Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of life is showing up. Well, the same can probably be said of photography, and 80 percent of what makes a great picture is capturing a great moment.
In my latest Tech Tip for Adorama TV, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite images that I took as a college kid on a climbing trip with one of my very good friends, Justin Bastien. [Read my Story Behind the Image essay about this picture: Photo Roshambo.]
After arriving in the Utah desert late at night, Justin lost roshambo and had to sleep on the ground, while I got to crash in the bed of his truck. It was a freezing 20 degrees, and 6 in the morning, when I woke up to see Justin asleep in his sleeping bag, with a light dusting of snow covering him. Because it was so cold, and I was tired, the last thing I wanted to do was get out of my own warm cocoon in my sleeping bag inside the truck. But I recognized this moment as an incredible photographic opportunity, and I knew that it wouldn’t be long for this world. Justin might move, disturbing the dusting of snow. I had to not be lazy, and act quickly. I forced myself out of bed, found a cool composition, set my exposure, and captured what has since become one of my favorite images from this road trip.
One of the most important laws in photography is that moments are fleeting, but essential, and you have not only be open to seeing great moments, but be able to quickly capture them, nailing a perfect exposure and a great composition. The takeaway is to never be lazy, get out of bed and go find those fleeting, essential, decisive moments and capture them before they pass you by.
Hope you enjoy this latest Tech Tip, and be sure to check out more videos like this on adorama.com.