Learning to silence the critic

In the last post, I showed you my best photo, the “hero” so to speak. Now, I’ll walk you back through the process and talk about how I got to that favorite photo. Learning what an artist is thinking while they work might help you in your own image making.

It was after 10pm when my group finally arrived at Lockhouse 49 for the night and I was really ready to get off my mountain bike. Riding 50 miles on the C&O canal can wear you out, especially on a cold and windy winters day. When I first saw the house where we were spending the night I was really ticked off. I knew I couldn’t just get inside and warm up with the guys. Why? If I didn’t make the photo right then, I would never do it and then “the critic” would haunt me for days. The critic doesn’t take kindly to being lazy; if you see it then you shoot it, no questions. Easier to just get the damn camera out and make the picture.

Being on the bike I didn’t pack a tripod but I needed a solid platform to set the camera for making a time exposure photo. I did find a nice flat stonewall that I could rest the camera on so that was lucky.  I didn’t see this as the next shot for my portfolio but it should look pretty cool. If you exposed to make the porch look good, (f 4.5 at 3.2 seconds) everything else in the frame would be totally black with no detail anywhere, (see photo below). You see in the top photo that letting more light into the picture (f4.5 @ 20 seconds) the porch is totally white but we get color in the sky and the house separates from the woods.

I got lucky in the photo above. Notice how the left side of the house is lit up? I can than Alan for that, he was putting his bike away and the light from the big-time helmet light provided the perfect “fill” light for that side of the house to help separate it from woods behind. Picture made, I hustle inside to warm up.




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