Wow! You took that?!

Is it really my photography?

There are days that when I post a photo, I get many compliments about how good it looked and others tell me that I do well. On those days, I don’t see my photography as something that I did. It feels as if I’m holding on to someone else’s work and getting all the credit for it.

Thank you for the compliment!

It was hard for me to receive compliments and be happy with that. I’m not saying that I was looking for more than a compliment. Quietly I would look at them and not saying anything in reply when someone gave me a compliment or expressed their thankfulness. Now, I’ve learned to say at the very least, “Thank you.”

I hate this photo but I’ll post it.

Just finished working on a photograph. Shot it bracketed as three individual shots, took it through AuroraHDR Pro, adjusted the settings, took it through Luminar, tweaked it alittle more. It looks fine, some would say it looks great, but I’m saying it looks better than the terrible hazy day it was shot on and the dull grass is now a slight bit green, but I haven’t taken it to an extreme. It’s a well-done photograph, but I don’t like it for whatever reason. That is where I used to stop and either discard it to start over again or save it to the external drive and move on to another photograph. I disliked it so much that I hated it and didn’t feel like it should be posted. Then I learned that the ones I dislike so much, everyone else would like alot. I post them now.

Some days I’m excited to take pictures, other days I could care less.

There are days that I’m truly mesmerized by the thought of taking a trip to collect photographs on a subject and my “eyes” work well. Then there are those other days, where I could care less about photography and my “eyes” don’t see anything. My “eyes” are the ability to see something that could be photographed and has the makings of a good composition. Alot of times, this ability is based on how much free time I have, what’s the weather like outdoors, how’s my mood, do I really want to drive, is it planned with someone else and am I excited or passionate about the subject.

You came all the way out here for a sunset?!

One day I wanted to get out and I remembered someone locally telling me about an area to photograph. So I went out for a few hours and after all that time, I found a great place to photograph the sunset. But in the event of photographing that sunset, I had several “redneck” trucks pass me, and one of them was a young lady who opened her window and yelled at me. She asked me what I was doing on the other side of the public road from her house. I was standing there with a camera in hand and the sun was going down and it was really beautiful. But she had to ask. I thought it would be really obvious. Kindly, I responded to her questions, even showed her my Instagram feed and she showed me hers, and I quickly went back to getting the sunset because it was already disappearing. It finally disappeared and I walked back to my car. I didn’t feel comfortable anymore after being talked to like that. It felt like I had been accused of something, more like harrased about standing in the ditch next to a public road. As I was getting ready to leave a cop pulled in to the street where I was parked (without his top lights on) and asked me what I was doing out there. I handed my over my driver’s license and let him check me out. He later told me that she was a cop (she didn’t say that) and that they had had break-ins around the area. Then he asked me what I was doing all the way out there taking pictures of the sunset. Internally, I questioned if he ever went to the beach or the mountains to enjoy the view. I kindly told him that I was told by another photographer that there were old barns and urban exploration attractions out this way and that I was an amateur photographer who liked to capture sunsets. He was very nice to me but that experience, especially the way the community handled it, left me feeling embarrassed to be an American. That young lady officer did like my photo on Google Plus and Instagram but later hid, so I could not see those likes nor find her again on there. I guess she felt embarrassed, at least that’s how I interpreted it.

What is a photographer to do when they go on a trip? Because of that experience, I asked my friends who are cops. One friend told me just to do what I did and have a friendly chat with the cops so that they would get to know me. The other older cop told me that it would be a nice gesture to call into the police station for that area I would visit and let them know that I’ll be in the area taking pictures and what I was dressed in. That way when they get calls, they’ll know who it is and they won’t need to send one of their patrols out. I liked this advice more and I plan to do that if I’m visiting a smaller town.

Saving them for later

When I go out on a photo tour by myself or with my mentor, I take alot of photos but I may not post them all or I may only see one that I really want to work on to post. Hence, I save the rest for later and in a month or three, I post them.

Can we put that photo on our phone directory’s cover?

Last year, I drove to the Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Trail to enjoy the hike. A few of my friends on Instagram had posted their photos and I wanted to go there too. On my way down Blue Ridge Parkway, I slowed down just before the Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Tunnel and took a few bracketed photos of it. It was a really nice day and that detail was popping out of it. My first post of it was edited on the smartphone with Snapseed. Then RiverStreet Networks, an information technology company, in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, wanted to place it on the front cover of their phone directory. It wasn’t a good size for printing. I went back to the original and edited it with AuroraHDR Pro, Luminar, and referenced my first edit to try to match it. In the first Instagram post, the JPG was being edited so the sky didn’t have enough highlights and shadows to keep the details in it so I made it pinkish-orange to contrast with the green foliage. And in the original RAW file, I could pull out those details and was able to bring back the blue sky with the cotton clouds. They still liked the new one and for a print licensing fee for the 2017 year, I sent them a print-worthy edit and my mini-biography. I’m still waiting for their welcome package.

You can view that photograph on either my Instagram or Facebook Page accounts.

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