Saturday, January 29, 2011

Golden Gate Bridge - Getting the Shot


Most serious photographers will tell you that a great photograph is the result of time spent deciding on the best composition, which lens to use, what the exposure and DOF should be, etc., etc.  This is true, that most great pictures look effortless, but in reality are the product of skill and art.  

There are, however, many exceptions to this rule.  Just ask a childrens' portrait photographer or a photojournalism photographer.  Sometimes, getting the shot itself takes precedence over composition or settings or art.  I remember an experience from a week long photography workshop I took, taught by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore.  (Incidentally, he is fabulous both as a photographer and an instructor, and this was an experience I will never forget!!)  Anyway, he was showing some of his work, and if I remember correctly, it was a photo of an event in a rodeo where the action was fast and furious.  He took an amazing shot which looked like he was almost going to be trampled by the action.  While most of us were admiring this shot, someone in the class raised his hand and commented that the horizon in the background was crooked.  Joel had a great response that I can't remember, but the gist is that sometimes something will make a photo great even if it is not technically perfect or has other flaws, or even if it is a quick candid catching a great moment in time.

I thought of all this when I took this photo.  It was a quick shot through the windshield of our moving car, directly into the sun.  And, yes, I had to do a ton of editing to even get it presentable.  Whether because it is through tinted glass, or into the sun, or through fog, or because I was using a polarizer, or whatever...... I ended up with a weird shade of green/blue and some banding in the sky.  But somehow it works for me!