USING A TRIPOD        A tripod can and will improve your photographs in many ways.  Technically it holds your camera rock-solid still.  Now you have the choice to use any shutter speed thereby being able to increase your depth of field by shooting a smaller aperture.  You may also use fine-grained, slower films such as Fuji Velia.  The time of day does not matter either, for on a tripod, you can make time exposure of city lights or stars at night.  Tripods will also help you artistically.  Just the effort to set up your tripod and putting your camera on it commits you to composing your photograph better.  You’re more likely to look at all four corners of the image.

 TAKING NOTES        Taking notes helps you to remember what you did for a photograph, including the light and weather conditions and where you were.  I carry a caption book with me everywhere I shoot.  By writing down the roll number, the date, the camera used, the film used and the location, I have a record to look back at 10 years later.  This is very important on a long trip, as many locations blend together.  I also note the weather, lens, exposure and special things I do which helps me learn what to do the next time in the same situation.

 KNOWING YOUR CAMERA        Always be ready.  That's my number one rule when walking in the field, paddling a canoe or sitting in a blind.  When your wildlife subject comes by, you sometimes only have a second to compose and shoot.  Buy your gear a few pieces at a time and become an expert with each lens or accessory before you buy something else. Know all the buttons and what they do.  Practice on automatic and manual settings, panning and focusing.  You can use joggers on a track or cars going by for practice. Practice with the camera you use most until it's are part of you.

GETTING OUT IN THE WILD        You can't take great nature pictures from your couch or in front of the television.  Find a sunset spot near your home you can race out to when the clouds are great.  Explore parks and trails around home after work.  And on weekends and holidays, go, go, go to the wild.  Being there comes before being ready, do both and your nature photography will improve in quantity and quality.

225.769.4766    fax: 225.767.3726      e-mail:      P.O. Box 14876, Baton Rouge, LA  70898
Copyright © 2000 C.C. Lockwood          All images are protected with electronic watermark