This summer we went on a family trip to PEI. Besides being a family trip meant to spend quality time together, I also took the opportunity to turn it into a photography adventure. In the months leading up to the trip, I focused on learning and understanding all the concepts of photography, composition and my camera features. It felt as if I lived on YouTube, read countless magazine articles and online tutorials, and believe it our not I even read my camera manual, front to back. My goal was to be able to capture PEI through the eye of my camera lens; and being an amateur photographer, I knew I had a lot to learn.
Two things I learned; the first was never to shoot in Program Mode and the second, take your time to compose your shot and think about what settings you need to reproduce the image you see in your mind...don't ever just point, shoot and leave.
My photo Blue Sunset at the Red Sands, is a perfect example of taking your time when composing a photograph. I could tell by the sky that there was going to be a beautiful sunset and one of the keys to a great vista is to include some interesting foreground elements. For this photo I walked up and down the beach looking for the perfect foreground. Once I set up my tripod I was able to take some test shots to make sure I was happy with my composition. The next step was to sort out what my camera settings should be to create the photo. I had to decide what aperture do I need to make sure the image was sharp from front to back and what shutter speed to use if I wanted to blur the water. It was a little stressful to try and figure all this out when a beautiful sunset is unfolding in front of you.
Another one of my photographs New London Lighthouse, is a different example of taking your time but in this case it involves walking the scene. I saw this lighthouse when we were walking on the beach and I loved the look of it. I took many photo's of this lighthouse from different perspective's and it is amazing how different the lighthouse looks when you move around it...get close, step back, get low to the ground. Don't just settle for your first shot, keep shooting till you get that one perfect shot.
Looking back at the trip, I captured some amazing photography. I was happy with my ability to be able to soak up everything I learned and then apply it. I didn't think I was going to capture such great images. This was confirmed when my black & white version of New London Lighthouse was listed as one of the top 10 black & white photos in Photography Week Magazine (a weekly magazine from Great Britain). I was very honoured that I had my photo published in a magazine, but today I received even more exciting news. From more than 4000 contest photo's, two of my photo's, Blue Sunset at Red Sands and New London Lighthouse, were selected to be published in Tourism PEI's 2014 marketing material!
All this is a testament to taking your time, applying everything that you learned, and make beautiful art. And always remember, quality over quantity.