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A guide to "Capturing Motion" in low light situations

Please allow me to rant for a few

Please allow me to rant for a few minutes about some things I am feeling right that I have noticed recently with photography.

There seems to be more of a desire to have everything turned around instantly. To deliver photos two minutes after they are taken because you have to share each moment before its even over.

Companies are all over instagram, companies are all over facebook, they want to get pictures out there from events and they really don’t care about quality. But maybe its not that they dont care about quality maybe its that they are not used to seeing quality work anymore. More on that in a minute as I wanted to talk about the instagram/facebook thing again.

What do companies care about in regards to social media, they care about “Likes” “pins” “shares” “comments” because this is all they have to gauge success from. Just because a photo gets 12k likes does not mean its a quality photo. It means that people decided to “like” something for whatever reason they decided to do so. I am sure you have noticed this yourself over the past year or so. Of course there are always acceptions to the rules but this is what I am feeling right now.

I hear the terms “Epic” shot and “Great” shot tossed around on way to many snap shots. Lets get back into the quality discussion. We all know that everyone is a photographer today whether they have a cell phone, point and shoot, DSLR or any other image capture device. But I think the bar keeps getting lowered and lowered for quality work. Now please do not get me wrong, I am not saying I am the determining factor on what makes a quality image or what someone should think is a good image or not. We all have our own standards for what we are personally happy with and what he consider to be a great photo vs a simple instagram snap shot.

I personally have very high standards for what I choose to shoot and deliver. I will be honest, sometimes there are those shots that I decide not to take because they are what I would consider to “snap shooty”, to much like everyone else’s shots. A simple example would be taking photos from the back of the crowed during a concert. They are ok shots, they represent the show but they most likely wont end up being used for very much. A lot of photographers do start off taking pictures from the crowed or the back of the room and that is a great way to start to train yourself. I am in no way telling you not to keep on doing that.

There just comes a time when you have to decide for yourself whether you should just take a photo just to take it. So many things run through my mind when I am in shooting mode, so many. One of the things is, is this a worth while image or just a snap shot. I like to consider myself a very selective shooter. I like to press the shutter button with a purpose in mind and not to just spray and pray. I think its important to be concuss of what you are shooting because at times when you stop thinking you start missing what you are going for.

I know this is very ranty and all over the place as I am just writing things as they pop into my mind. I want to go off a little bit on this being a selective shooter thing. I sometimes “photographer watch” which is like people watching but its of someone taking pictures. I do this in the photo pit at shows sometimes.

I am sure your thinking why aren’t you shooting pictures, why are you watching others. The simple answer is the times im not shooting are because there is nothing to shoot. Sometimes im waiting for the lights to go on on the stage or the light level has dropped to low to get a usable image or I have already captured that killer shot and I dont want to shoot just to shoot.

This is what I see when im watching, I see that there is no light on the bands on stage yet people are snapping away, taking 2, 3 photos at a time and I can see their LCD and that its pretty much black because there wasnt enough light. The thing to take from this part of the rant is just because your in the pit and you only have a limited amount of time doesnt mean you should shoot just to shoot. You have to be confident in what your capturing, know that if there is no light on the band that it probably wont turn out to be a usable capture. You may end up only getting a minute or two of real good shooting time where you capture 2 or 3 usable shots. There is nothing wrong with coming out of a concert with one very solid image. With the short amount of time you have focus on capturing a handful of winners.

Believe me I understand that most people are shooting digital and it doesnt cost you anything to shoot a million pictures because you can delete a million just as fast. The point is to think about quality over quantity and to think about what you are capturing. In all honesty many of you will look back on the images you took when you just started out and not be to happy with them. That’s a good thing, that means your growing as a photographer
and your will continue to get better and better. This is a life long passion and everything is a learning experience that is preparing you for that next image.

I know this was all over the place but it really is what is on my mind at the moment. I am not saying that any of you are doing anything wrong out there, I am simply writing this to give you something to think about when you are shooting, something to consider before you press the shutter button. There are also different levels to images your going to take, I know not every image you take is meant to be a masterpiece. If you pull out your cell phone at a show its just to take a picture and share it with your friends, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I guess its time to attempt to end this rant though I tried a few times up above unsuccessfully. I hope you can find something in here that strikes a chord and helps your photography. I am not looking to rip anyone apart, I am not the end all and be all of photography, no where even close. I have a lot of short comings as a photographer and I have a lot to continue to learn. My goal with this was to get you to think a little bit.