Saturday, January 12, 2013

The beauty in Simplicity

While working at the Florida Times-Union, a former picture editor, Charles Kogod, offered me a bit of advice during one slow news day. “Jim, just go out and shoot some pretty pictures!” Kogod knew what he was doing in nurturing and developing photographers as he ended up working for National Geographic as the Director of Illustrations in the publications division for many years.  To this day, he still works for them on a contract basis, as well as photographs, teaches and edits.

30 years later, I still take Charles’ advice to heart when I head outside to find and shoot pretty pictures in rain, shine, snow and cold weather. With the weather begin in the low 20's for the past few days and with still more cold temperatures to come, the weather has created some really nifty looking frost covered subjects.

So for the past fews days while walking Toshiro, I've been carrying an EOS MKII Ds equipped with an Extension Tube EF 25 attached to a 28-70mm lens. This is one of my favorite walk about combos to take with me.
There's a park about a mile from my house that I like to walk him to that offers a variety of foliage to photograph. So, while constantly having to stop and wait for Toshiro to scratch, sniff and mark his territory as only a male dog would do, I look for pictures to take of foliage covered in a layer of frost.

This caused me to remembered a question a former photo instructor asked in class one day. "How many of you while out taking a walk, look at the ground?" He then said, "Next time look around at all your surroundings including the ground and see all the photos you're missing."

This is an expertise I use while taking the time to find a subject, watch direction the light, where it falls and how it illuminates my subjects. You'd be surprised at all the simple pretty pictures you can find to take.