Just Take the Picture
About 30 minutes after our return from the bike ride, we were scheduled to participate in a nature photography workshop back on campus with Lee Hoar, president of the Grand Canyon Photography Club. We couldn’t have had a more skilled and encouraging mentor. Lee was patient and cheerful and made all of us believe that digital photography was simple. “Just take the picture,” he urged.
We began inside with a quick but comprehensive tutorial on photo composition. Divide the image into thirds and try not to place your subject smack in the middle of the frame. Find diagonal lines that lead your eye to the main attraction. Very basic, but an eye-opener for novices like us.
Spotty rain showers curtailed a bit of our walk-about at first, but once they abated we began experimenting. Lee made a huge impact on me. In the past I always wanted every detail perfect and in place before I clicked. “Just take the picture,” Lee said. Sometimes I struggled to find the diagonal line. “Then move around and get a new perspective,” he suggested. BL (before Lee) I always stowed my camera after two or three shots. Now I know better. “Take your camera everywhere,” he said. And from that moment on I have. There are interesting images everywhere, and we took plenty on that rainy afternoon and a few the next morning before our departure. We’re getting better, but here’s a look at some of the practice we got at Mansfield. I think Lee might give us a thumbs up.
Lee would approve of the spacing between the lamp posts as well as the composition here–at least I think he would. The lamps and trees are slightly to the left of center; the roof of Manser occupies the bottom third of the shot.
Again, I think we’re getting it. The horizontal lines are in the top and bottom third of the picture while the bright, primary-colored panels are off center. I also like the reflection of Butler Hall in the glass.
And that’s culture vulture Wendy. Her camera battery died so she was lucky enough to borrow a camera from Bruce Dart, MU photographer who joined us on our photo trek. You can see Wendy is dealing with a slight case of camera anxiety. But she followed the experts’ advice. She just took the picture.