So before I begin this blog entry, I have to admit that this is my second time writing it. I just accidentally deleted my original post. The problem is the first one was good, really good and now it's gone. So just know while you're reading it that this isn't nearly as good as the first blog entry I wrote. That one was going to get me a pulitzer and now it's gone. Sad for me.
Anyway, last weekend my family and I did one of our favorite summer activities. We spent the day on the Sacramento Delta with our friends on their ski boat. For those of you unfamiliar, the Delta is THE place around here for boating, fishing and most importantly, wake boarding. Now you have to know the back story here. In the spirit of full discloser, this was our fourth time out in their boat and my third time attempting to wake board. The previous times I failed to get up, but this time was different. I owned it. I got up and it was fantastic... spectacular even. I was amazing and there was no way I was going to stop... until I fell, then I knew it was time stop. My body is still sore, but it hurt oh so good. :-)
So, lucky for you, this is a photography blog and not a wake boarding blog, so this means it's time to talk about the pics I took. Now if you'd like me to continue talking about the fact that I was spectacular on the wake board, email me... I'll talk about it all day, but now let's focus on the photos.
I don't usually bring my camera when I go out on the boat, but on this day I decided it was time. I left my Canon 5D at home, however and once again left the house with my Lumix micro four thirds camera. As far as lenses go, I brought both a 12-50mm telephoto and a 24mm prime lens. Now that's what I brought, but I only ended up using the 24mm prime. There's a really good reason for this. Well, there's a reason... I don't know if it's really good. The reason is when it was time for me to use the telephoto, I realized that my camera bag was under about 200 other bags and a cooler full of beer. That bag stayed where it was and I just used the prime lens. It was actually a fun exercise, to spend the day with my only zooming capabilities being my feet. When I needed a different shot, I had to move... changing the focal length wasn't an option. There were times, especially when I was shooting people wake boarding, that I really wanted the telephoto, but I made do and got some great pics.
There are many challenges when you're out spending the day out on the water, in a small boat that you're not in control of, when it comes to taking pictures. My biggest issue was the light. When you wanted the sun in front of you, it was usually behind and when you wanted it behind, there it was in front. Never mind the fact that most of the day the sun was right above us, so it made for shots with a lot of contrast and shadows were really difficult to work with. Often people had dark faces with the sun directly behind them, or overexposed faces and dark bodies. It seemed like the sun was never where I wanted it to be. So, there is a way to fix it. Take all of those pictures that aren't working out for you, put them in a folder on your desktop and DELETE! Of course you could spend time fixing them in Lightroom or Photoshop, but who wants to spend the time fixing "okay" photos, when hopefully you still got a bunch of great photos that you enjoy much more spending time on. The key is to take lots of photos. That will drastically improve your odds of getting good pics. Don't take 10 photos and hope you have 10 good ones. Take 20, 30, or 50... Your odds of having some in there that you really like will drastically increase. The other way to increase your odds of getting good pics is to wait until the sun is being a little more cooperative. If you wait a few minutes, the boat is bound to be in a different location. If the shot doesn't need to be taken right away, wait a bit for your location to change or the sun to go down a little. Sometimes not taking a photo is the best way to get better photos
When your out taking pictures on a day like this, don't forget to document the trip and try not to only focus on taking the perfect shot, with the perfect light and amazing composition. Take some of those pictures, of course, but also try and take photos that tell the story of your trip. When you go back and look at your photos later, you'll be glad that you captured some of the funny, fun and spontaneous moments. Those are the ones you'll really cherish.