is that most of us are using our phone for an actual phone less and less. We do use it for all the Social aspects of communication like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
- Work. This one gets overlooked by those who don’t use it for their work, but I do a lot of work on my phone because a lot of my work is communicating (with my office and with others). I need to write, edit, read and sign documents and contracts, and collaborate on projects. Sometimes, I’ll even take and edit photos for work. Using this device means I don’t always have to lug around a laptop or even a tablet and that is glorious!
- Play! Here’s one I don’t use it a lot for but there are loads of games, and now with the addition of the augmented reality, it’s about to get nuts!
- Banking. Some do all of their banking on their phones. I know people that haven’t been to the bank in forever because they bank from their phone.
- Reading. Every day we read the news, books, novels, devotionals and more on our phones.
- Sharing. We share our lives with others through the images and videos we’ve taken and keep on our phones.
I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it up by reminding us not to forget how these devices inspire our sense of design and technology (inspiring companies and products to try and match or outdo one another — and that’s a good thing)! These pricey “phones” really are giving us some of our glimpses into the future. Just the camera advancements alone are amazing. I know a lot of photographers that would like to see cool things happen as often with DSLRs. I can’t help but be reminded of a Louis CK comedy routine about people complaining about flying. He talks about how their drink doesn’t get there fast enough, the wireless on board isn’t working, the fare is too high, and then he cleverly reminds everyone that they’re in a chair, flying through the air! Hahahaha! Sorry, as a pilot, that one always gets me. Somewhere along the line, we stopped being amazed at what these things are capable of, what they add to our lives, how much research and technology goes into them. Add to them that they come water resistant while charging wirelessly and it makes me wonder if our expectations haven’t gotten just a tad too high.
At 64GB the iPhone X lists at $999. For the same 64GB, the Note8 lists $929.99. I do prefer the iPhone. I enjoy its experience and am most comfortable with it. I have friends who feel the same way about their Galaxy phones, and none of us have an issue with what we’ve spent because none of us feel we’ve spent “That much — for a phone?!”