Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review | Reassess | Respond | Rinse & Repeat

Lenticular cloud formation above Old Man Range, Central Otago, New Zealand

My (unofficial) mantra is as follows: nature photographers don't make great photos - nature does.

My job is to turn up on the day and not bugger up a fantastic photographic opportunity.

It is my responsibility to pack my gear, set the alarm clock (especially for sunsets if I get to sneak in an afternoon kip in the car) and at all times ensure that my intravenous caffeine kit is primed and ready.

That's about it - from there on in it's a mind game really; find the right spot, figure out a composition - test shoot it, realise it was crap : panic : find alternative spot : rinse and repeat until done.

The pressure really comes on when nature puts on a show - that's when you find out how good you are. A good nature photographer has to read the signs, pre-visualise shots and then be willing toss all of those pre-conceptions out the window when things change.

Review, reassess, respond - rinse and repeat.

No, it's not very zen like - but I find it thrilling.

Sunset Lenticular cloud formations above Clyde, Central Otago, New Zealand

The two shots on this post were taken on the same evening - I had been watching the cloud formations all day and figured there was a good chance of some sunset goodness.

Over a period of an hour I shot at least 10 top grade compositions. I had never shot at this location before and it was a mission - incredible light and clouds every where you looked but very few clean compositions.

By the end of the evening there were lens caps, filters, lens hoods and jackets spread all over the area - but somehow I came away with a bag full of shots - and a night to remember!

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