Monthly Archives: September 2012


The milion dollar photograph

The Million Dollar Photograph


Photography can be expensive.   I love my Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens but I am not fond of hauling it unless I am very serious and have a specific purpose and shot in mind that I know will require it. That said, many times you can actually get some really good work done with a high end point and shoot camera if the shutter lag doesn’t drive you bonzo!  Some of these point and shoot cameras even do OK for macro work and in some cases their movie mode is great.   You don’t need to spend a million bucks on cameras and lenses and tripods and ball heads and filters and a mule or assistant to carry it all.    Whatever the camera you are willing to carry or use that day is your best camera.  If it’s $15,000 of camera, lens(s) in a $350 bag sitting in the closet or the trunk of your car it is not much good at that moment.  If it’s an iPhone or a point and shoot and you have it with you, on you, in your hands, turned on, and in front your eyes, it’s the best camera.  $500 or $25,000 or $1,000,000. 
A lot of times less equipment = more photographs.  You will find your own daily and changing balance of how much equipment you are willing to carry.  My point is that you should always have some kind of camera unless you just want to enjoy the moment without the technology in your face.    I think Louis Black said that … photography is for people with a bad memory.  Or maybe it was. . .  photography is for people with Alzheimer’s.  I can’t remember which.


Cowboy Rancher with flowers

Making a good photo that tells a story usually takes some thought.  It is rare to pull your camera up and go snap, snap and have a unique photograph.   This business of pulling the camera up fast and blasting the motor drive is probably productive for a sports photographer, a war photographer or any photographer who only has a fleeting moment to capture a shot. Many times creating a good photo takes some thought and is more of a zen approach than the gunslinger approach.

The photograph of the cowboy with flowers for his better half can be photographed in a number of different ways.   You can go in from the front as a portrait or the back emphasizing the flowers behind his back or from above.  I could probably give you a lot of reasons why I like this perspective the best.  Most of all the photo is unique.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done this way.  There just happened to be an air duct above the door going to the second floor of the house.  A swiss army knife and a 60mm lens stuck down the vent just managed to get it done. . . at least for me.