It is not the critic who counts, not the person who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the individual who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who, at the worst, if he/she fails, at least he/she fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Paraphrased from Theodore Roosevelt
Warning about Facebook: When a person posts a photo on Facebook, they are giving up all rights regarding Facebook’s use of your photos for their own advancement. In the fine print of the agreement with Facebook is that any photos uploaded to your Facebook page can be used by them for any reason without notifying you or giving you any attribution or reimbursement. They can do this as long as your photo is present on any Facebook page, even if you have ended your own account with them. Because of this, I know of many pros who have taken all their photos off of Facebook. Here is the specific text from the Facebook agreement that all users are required to accept : “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
The story behind the above photo: Last week I went to a (we hoped) sunset photo shoot with a group of photographers. We went to Scripps Pier on the beach in La Jolla Shores, California. The weather was lovely. The people were friendly and helpful. They provided me with useful photographic advice (At the very last light of day, the digital sensors will record great colors that the eye does not see if you use long exposures created by using an f/22 aperture and the lowest ISO setting that your camera allows.) They also explained some of the local history and geology. It was very interesting. However, as soon as I began to look for potential photographic images, I felt flat, disconnected as though I was an observer rather than a participant. The sunset started out blandly. Then, about 15 minutes after sunset, the clouds became pink and the gold sky over the end of the pier shown with a large fan of upward rays. It reminded me of a crown. Needless to say, this activated (and connected) me. I had energy and was (again) connected to nature around me and to its glory and unpredictability. There was a feeling of reverence.
The above photo of the pier is the result, a panorama comprised of 4 horizontal images (Photoshop Elements versions 9 and newer make panoramas easy). Although “every professional photographer” has images of piers, I previously did not. I had found piers lifeless (although I like a lot of other photographer’s images of piers). However, in this case, it was the combination of “just another pier” and a nice (but not spectacular) sunset that came to life and was invigorating. Once again, nature surprised me, both with its unexpected beauty and with the surge of energy that it gives me. This reinforces the advice of all of the great nature photographers: put yourself, frequently, in a good location and be ready to shoot. Then make yourself AWARE. (It is not always going to give good results, but it is the starting point upon which impressive nature photography is based. Many of the best nature images are the result of the photographer returning to the same place five of six times. I was just lucky to get this on my first visit. One again showing that “luck is often the result of preparation meeting opportunity”.)
My photo enhancement web site is NaturePhotoRehab.com. Here, I help to transform people’s average nature photos into impressive works of art that they give as gifts or hang on their own wall for inspiration.
J. Michael Harroun©2013 NaturePhotoRehab