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Lessons Learned


Last summer while taking "Art with a Camera" class the professor repeatedly told us photography was all about light management. I've come to appreciate those words every day. Whenever I'm shooting pictures I keep that in the back of my mind. That's lesson one.

Lesson two is that I can make my pictures look best if I adjust the white balance. Matt taught me about this and I'm very grateful.

Lesson three is that aperture priority is the best setting for most picture taking.

Lesson four is that the camera does not make the photographer. Certainly it helps but the quality of the lens is paramount which is often overlooked by lots of people. The Leica lens on my Panasonic is awesome.

Lesson five has to do with my experience selling photographs for the last year. Most people are drawn to photos that mean something personal. By that I mean--they love pelicans (or used to be called that like a woman purchasing a pelican picture on Saturday), or butterflies, or dragonflies. You get my drift. Another common reason for buying a photograph to hang on a wall is nostalgia--my mom/dad used to ...Yet another seller is that it takes them to another place. I can't tell you the number of Canadians/British folks that love Florida beach pictures. Sunsets/sunrises are also popular.

Today I took inventory of sales for February and there were few surprises. Although I show photos that are dark or demanding the perennial favorites are the above mentioned. I was incredibly lucky to come across the graffiti in Deland that I posted on flickr. It is selling like nobodies business because not only is it cool to look at but there are a large number of people that loved The Smiths--thus falling into the nostalgia category.

Todays photo is another opportunity that fell into my lap. A local candy store owner needed some appealing pictures for her website. She has a very small operation but lots of big ideas. After looking at what she had on her site I suggested we re-photograph what she terms are her bestsellers with the hope of making them even better sellers. This is the first of what will be a series of eight. To be honest it is not that easy to make this candy look delicious but I tried.

Lesson six is to use natural light whenever possible. Dreary days give you thoughtful pictures. Sunny days give you cheery pictures. Night pictures create their own mood but are impossible for the most part without a tripod.

Lesson seven is to learn your camera's many features and exploit them. Conversely most cameras are not good at everything so don't expect it to do what it is not capable of.

Enough lessons for the day I'm sure. If you don't remember anything else remember light management!


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