This week I discovered that taking a brilliant picture requires a lot of planning. Of course, some get lucky but typically a work of art takes patience and planning.
When I was in Washington D.C, I learned a few valuable lessons that I hope will help me in the future.
When taking pictures of monuments/state parks it will be helpful to know what time of day is best for lighting, how to avoid crowds, when they close, where to park, what fee’s I will need to pay and what equipment I should bring. All of these things took me by surprise this week so I wanted to give you some helpful information, perhaps you can avoid some of these pitfalls as well!
One of the major hurtles was the crowds. I went to see the monuments on a day everyone planned a field trip. It seemed like every kid living in America’s suburbs was visiting. At first I didn’t think that would be a big deal however setting up my camera and lens on my tripod became an issue when a group of teenagers were heading straight towards me.
The other problem I came across was the lack of parking. Parking was so limited in the area that eventually an over paid parking garage was the only choice. The fee seemed minimal after driving around for 2 hours waiting for a spot to open but it was costly.
Some photographers have built such a solid reputation for taking stunning photos, perhaps they have a VIP pass allowing them access to those beautiful, mysterious places. The general public probably isn’t even aware that such a place exists! I haven’t acquired such a status in my profession however I still want the opportunity to take remarkable photographs without all the distractions.
Droves of people are driven to beautiful places that photographers want to capture as well.
My job as a photographer is not only to look at things from a different perspective, learn my equipment and take a great photograph. It’s about planning too!
Do your research and find out when would be the best time of year to visit, time of day, slowest day, cheapest day. Find out if you can get a personal guide. All of these things will contribute to your success as a photographer or hobbyist. Thankfully I do have a support system too. As a member of http://www.PhotoAdvClub.com I often times have the opportunity to just focus on having fun and taking pictures, the research is provided as a part of the membership fee’s. It’s a very valuable resource to have.
I may not get back to D.C in the immediate future however I did end up with a few nice photos and a lesson that may help me in my career for years to come. Planning is a key ingredient for my personal success, it may work for you too!
If you want to learn more we have chapters in many states – see if your state has one! http://www.PhotoAdvClub.com
I had to travel to DC quite a bit this year for work and was able to bring my camera along. I found that the evenings was the best time for me to take photos to avoid the crowds (mostly because that was the only time I had). I was able to sneak in a few pictures of the capital building before the police politely told me that I need a permit to take a picture of the building with a tripod. Luckly I was able to snap off a few before leaving. I spent hours walking around to find good sites to take photos.
Here is a link to a few pictures that I took: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbb888_photography/sets/72157626067096905/