A taste for photography
6th Aug 2010Posted in: blog View Comments
A taste for photography

If you have cable, you’ve most likely watched the Food Network or at least been stopped on the channel as they show delicious entrees that make your mouth water and your stomach growl. I admit, I like the food channel. I use to watch it regularly, but, I soon became frustrated. I couldn’t understand why my food looked and tasted nothing like what was shown. They take this and that, in pre-measured cups and dishes… drop here and there… place everything into one oven… pull some masterpiece from another oven… and TADAAAAA! Frustrating to say the least.

Yet, taking a closer look at the food network, you might realize there is much more going on than the one hour show can air. Research, trial and error, adjustments to ingredients, etc. The deal is, it takes time. I found that I’m not the kind of person who wants to take the time to perfect a masterpiece when it comes to food. I try to accomplish my dish in 30 minutes before my wife gets home for dinner and I find that I’ve rushed it to fast, cut corners and have finished half the wine intended for the recipe… and I don’t usually drink wine. Sure there’s iron chef… those guys crank out 7 dishes in one hour on live TV… But, I’m no Iron chef, I’m more like tin can chef. I buy the ingredients and want it to look just like what I saw on TV. Sometimes I get close, but for the most part, I fall way short.

Photography can be like cooking in many ways. I get many compliments on my photography and I thank you for your encouragement. But, on the other hand I hear many tell me how they “wish they could take better pictures on their cameras” and I’m here to say, “you can… It’s just going to take some time.” My friend Jason is the master BBQ’er. I wish I had the patience to smoke meat like he does… I think about cooking on my BBQ a few hours before we eat… Jason thinks days before, smokes meat all night for the next day and ends up with a masterpiece that make me want to lick my computer screen when he post an image of his dish.

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to photography, but for the most part it’s not a frozen dinner you pop in the microwave for 3 minutes and eat. Good stuff doesn’t come in a frozen entree that takes 3 minutes to warm up.

I want to give an you an example of the photo above as it came out of my camera. I shoot in what is called “RAW” format and very rarely in jpeg, (if you would like to know more about what RAW is, google, “shooting in RAW” and you will find a lot on the topic from people smarter than me). Like going to the market to find all the right ingredients, when I shoot photos, I look for the right “ingredients” that will add to the final product in the end. I try my best to plan for as much as I can, so when I go to the “kitchen” I have everything I need to make the shot what I know it is or can be. So, here is my sunset shot from last night as it downloaded to my computer.

There’s a bit of a difference between the first shot and the second… It took some time to make the first shot look like it does. All the ingredients were there. As I stood on the edge of the river, I knew I was going to like this dish.

Photography takes time, planning and patience. Much of the splendor of your image will not be right out of the camera… it will be in the kitchen as you combine ingredients and bring the flavors out.


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  • Louanne

    This is a great post that my husband can totally relate to. I don't know how many times he has heard “I wish I had a camera like yours so I could take such good photos.” And often he and I both think, “all the books he read and the 1000's of hours he spent in the darkroom before digital had NOTHING to do with the photos he captures.”
    And of course Mike does have a nice camera and good lenses, but that doesn't answer for the time he has spent learning the craft.
    The cooking analogy is such a good one that I think I am going to use that when this comes up again as it often does.

  • Amyfennell

    Interestingly I thought of my prayer and study life. I often want so much to have this intense relationship with my bible and study and yet I often read something cheap and easy instead. Kind of turns things around for me in this post as the way it should look in my 'journey' isn't quick and easy it's daily trying and researching and failing and then trying again.

  • Jessica Bolt

    It's incredible how this concept relates to so many areas of life. When others comment on my ability to play the piano, I often remember the years of dreaded practice that got me to this point. It takes dedication to become a master of any art, but an artist can take old and broken things and create beauty from them. Thanks for these good thoughts.

  • Stacirae68

    I love your photography Johno! Its very inspiring!

  • Patricia

    So many things take time- no God does not rush the masterpiece I hope that He is building in me………………It really is a privilege if we stop to think of the lives He creates for us :)

  • Wanderinglogan

    Thanks for sharing this. I will admit that I am one of those that looks to you as an example of how to shoot photos. i recently started shooting raw and I am slowly learning the delicate process of cooking a photo. Thank you for showing a before and after shot it really shows that photography is not only the push of the button but also the work afterward.
    Peace to your house
    PS I found a 150-500 to rent for Yellowstone

  • Brendaglindsey

    Today's blog reminds me that we reap what we sow, whether it's photography, cooking or anything else. The time and effort we put forth pays off. I see it in your photography and your efforts to balance the physical world with the spiritual world.

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