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Greater Egret, San Luis Rey

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Walk in beauty

One of the things I counsel new photographers is to always have a camera around. Of course a phone will do in a pinch but if you are buying a more sophisticated or expensive camera and can keep it at arm's length you will be amazed at the shots that will come unlooked for over life's transom.

And it helps to have a beautiful model, like this paisley clad lass with the aubergine mane.

I live in a rural area, on a rough road and have a habit of carrying around a long lens at times or multiple cameras and gear. I got tired of having things roll around in the car and risking damaging expensive gear so what did I do?

I bought a catbed at CVS for eight bucks.
I place the camera in the bed and it stays snug and safe behind my seat when I am careening around the backcountry.

Get so intimate with your camera that you can make any necessary adjustment in total darkness. Know where every specific button sits blindfolded and which way to turn a dial for speed, iso and aperture.

I tend to shoot in two different digital modes these days. If I am out in the field shooting birds in flight with my 400mm 2.8 fl I usually shoot manual with auto iso. I set the aperture, usually quite wide open and the shutter speed to somewhere between 2500 and 3200 depending.

The auto iso gives me perfect exposure. If the subjects are stationary I pick the depth of field I want to achieve or separation from the background and adjust the ƒstop and speed accordingly.

For landscapes or in the studio I tend to use aperture priority with the lowest possible iso manually set depending on the light conditions.

Helps to be on a tripod. I rarely use shutter priority and never use P or program modes. Have not found a need with the things I shoot. Get off automatic as soon as you can. More fun without training wheels.

The most important thing about recording or capturing a photographic image is that it speaks to you in some way.

Composition and intent usually trump technique and hardware. Learn the rules and break the rules.

The Navajo have a saying, Walk in beauty.

Photography helps me define and embrace the beautiful in this life. Here is the Dineh chant or song.


Walking in Beauty

Today I will walk out, today everything unnecessary will leave me, I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body. I will have a light body, I will be forever happy, nothing will hinder me. 
I walk with Beauty below me.
I walk with Beauty above me.
I walk with Beauty all around me.
My words will be Beautiful.
In Beauty, all day long, may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen, may I walk. 
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With Beauty before me, may I walk.
With Beauty behind me, may I walk.
With Beauty below me, may I walk.
With Beauty above me, may I walk.
With Beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering a trail of Beauty,
lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering a trail of Beauty,
living again, may I walk. 
It is finished in Beauty.
It is finished in Beauty.
Aho.

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