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Shooting for FUN - Graham Colton with the Nikon D4

I have been shooting for a very long time and from time to time you find yourself in a shooting funk. This may not mean that you are not getting great images it just means you are either tired of shooting what you have been shooting or your just not feeling it.

As of late there has been a lot of pressure when shooting, its pressure that I put on myself. Some of the other pressure has come from all of the outside noise in regards to all of the analyzing of the new Nikon cameras including the Nikon D4. When I went out shooting with the D4 I felt that I was shooting each picture than trying to analyze it and compare it to the Nikon D3s. This was messing with my mind and I had to turn off all the noise and just shoot.

The other day my long time friend Graham Colton came to town, played a live show in the loft and asked me if I would be shooting his show that night. At first I thought I would just go hang out and not take my camera. Than I flip flopped a few times until I decided that I should take my camera and take a few pictures.


This was the first time in a long while that I was going to shoot on my terms. What I mean by that is I was not trying to do something for the site. I wasn’t thinking how will I use the third person shooter camera. Where should the second video angle go so I can bring this video to the site. I was just there to take pictures only if I felt it and wanted to.

I decided when Graham went on that I would take the camera out, relax and just capture a few solid images. What helped this shoot as well was the fact that I was not shooting at the same venue that I have shot the last 5 shows at. It was something different, a different stage, different set up and all around different lighting.


I snapped off the first show of Christopher than made one subtle exposure correction than locked that setting in. I took another picture and it felt great, the c


amera sounded amazing, felt amazing and handled so well in my hands. I was happy and excited to just be there shooting for myself, for fun. I walked my way back stage where I found a position on the side of the stage and snapped off a few more. Than something happened, I smiled to myself, I felt it again, I felt like I was in the zone and capturing amazing images. I only took 31 shots that night but I came out with some really amazing images. Images that captured emotion that not only could stand on their own but in a series tell an amazing story.

Seeing the fun Graham was having on stage, from the smile on his face to his interaction with the crowed really made me feel great. Shot after shot was solid and these are not motor driving shots, these are well thought out captured moments with feeling.


See what happens from time to time is you need to step back and just shoot without thinking to much. You need to let yourself feel, clear your mind and just think back to what makes photography fun. When you put yourself into this mindset you are setting yourself up for success and in general to just have fun.

I want to leave you with these final words tonight. When you feel like you want to step away from your camera because your not feeling it take a step back. Think about what you love about photography, what makes it fun, what makes you smile, what takes you into that place where your in the zone. Once you get back to that place you will see what happens. Don’t stop fighting for images, don’t loose the passion don’t loose the drive to seek out that next great moment and be ready to capture it when it presents itself. Always SHOOT RAW!!!

Click Here to see the FULL RES exports from the Nikon D4 Edited in Adobe Lightroom 4