Countless Opportunities To Get The Perfect Photograph

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When I started out in newsprint, I used a 35 mm camera. One time, I had a very angry, localย  politician (who ultimately went to the pokey for another unrelated incident) grab my camera and expose my film.

I was talking with Mike Sechrist about this yesterday and how younger journalists who have been utilizing digital cameras will never know what it’s like to have a 24 or 36 opportunities to “get the picture.” And they will most likely never have the experience ofย  having their film exposed. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy about it.

I actually liked using 35 mm. I have a Canon sitting in a box in my closet right now that was always at my side for years. It took me some time to move from the thought process of film to digital, in all honesty, but I go nowhere without my point-and-shoot right now.

One thing that makes me, to use a Twitter term, stabby with the reporters that work for me is when they only take a handful of pictures. They know to take as many pictures as they can. With digital cameras, a person can take hundreds of photographs and there is an opportunity to get that one shot that defies all logic and that expresses the message of what you are shooting beautifully. Let’s also remember this photo taken Thursday of the US Airways plane which went down in the Hudson River was seen around the world. The photograph was taken with a mobile phone by Janis Krum and posted on Twitter.

Taking a lot of pictures isn’t just advice for journalists. It’s for everyone.

How many photos are you taking? Are you documenting the world around you? If you own a business, are you taking candid shots of what you do and how you do it? I find that viewers like to feel a connection with what they are reading and seeing, so are you creating your own brand that documents your own uniqueness. A picture can say a thousand words as they old cliche goes and anyone can invest in a decent digital camera for very little money. And if you want some instant feedback on what you are doing, join 365 on Flickr.

With the advent of new technology, there are a great deal of opportunities available. Back in the day, campers, you had less than 50 shots. Now you have, depending on your memory card, countless images that you can take.

And no one can expose your “film” on your digital camera or on your mobile phone.

The moral of the story: take a lot of pictures.

You never know if you might have the “shot” seen around the world.

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8 Comments

  1. Amber said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    I feel bad – a few years Mr Wonderful bought me a camera that I barely used – I couldn’t afford to get the pictures developed! But I felt bad because it was a wonderful gift and I didn’t use it hardly at all. And my attempts at art were a failure. A few months ago I bought myself a digital camera and I love it!! I can take hundreds of pictures (but I still judge most of them as failures) and then upload them to my computer.

    But I still miss HOLDING a picture in my hand and putting in a frame or in an album. I know I can still do that with either camera but I’ve become so lazy what with the ease of the digitial camera and computer.

    Okay, now I’ve shamed myself.

    But remembering the days when we needed to be careful not to expose film, and also having to WAIT to get pictures developed and never knowing how they were going to turn out! That seems like the olden days, doesn’t it? Do photo kiosks in supermarket parking lots even exist anymore?

    Sorry, I got off track of the original intent of your post, but you got me thinkin’ thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. newscoma said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    Amber, I’m just like you about holding a picture. I have just recently started taking my photos to the local drug store and having the ones I like printed off. It usually just takes a few minutes and it’s not expensive in the least. And, this may sound weird, but I like taking the initiative to taking those photos that I feel pretty good about and investing, for lack of a better word, in putting them on paper. Sort of an inward validation of our own personal accomplishments.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. lovable liberal said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    I used to be very stingy with photos I would take, and sometimes that meant I missed a shot. But in defense of your reporters, photography takes all your brain (or mine, anyway), and it’s tough to listen while shooting, so the art can’t be all of the story if other people are involved.

  4. newscoma said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    Lovable, that’s fair. Our reporters have to report and shoot as well.
    Good point, however, it’s part of multi-tasking both aspects. It just takes a bit of practice.
    On the same topic, sports reporters who shoot and keep stats are my heroes. I don’t see how they get it all done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. lovable liberal said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    I’m glad my editor didn’t ask for photos when I was stringing high school football. I was having enough trouble learning that ballpoints are useless in any kind of rain. I was too lame to keep stats, either, although I was killer about getting the players’ names into my stories.

  6. newscoma said January 17, 2009 | Permalink

    That’s what makes the mommas and the grandmommas buy the paper though. ๐Ÿ™‚ They love little Billy’s name on the sports page but a picture is when they will by 10 of them and send them to everyone.
    Gel pens are worse, actually. I’m a Pilot V5 woman these days as they don’t smear, you don’t get ink all over your face when you push the hair out of your eyes and the ballpoints, Garg!

  7. lovable liberal said January 19, 2009 | Permalink

    I love Pilot Vs, too. Have one in my pocket at this very moment.

  8. christinajade said January 19, 2009 | Permalink

    since i’m not in the news biz, i should probably keep my mouth shut, but we all know that will NEVER happen! i have a 2g memory card in my phone that’s somewhere around halfway full of photos of EVERYTHING. i take photos of puddles, my doggies, random whatever, jewelry, you name it. on top of that, most of the time i have my little casio exilim in my purse, i just never know when the perfect photo op will arise and i need flash that the phone doesn’t provide.

    and i use those pilot pens, too… ๐Ÿ™‚

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