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Tuesday, 14 November 2023


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Set up the tripod, eh? Good move! :-)

Curiously, spotting potential photographs from a moving car never worked for me. Every time I pulled over and got out of the car, the envisioned composition fell apart. Not only because of obstructions which I didn't notice, but most importantly the perspective is never as perceived from the car! This is kind of odd and it doesn't happen to me when I'm walking. Maybe my vision is focussed further into the distance while driving, whereas I rather use peripheral vision while walking?

I always walk when I'm out taking pictures, and my preferred focal length is somewhere between 20mm-e and 40mm-e, matching peripheral vision.

Hey Mike, "never say you're going back" might not be a contradiction of Jay's saying, but the other saying he used quite a bit was "Carry the damn camera!" If I remember correctly, both "It's Not About the F-Stop" and "Light, Gesture and Color" both contain spreads where he admonishes his assistants to carry the damn thing and shows them what he shot when they thought there was nothing to shoot. Jay is very much one of my heroes.

Fantastic. I'm glad you could capture the scene,and I hope it is as good as you remembered. This example reminds me that I need to resurrect my Fuji X-E1, charge it,and keep it in my car. The light here changes minute by minute.

Now I’m creeped out, it clicked on your link to see what your favorite valve stem cap could be and Amazon suggested shipping them to my ex girlfriend. She does order from them regularly and probably has a prime membership which I don’t having only ever bought a couple of things from them as I do my best to support local businesses. And I never have bought anything using her address. So much for avoiding AI

The valve covers. Out of stock at Amazon (for me).

On sale! Here: https://workhorseautomotive.net/product/replacement-valve-stem-caps-50pck/

I never knew these existed. But todays mission is to find some that I can get sent to Australia. You salesman you Mike.

For years when I spotted a scene while driving and stopped, the photo never turned out as well as the one in my head. Then one day I bought myself grey coloured sunglasses instead of tinted ones. The more accurate colour rendering of the surroundings helped a lot.

One issue I find with seeing images from the car is that looking through the windshield, you have a telephoto (cropping) effect. So for that beautiful thing you just saw, you need a long lens- which you may not have with you.
I look forward to seeing your final image!

You didn't have your camera with you?! Mike! I always(!) carry a camera with me for just this reason. It may not always be my big Nikon or Pentax, but Olympus E-PLxs fit nicely in my bag, along with my phone, wallet and shopping bags etc. Ya gotta have a camera with you. Even if it's not the highest spec, at least you'll get that shot. You can't/won't go back.

Whenever I've bought a new camera, the previous model is relegated to "beater" status. Ironically, it is after I stop babying it that it becomes the tool it was meant to be and it usually produces good images at a higher rate that the "better" model that replaced it.

My alpha kit is now 2 Fujifilm X-T3 bodies, but my X-T2 now lives in my car. No excuses, always have a proper camera. Some of my best images in the last year are from that old (in digital terms) X-T2 just because it was available when that perfect picture appeared in front of me. I guess to paraphrase, f/8 (year old camera) and be there.

Also, one more vote for those not in possession of them... get those Jay Maisel books. I can't tell you how many times that I've mentally screamed at myself... "Shoot it now!", just one of the terrific and easily digestible lessons from Jay.

“ I didn't have the camera on board.”
Bull. You had your iPhone, didn’t you?


[I tend to see the way the camera sees. (YMMV.) So if I see a picture that I visualize as being "for" my B&W camera, I wouldn't take it with any other camera, except maybe as a way of notetaking. Mostly I don't bother as it's not worth the trouble. --Mike]

I am currently going through a similar process that the current crises in LA may help with.

Driving home, on the transition from the EB 105 to the NB 710, from the flyover you get a great view of downtown LA with the hollywood sign in the background.

Since this is on the overpass, it is obviously not safe to stop and take a picture. However, with the closure of the 10 freeway, traffic backs up on the overpass and I crawl along. On a clear day after a rain I should have enough time to snap a few images from the car.

I hope.

Mike wrote, "It'll be a while before I download that card ... "

What could possibly go wrong?
Lose the card.
Damage the card.
Write over the data on the card.
Format the card.
Forget about the images on the card.

The image was important enough to make a special trip to capture it but not important enough to spend a few minutes securing it?

You've often said that your Sigma was used similarly to a view camera. If that's the case, Jay's advice isn't quite as applicable. Shooting NOW! with a view camera falls somewhere between difficult and impossible on the spectrum of feasibility.

What you did is much more akin to how Ben Horne, one of my favorite contemporary photographers, operates for most of his work. If you watch his YouTube videos, you'll see that he'll have his camera set up for hours waiting for light, wind, etc. to work in his favor to fulfill a vision that he found while out scouting (usually without a camera).

I love Jay's work and advice but it's still just one approach. There are lots of ways to make good photos.

"Shoot it now!"
What a piece of wisdom!
Reminds me of Paolo Coelho, whom I have never read, and I have reasons.
Of course it is a good piece of advice, but if you cannot follow it, go ahead and try another time!

You can't mean to say that you don't download the pictures to your computer and have a look as soon as you come home?!? Especially in a situation when you have a high confidence that you GOT IT. Or is this a subconscious type of defense mechanism---as long as you don't look you can still believe you have the perfect shot, while as if you look and it turns out to be a dud, well then, that turns into a disappointment.
Or do you perhaps want the memory to fade somewhat so that you can judge the image on its own merits and not in immediate comparison to what you remembered the scene to be?

A whole article about a picture without showing it, seems weird for a blog putatively about photography.

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