When ever I do a class or take a trip, or actually do anything at all, I also look back at the lessons I've personally learned. If you're wondering, yes there are lessons in the teaching! This is a synopsis of the lessons I learned in my travels this past summer.
The grass is NOT always greener!
For those of you that know, I traveled to the region around Yellowstone National Park this summer. Yes the region was far greener than the Las Vegas Valley, however, in the terms of Photography the region was really not all that and a bag of chips.
Photographically there were trees and more trees. Mountains and more mountains. It was somewhat difficult to find Photographic subjects that were "different." And honestly? When you ventured into Yellowstone? The traffic was brutal at all points of interest! Not to mention those points of interest have already been Photographed to death!
I can tell you that after living in the Vegas Valley for 54 years, I can still go to Red Rock, Valley of Fire, or just about anywhere else I wish to go in the Desert Southwest, and still find something different to Photograph! Boom! Blew my mind!
Do not get me wrong... I obtained some pretty nice compositions. But not so much in Yellowstone. Mostly outside of the park in the surrounding region.
The Internet Has Flooded Locations
This is readily apparent everywhere you go now a days. Since Covid? Exponentially worse! No one liked having their freedom taken away. No one liked being locked indoors. The sale of large used Pick-up Trucks, and Recreational Vehicles skyrocketed! Guess what? During Covid a lot of people found the outdoors again. And they liked it! So now there are more people than ever hitting the road, even with record high gas and diesel prices.
The solution? I personally, will no longer go to any National Park or location like it, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. My new mantra is to search out locations less traveled. Yeah I know... I've always been about that, but now more than ever.
I would really like a trip into Yellowstone during the dead of winter. I just might do that soon!
The News is Not Necessary
What does this have to do with Photography you say? The news is negative, and also very time consuming. They suck us in like little kids to candy. When you are in the middle of nowhere the news is the last thing you want to listen to. You are looking at the weather, and maybe where the wild fires are, so you can stay out of the smokey skies. Where is the nearest fuel, where can you pick up groceries reasonably. Life becomes a lot simpler!
Couple all the negativity of news you don't really need, along with droves of people everywhere, and this is a sure fire way to remove any inspiration you might have. So I searched out locations not heard of, except by the locals. I obtained a much more harmonious outcome, and I got some Images not many people know about!
Personally I'm about the print. So I shoot less and look for wall hanging subjects. Posting on social media is fine, but not really as rewarding as when a client can't wait to see your art hanging upon their wall everyday. BTW... this summer? Most everything I posted on so-so media was captured with my iPhone.
You Need The Internet
Yes I know I complained about the internet above. However the Internet is necessary. Everything is on the Internet now a days, and without it, you're lost. Guess what? In locations outside major cities? The Internet sucks! Why? Because it's about money and advertising that's why. So in small areas of population there is little reason to have high speed Internet. We're talking worse than dial up here, my friends.
So my mobile Starlink System is a life changer. However! Lots of trees around? I'm screwed, so this was also a lesson learned the hard way as well. At the end of the summer while I was in Southern Utah I was even able to use my Starlink set up to do classes with clients. Even overseas! Pretty cool!
Remember Your Settings
Yes even Professional Photographers go through this one! I can not tell you how many times my camera was set to shoot something, then I drove down the road a piece, get out my camera, and blast away on the wrong settings! Yup I admit it!
One time I even walked into the field a pretty good distance only to learn I had a dead battery! All the way back to my truck, and back out again I went. After that time I carried both my visible light camera and my Infrared camera more often. They both use the same battery. I can swap them if I like. Carry my entire bag?!? Surly you jest! No, I never do this any longer. I travel light.
Slow Way, Way Down!
This is a bonus point to make. I can not tell you how many people I run into that wish to do ten National Parks in five days! You will not actually see one of them! Remember above where I said I can always find something new to shoot in Valley of Fire? That's because I seldom say "been there, done that." I take my time, and I look everywhere! I also look in every direction. I go to locations in areas I've been to before, that I've not been to. That sounds complicated, but it's not.
I constantly look for a new route, a new road, or a place within the area I've never been to. These areas are HUGE! Look around! Look at things differently. You'll be surprised what you might find.
I Hope These Thoughts Assist You!
You might be wondering if this is an iPhone post? No it's not. In this case many times this summer I used my iPhone like I did Polaroid back in the day. It solved two issues. One was to see my composition "semi-edited" and the other was to give me things I could easily post without the internet.
Let's not forget to use ALL of our Photographic tools! Have a great week! Thanks for being here!
My Class on Infrared Photography
My Infrared PhotoSafari
A New Class On Exploring the Digital Darkroom