Friday, April 23, 2010

Phriday Phun

  • Choose a beautiful location full of potential photo ops
  • Spend the day 4 wheeling with at least 6 other people
  • The other people cannot be photographers and are interested in riding, not taking pictures; and,  however polite, fun, and wonderful they are, they would probably be irritated with a photographer wanting to stop every few seconds to take a picture, or spend time viewing a scene from every angle, or waiting for the perfect light, etc. etc., so..........
  • Take no longer than 5 seconds to compose and shoot each image
  • Only take images when and where the group decides to stop
  • Use only a point and shoot camera in auto setting
  • Must be the first time using said camera
  • No tripod
  • No bracketing or combining multiple exposures
  • Use only the LCD screen to compose your shots (if you have a viewfinder)
  • Shoot in the middle of the day
  • No filters, polarizers, etc.
  • Come up with at least 1 semi-decent photo that you wouldn't be totally embarrassed to post on your blog!!  

MAKING THIS CHALLENGE EVEN REMOTELY POSSIBLE!!! After seeing the images I ended up with, I realized immediately that for me to have even a chance at coming up with a few reasonable images, I had to be able to do some editing, so I did do some post process work in Photoshop.  I learned very quickly the limitations of a point and shoot camera, and if this experience did anything for me, it was to remind me how much I LOVE my 5D Mark II.  I left it at home this time,  and I ALWAYS take my camera on trips.  I felt like my arm was cut off!!

Here we go.  First a SOOTC snap of our group.  (I noticed right away the noise in all my sky shots was intense.)

The next two are about the best I came up with.  I tried to reduce the noise, correct odd color casts and I added a little clarity.  This is Determination Towers, Moab:

I lucked out with this next image.  A huge storm front passed over turning everything dark, dramatic, moody, and rainy which certainly helped the composition and lighting.  This was shot at Dead Horse Point.
I actually had a second objective with this challenge as well.  I often have people ask me what kind of camera they should buy "so they can take good pictures".  I always give them my opinion depending on the money they want to spend and how serious they are about photography.  But I always end by saying, that an expensive camera will not make you a good photographer.  There is no short cut to learning how to create beautiful images.  You must learn and practice, learn and practice, repeat, repeat.  But, I really do think that great photographers can produce great images with any camera.  And, although they certainly are limited creatively,  they know how to work within the limitations of whatever camera they are using!


Liss said...

The last bit of your post is so true. I know a guy that goes out and buys the latest and greatest camera on the market as soon as it hits the stores but he takes no time in learning the art of photography so sadly he just keeps wasting his money on expensive equipment he can't get the most out of.

I'm happy to lug my DSLR around because I know I will get quality but have come to realize that point and shoot cameras can also serve there purpose well.

I love the mood in your last image.

Chad said...

Beautiful photos.We use to make it to Moab a couple of times a year.There is not a better place to take pictures and mother nature. Dead Horse Point was one of our favorite places to go. Without seeing it,it's very hard to describe the beauty and awe. I'm looking forward to the rest of your pictures,sure you have plenty of Arches and Canyon Lands national parks. No one take these kind of pictures better than you! I've been talking with Scott about a fall trip there.

Scott said...

Absolute proof of your final point. A great photograph starts about 4 inches behind the viewfinder. You were clearly limited by your tools, but these are still some of the better photographs you'll find posted on the internet today because of your eye and sensitivities. Sure looks like Phun to me!

A Life In Focus Photography said...

great post Karen! glad to find your blog...and thanks for stopping by mine. you comments were Charming!!!

Stacey Dawn said...

Looks like you had a ball!

That last image is really great - I love those rays (or rain) coming down from the dark skies. Cool!

Rick said...

What a challenge! I can empathize with those restrictions - happens to me on family outings. You certainly proved the point of the photographer making the shot vs the equipment. Wonderful shots - 2nd is my favourite.

Loyce said...

Wow, that's some challenge, Karen. I can't believe the beautiful photos you came away with using only a point-n-shoot.

I carry one in my pocketbook for "just in case" purposes, but I'm never satisfied with anything that comes out of them. They're just too limiting for my tastes. I'm going to try your challenge, though.

I think it'll be a tough one.

Lisa said...

That is great advice. You have prooven that beautiful photos can come from a point and shoot camera.

Patty said...

Awesome photo. I agree on the cameras. I started shooting for a newspaper in 1985. Up until several years ago, when you saw someone with a Nikon like I shoot with you, you knew they were with a news organization or magazine. Today, everyone is walking around with expensive Nikons and Canons. And they have them set on auto!

A good point and shoot camera, set on auto, is great for the hobby shooter.

People who buy expensive cameras should invest money in classes so they learn how to use them.