Though I do not participate in any daily photography challenges – whether the goal is to post a photo per day that represents the assigned theme or a pact to post a new photo each day for a specific time period (usually 1 year), I am a big proponent of trying to find time each day to take some shots. I could be a going out to the garden for one shot or stopping for 5 minutes on the way home to take a few shots.
I view each opportunity to take a shot as a potential to learn something about the craft. Maybe the one composition I thought I could get is no longer there – which does happen quite a bit with clouds and sunset. If I only have a few minutes, I am forcing my brain to find another composition, exercising the creative process. And since not every photograph turns out great, each of these failures teaches me something about me, the camera, my creative thoughts.
The chance to continually assess and reassess my own work keeps my mind not far from a photography mode. When I am shooting often (several times per week), the ability to find compositions anywhere is easier. When I have taken significant time away from the camera, even remembering specific functions takes extra time. Instead of engaging my brain on what compositions are possible, I would waste brainpower on how to shoot. I have forgotten the steps to bracket HDR shots, forgotten how to get to bulb mode (is it the 250x or “–” shutter speed being displayed), and even forgetting to ramp up the ISO while trying to shoot the milky way. (Hey, why are there no stars at all!?!?). When I am worried about how to shoot, I am not focused on what to shoot as much as I need to.
Processing Notes: A quick 5 minute processing edit here. I made sure not to lose the detail in the white cloud and left the composition in color. A monochrome conversion results in a very flat photograph. Instead of the distinct contrast of the white and foreground black clouds, in monochrome, the separate is not as distinct.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 220mm, f/8, 1/125 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Storm Clouds, Bird Cloud. Cameron Park, CA. January 19, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.