Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm A Terrible Photographer

     That statement may come as a shock to you…. But it’s true.  You also might think that 16 years of photographing working cowboys would enhance, or at least mildly improve, my working knowledge and ability with the lens.  But it just ain’t so.
     All of the self-analyzation that I demand from artists in regards to their painting becomes relevant to me when I evaluate my skill behind the camera.  I haven’t lied to myself or tried to delude the little voice in my head that says I pretty much do a face plant when it comes to gathering good photos.
     As a matter of fact, I try and proclaim it as a weakness right up front.  You know --- reduce expectations and such, that sort of thing!  I liken it to this scenario: If you can’t dance, it’s better to announce it early and move on, than play it smug and end up as humiliation fodder at the end of the night.
     So we’ve established the weakness---now what?  Three words; three simple words will make you an artistic force to be reckoned with.  Three words will allow you to completely fool everyone…they will think you are a photographic genius!  The three words?  Shoot A Lot!  This is the secret weapon of yours truly, the inept photographer, Mark Kohler.
     There are those who know bracketing, F-Stops, apertures, and this and that.  But what saves me time and again is my personal motto:  Shoot A Lot!
     When I’m at a branding or gathering, I have several hard and fast rules that help to continually save face.  They just might work for you:
     #1:   Ask the cow boss, or whoever is in charge, where you can or can’t be.  This is nothing but courtesy and respect, and it just might get you invited back.
      #2:   Find a corner and try to disappear.  The photographer/artist who isn’t in the way…you guessed it….just might get invited back.
     #3:  Shoot a lot!  I sometimes shoot several thousand pictures at one event or branding.  This means I stumble, quite by accident, into some very nice photographs.  Back in the film days, it cost me a pretty penny, but with the digital camera, I throw the dogs out and keep the happy accidents.
     So there you have it; full disclosure.  I am a terrible photographer, but what I lack in talent, I make up for in persistence and volume.

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.

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