Photo: Morning light on tree-covered hillside in the Sierra Foothills, Fresno County, California
Whenever I work with other photographers in a workshop setting, giving a lecture or presentation about improving their photography, I have a few general themes that I like to try and hammer into their heads. Those that have been field workshop clients know that I joke with them, “If you hear my voice in your head six months or two years from now, then I know I’ll have done my job.”
One of the first and most obvious is to “Photograph what you like.” Now that may sound like a no brainer, but it’s not. Otherwise, why would you see so many people showing photos with the caveat that they didn’t like this or that, be it a stray branch, bright patch of sky, etc.. I tell people to use their eyes like a zoom lens before taking the photo, to literally hone in on those elements of a photograph that they like.
In this image, I was coming back from Kings Canyon one morning, and was overlooking this really nice scene of the western Sierra foothills. While my brain and camera was set on wide-angle, I used my eyes like a telephoto lens to isolate parts of the larger scene in more detail. Then once I got my telephoto lens on the camera, I was able to focus on just that area or subject, and worked to include what I did like, while excluding what I didn’t like about the scene.
I mean seriously, if it’s something you don’t like, why would you want it in your photo? Right?
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