The Missed Shot!
Ever had one of those days where you are with someone and at the end of the day you are sharing photos and wonder “How did they get that shot? Or “Why did I miss it?”. I have to admit when my wife and I are out it happens. However it’s more likely because we have differing artistic views than other reasons. Nonetheless it happens to all of us at one time or another.
Do you know it? Are you ready for most anything that may jump out at you? Do you know how to quickly change from freezing a shot to creating a blurred effect? Fumbling around trying to figure out how to adjust your camera to changing conditions out in the field is the wrong time. Spend time to get to know your camera… well!
Many photographers will have a backup body. This may be an cheaper body that they can rely on should their main body fail, or it could be a 2nd they use with a different lens. Know them both equally. Spend time shooting with both even if one is more your primary body. Again fumbling around trying to change settings out in the field when something is happening is the wrong time to figure it out.
Grab your camera everyday and shoot with it, even if you have no intention of keeping the photos. Regular practice with your camera will make it almost second nature to you when you do need to make quick in the field changes.
Oh, one other thing, read your manuals… and more than once. Take the time to go through your camera settings and change them around, learn what they really do.
I see this often, people are out doing some landscape photography and are either talking with others about the weather (or whatever), may be staring down at the back of their camera checking out the previous shots or have their smartphone texting their friends & family about what they are currently doing. Then what happens? The bird flies right across the scene to create the perfect landscape shot. Keeping aware of your surroundings and what is happening can help you get the right shot.
This is an easy problem to fix, simply focus (sorry for the pun) on the subject matter around you. In a recent trip to Jasper National Park to shoot Elk during the rut I avoided joining the group of people to avoid any temptation to start chatting up a storm with someone. Sure it’s great to chat photography and gear with other avid shooters, however it becomes a mute point why you are there if you are missing the shot. Another reason I didn’t join them was it just wasn’t safe where they were standing, that’s another story I’ll share another time.
If you only get out a couple times a year for big photo trips then give yourself permission to focus on the task at hand and not let others distract you, you’ll be happy for it.
Ever have those days where you just can’t find what you are looking for? Batteries, cleaning cloths, filters, memory cards, flashlight? What bag are they in? What pocket? etc. etc.
Take the time to get organized. If you have more than one camera bag then invest a few more dollars and have duplicates of key supplies in each bag that way you don’t fear leaving it behind. When I grab a different bag I know I only have a grab the bodies, lenses, batteries and memory cards and I’m off, all the other stuff is already in the bag and ready to go. I put bodies & lenses in the same locations in each bag, same for batteries, filters, etc. When I need to grab a new battery I can do it in the dark (sometimes have).
Ever had a day when you are shooting and bam, the battery is dead? This is again a simple fix, recharge every night after a day of shooting, cycle your batteries as you need. I pull out a charged battery, put it in my camera, and then charge the one I just pulled out. A dead battery is a rare occurrence for myself but admittedly it does happen. Good habits will help prevent this.
A few simple tips that will help you get better photography.