Living off of the low hanging fruit? It’s not any sweeter.

landscape, prairie, winter, dan jurak, alberta, snow, cold, fencepost, farm, rural, fence post,

The days have become shorter up here. Today a cloudy grey sky and a predicted high of -7 Celsius is forecast. It’s gloomy outside and some people find weather like this depressing. Call me weird but I find peace and tranquility when the skies are heavy. The landscape is easier on the eye. Shadows are soft or non-existent today.

Lately I have been going back over some very old photos from when I picked up landscapes again. Today is from 2007 and was taken with a now ancient Canon Rebel XTi.

I have attached a screen of the IPTC data just to show that although it is nice to have a high end camera and lens it really isn’t necessary. A Facebook group that I belong to has almost every day a post asking about what is the best camera, lens, tripod, etc. to buy and almost always someone pipes in that the latest and most expensive is the best. They are great tool to have but to get one early on in your journey as a photographer is a waste of money and equipment.

A couple of months after the new Nikon D850 was released for sale I can honestly say that I am happy that common sense kept me from ordering one. I really didn’t need it nor do I now need one.

We are all at different places as people and as artists/photographers. Somewhere along my journey I felt the need to be the biggest and the best at what I did. I never made any noises about it but inside my inner voice always said more, more, more. More exposure, more sales, more internet fame. Like a dog that soon tires of chasing his tail one day I realized that none of that which I had deemed important was. I didn’t need to be the most popular nor the best nor the most known and friended. Quite the opposite I relish being unknown and quietly allowed to do my own thing.

I always write with the most basic idea and my writings are more a stream of consciousness kind of thing than anything. Apparently some people have a plan and an outline for their writing. Too much work for me. Too lazy I guess?

The idea of low hanging fruit came from a Facebook post that I saw yesterday in one of my groups. The photographer/businessman has posted a photo in the mountains of course which interested me so I checked out his page. Living in Canmore which for those of you not familiar with Alberta is mere minutes outside of Banff National Park the fellow leads photo tours of the national parks teaching people how to take pictures. Clicking on his photos only served to reinforce what I have come to think of most photo guides, they talk a great picture but they can’t take one. This fellows photos were only interesting because they were in the mountains. There was nothing that set them apart from the millions of images taken in Banff every year but people see a pretty mountain lake and are quick to open their wallets and throw their money away.

I think that instead of relying on a spectacular landscape to carry your images you are better served learning in a less grand  setting. This way you will be forced to learn about light and weather, composition and processing. A really good mountain image will always trump a really good “normal place” landscape but that is okay. The idea is that you get so good at your craft that you don’t need to pick the low hanging fruit to be successful. I love Jasper and Banff as much as the next person but sometimes all that I need to do is drive for twenty minutes to get my photo fix. The challenge of the higher fruit has always been more appealing to me anyway.

Happy shooting,

Dan.

 

 

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~ by Dan Jurak on November 10, 2017.

3 Responses to “Living off of the low hanging fruit? It’s not any sweeter.”

  1. Some good insights Dan! There’s way too much pressure to buy the latest — as if a $3000 gear purchase somehow improves a person’a artistry. That fence post shot you did with that old camera is proof that it’s the photographer and not the camera. (The downside being that resolution level for the fencepost file is tiny.) The point remains that someone’s who’s still learning is better off using a body that is several generations back and upgrading when enhanced features make the upgrade necessary.

  2. Reblogged this on Travel, Photograph, Experience and commented:
    Some good insights on photo gear from Dan Jurak. There’s way too much pressure to buy the latest — as if a $3000 gear purchase somehow improves a person’a artistry. That fence post shot he did with that old camera is proof that it’s the photographer and not the camera. (On the other hand, look at the EXIF data on the file, the resolution level for the fence post file is tiny.) Regardless, someone’s who’s learning is better off using a camera body that’s several generations back and upgrading when enhanced features make the upgrade a step forward.

  3. Hi Tim, I am so glad that I saved myself $4,000 by NOT buying the Nikon D850. My older Nikons will do the job and will continue to for a long time.
    As for the resolution thing, you are right but how many people ever print their photos let alone to large sizes?
    Dan

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