Project Managers love to do those lessons learned sessions when every project is completed. What did we learn during the project that we can apply to the next project? Well, here is the third (and final) installment of things I learned from this trip. Profit from my experience.
9. The Long End of a Zoom lens is sometimes necessary and wonderful thing. This is the first time I have ever owned a lens that has a “long reach.” (That would be 280 mm as a 35 mm equivalent.) I have always favored the shorter focal lengths for landscape work. This trip, we had restricted access to our subject matter and I had to use the longer focal lengths. I really liked it. I am surprised by this, but that’s just the way it turned out.
10. There is a decisive moment in landscape photography too. The decisive moment has to come from a commitment to the photograph. When photographing such subjects as fog, you have to make a decision to act and do it immediately. Fog disappears and moves quickly, if you don’t commit, you miss that decisive moment. Another form of decisive moment that requires commitment is our session with the crashing waves. If you are committed to photographing a random occurrence, you must be committed to spending the time waiting for that random decisive moment. If you have to “pack a lunch and stay all day” that is your commitment to capturing that decisive moment. Embrace it.
11. Muscle memory and routine make creativity easier. If you establish a routine when you do anything, you don’t have to think, you only have to react unconsciously. This leaves more mental power to be focused on the creative act. I have a cord on my glasses so I don’t lose them when I focus using the Electronic View Finder. When I was on the Greenhead Slough Bridge one morning I took off my glasses and almost dropped them off the bridge and into the Slough. That would have made the rest of the vacation very awkward. I was trying to rely on muscle memory, but I did not make the necessary preparation. Practice and routine are important.
12. Having to break a routine is tough, but it’s necessary to make improvements. I have a LowePro AW100 sling bag for my camera and accessories. It has two straps across the front. I have always kept the right shoulder to left hip buckle buckled and the other strap unbuckled. It was a pain to put on because I had to slide my head through the strap. In traveling this week I had to unbuckle both straps to conserve space on the plane. When I reconnected the straps, I did them in the opposite order. It was much easier to get in and out of the bag when I reversed the connecting order of the straps. This was much easier and a great revelation to me. Of course, if I read the instructions, it probably would have told me this right away, but I don’t want to think about that right now.
Somewhere along the way, I have to shamelessly self promote this blog. The picture above is the two hundredth image posted on this photoblog. I'm also over one hundred blog posts. That's a pretty good track record so far.