Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Candy Store Effect ~ Telephoto Tuesday!

"Roped Against the Mast"

You must know the feeling. A delightful subject awaits and you have no idea what to photograph first. Nor do you know how much time you'll have to get everything you'd like in the lens. And there's so much subject matter that you immediately feel elated and stressed at the same time. Where to start? That tick in your right eye pulses slightly. What to do? You start to sweat. Wide angle lens? Telephoto? Go big? Go close? Include people or wait?

Or maybe it's just me.

It WAS me two days ago. We went down to the Hamilton Harbour to see the tall ship that docked for the weekend. It was beautiful. And I was struck with that "kid in a candy store" feeling. And I've been photographing for long enough to know to breath, assess the location and light, and decide what's a must-get shot and what's a "bonus if I can get around to it" shot. But I still felt giddy with such a lovely subject to feast on through the lens. Luckily my intuition finally kicked in. Whew.

This is when I love my telephoto lens. I got the big all-inclusive shots with the wide angle out of the way, trying to strategically compose around the masses of visitors on the pier, then I got serious. My telephoto got me past the people, into nooks and crannies, and up against details without even stepping foot on the ship. (Although we did climb aboard for a tour) And suddenly everything in the "candy store" was fully accessible.

Today's image stood out to me in editing as a definite post. The light is hard and bright but is perfect for the canvas folds in the sail. Slight sidelight as the sun was moving into the west gives highlights to the texture in the ropes. The wood gleams. It's nautical, and it's cliche and I still love every element used within the image.

This is preaching to myself as much as anyone, but you can't deny it. Know what your tools are instantly capable of, be aware of the light around you at all times, and be drawn in to the subject matter the way you hope your viewers will be drawn in. Oh yeah... and be aware of that candy store effect.

Thanks for the ramble... wide shots of The Pride of Baltimore herself coming up tomorrow! Have a good one till then folks!


  1. Yes - know your tools. Nothing wiser than that in photography. With some many lenses to choose from on a shoot {I carry my full kit}, I can get a little flustered, thinking, "ooh, but how nice it would look with this, lens....". But you have to learn to choose the best one for the task and get the job done, because wasting time can me wasting precious good light!

    Man, I haven't gotten out to do any casual, street shooting. Must do something about that.

  2. Yes, the light is so important and it changes in the blink of an eye... or at least that's how it feels, lol.
    Always super cool to hear from you Ardean, thanks for taking the time :) Have a great night!!!