Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

Expect the unexpected and be ready for the impossible.

with 2 comments

I am very confident in my knowledge of camera equipment. I know the specs and details on not just my gear but, other brands of gear as well. I pay a lot of attention to the changing world of the DSLR. I am also getting more confident in my abilities when taking photos but, there is always some new trick or technique to learn. Recently, I organized a workshop with John E. Marriott and it was a great weekend. I actually didn’t expect to learn that much (sorry John). I did expect to pick-up somethings on wildlife photography but, it was so much more than that. In addition to Hyper Focal Distance and how John uses his camera controls to get his amazing wildlife images, there was one lesson that I have used almost every time I have gone to shoot since. That lessons was not complicated, it wasn’t some mind-blowing feature I had never used before, it was just a lesson on what John does as he travels around the take pictures. So, what was the lesson, you ask? Well it is pretty simple, I just have to get ready for the unexpected. John asked how many times I missed a shot because I wasn’t ready? Ready, I shoot landscapes, I have lots of time to get ready. You see when I shoot landscapes, I just have to wait for the right conditions, the right light. I don’t have to be concerned with my subject leaving the area, I don’t need a fast lens or shutter speed. I can just take my time and get the image I want. However, what happens when I drive to a place to shoot and see a fox, a bear or any type of creature? Usually I see it and miss getting a photo (it is hard to get a fox to sit still while I shoot it at f16 for 1 second from 3 feet away with an 11 mm lenses, lol). So, John has taught me to be ready for those times. I now leave my house with my 120 – 400 mm lens mounted. My aperture set at the smallest number (a wide open aperture) and my ISO to around 1600. My camera is ready to get an image as quickly as possible. Does it change what I do for my landscapes? Not at all, I still get to my location and follow the same set-up procedure as before, nothing changes. I just get cool pictures on my way to take cool pictures.

Here is an example from this weekend. Megan, Jenna and I went for a drive on Sunday afternoon. We went South on Highway 3 and traveled for about one hour and 40 minutes. The whole time I had my camera next to me on the seat of my truck. My 120 – 400 mm lens was mounted, my ISO set to 1600 and my aperture was wide open. If anything were to wander close to my path I should be able to get it. We saw the usual, Bison that hang out on Highway 3 but, as we traveled on some of the wood cutting roads, we saw a bird walking in the middle of the road. I quickly stopped the truck and grabbed my camera. I couldn’t get the bird from where I sat so, I quietly opened my door and stepped out. I was able to take quite a few pictures before the Grouse quickly ran into the Forrest. I think I got some great shots and it didn’t add to my normal landscape process. I may never have gotten any images if I have to reach into my camera bag get my long lens, then change the lens with the one on the camera, adjust the settings and look up to find that in the two or three minutes since I stopped the Grouse has already wandered off. So, my point today is that no matter how advanced you may be, no matter what you think your abilities are, there is always some small thing you can learn to make you just a little better.

Thanks again John it was a great weekend and a real eye opener on being prepared and thanks to all you readers. As always Happy Shooting.


Written by leesacrey

September 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Even old dogs can learn new tricks, eh, Lee! Great post, glad you got something useful out of the workshop. Looking forward to seeing the first lynx or wolf you get, too!

    John E Marriott

    September 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

  2. I like the top photo the best Lee, it has great subject isolation!


    September 23, 2010 at 10:53 PM

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