Tim Boyer Photography

Small Groups, Cool Birds, Fun Locations

5 Tips to Improve your Photography

Photography TipsTim Boyer

These first two have been around forever, but they are as useful now as they were in the old film days.  Carry your camera with you at all times; you can’t get the shot if you don’t have your camera with you is obvious. And then there’s the, Stop to get the picture when you see it, it won’t be there later, the light will be different, the subject will have moved, etc.

The rest of these tips are based on an old Nike advertising campaign in the 1980’s – “You Won’t Know If You Don’t Go!” And it’s still true today.

An early morning image of Mount Rainier above the Kent Valley.
An early morning image of Mount Rainier above the Kent Valley.

Here’s the main new tip to live by: Get up early and stay out late: Get up before sunrise and stay out after the sun has set. (If you have to, need to, or just plain want to, nap in the middle of the day.)  The best, most dramatic, most colorful light is before the sun crests the horizon and half an hour after it’s set. Look to the west before the sunrise that’s where the color will be. When in doubt stay out later and get up earlier.

A late winter suset at Seaside Oregon, taken after the sun has gone down.
A late winter suset at Seaside Oregon, taken after the sun has gone down.

Never come home from a trip less than exhausted. You can always rest later; you can only get the shot if you’re there and you see it. (See napping above.)

Have a Go Box by your front door or in the back of your car, food, water and an extra jacket. So you can stay out late, and get the incredible shots.

The Go Box, water, snacks, stove, and cup. Just add coffee!
The Go Box, water, snacks, stove, and cup. Just add coffee!

Put your equipment away in your camera bag in the same place every time. You won’t have to hunt for that one lens or filter, and you won’t forget it at home. Or if you’re tired because you got up before sunrise and haven’t had any coffee, you can find your gear by instinct rather than rely on thinking at 4:30 AM.

What's in the bag. Everything has it's place and it goes right back from where it was pulled out of.
What's in the bag. Everything has it's place and it goes right back from where it was pulled out of.

Always, I mean always carry your camera manual with you.

I hope these tips help some of you experience the incredible light that begins and ends each day.  These tips aren't new, they work, and many of these were practiced by photographers like Galen Rowell.  This is just a reminder that what worked once to separate experienced photographers from others was their willingness to go for the earliest and latest light.

See you at 4:00 AM someplace!

Enjoy!     Thanks     Tim