« A Photograph Is Not Reality | Main | Pre-visualization vs. Post-visualization »

February 03, 2010


All good advice Gordon.
I would add; learn to use the stored settings function. I have one slot set for mostly automatic operation (including ISO) for when the shot needs to be taken now and I'm not ready. When my 14-150 f2.0 zoom becomes available I'll always be ready in that department as well :)

Gee, Gordon, us Luddites have got it licked: I just set the dials on my Leica IIIc, pre-focus the lens, and wander around!

With best regards,


I love that quote "Luck Favors The Prepared". I remember taping my 50mm lens on a Nikkormat FT so that it was at f16 and prefocused at 20' (3' to infinity). I do miss focusing scales on most new lenses!

Makes me miss my always-in-pocket Fuji F10 even more...

See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/reneeanddolan/50410443/in/set-942844/

I am constantly struggling between my desire to carry my lenses (I own 4) and my desire to have my camera assembled and ready to go. to carry all 4 lenses I have to have the camera-body without a lens in my camera bag.

I think I would benefit more from paring down what I carry routinely and keep the camera assembled for this very reason. I think I'll give it a try. (But what to drop? The macro? The wide-angle? The telephoto? The 50/1.8 will be the "always-on" lens, and I can probably carry one more... we'll see).

Oh and as always love the photo, Gordon.


You may be suffering from a common malady among advanced photographers: the confusion between being ready as a professional vs. ready as an amateur. A pro working on assignment should always adopt the philosophy that it's better to "have and not need than to need and not have."

The amateur, however, is free to decide "I'm going to shoot wide today" and leave it at that. Although this means you won't be prepared for any shots that require a telephoto, it's really no different than a hunter who decides to hunt for geese or quail instead of deer. As long as you're ready and you come back with what you were hunting for the hunt is successful.

Well...this is how I do it.

Tri-X, Pen D, focus aperture and shutter speed set (or very close), camera on strap around neck, not on shoulder. Not in a big hurry to see results.

Of course the Olympus Pen D is half frame. The lens has an angle of view equivalent to about 45mm on a full frame.
I spool 50 exposure loads off of bulk.
If I go too crazy to see what I have I can just take out exposed film in darkroom, load in ancient Yankee tank, slop in some dilute HC-110 for 9~10 min., stop-fix-rinse and hang it up.

Yeah, I know, why not digital? (mouth twists, nose wrinkles, makes gagging sound).
I have actually tried it on my E-410 with a legacy OM 24mm f2.8 but the dumb adapter lets the lens focus beyond infinity so I can't scale focus and actually I really do love to see a physical strip of film hanging up to dry.

Great photo Gordon. There's so much I like about it. Mostly I like that it's a simple and strong composition. I once nailed a shot similar to yours (http://tinyurl.com/yamm8km) but couldn't have done it without auto focus and my spectacular EFS 17-55mm IS f/2.8. For me, point #7 in your list is the most difficult to master.

Great shot! I'll bet this one gets into the "Best of 2010"!

The other side of the coin is when you're not prepared but just happen to catch a serendipitous combination of circumstances that give you a great pic. The trick here is to have the chutzpah not to own up to your sheer luck but to pretend that you were fully prepared! I wonder how many street pics we think of as classics were the result of plain old good fortune dressed up as talent?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Thank you!

Tip Jar