3 Ideas I’ve Stolen From Trey Ratcliff

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, I just haven’t had the time between working and traveling and taking a ton of photos but I’m hoping to get back to posting here on a more regular basis.  While I haven’t added much here recently, I have been adding photos to my Flickr page on a regular basis, please check them out and leave comments.

Today I’d like to take a few moments to share some ideas that aren’t my own, but are very good and have changed how I look at photography.  These ideas are all those of Trey Ratcliff, the master mind behind Stuck In Customs, a great photography blog with absolutely amazing photos and an excellent HDR tutorial.

1.  Don’t stress over having a huge backlog of unprocessed photos.  I used to be of the idea that you should try to post-process all of your photos as soon as possible after taking them and falling behind was a bad thing.  If you’re like me and have days where you take hundreds of photos and like taking your time while post-processing, this can be an issue because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Trey’s philosophy is to look at all of those unprocessed photos as an opportunity and not a burden.  Instead of grinding through all of my unprocessed photos now, I just do it as I feel like it, not worrying about getting to every single photo from a particular day, only doing the ones that I feel like working with and leaving the rest for later.

2.  Don’t take photos every day.  When I first started getting more serious about photography, I thought it made sense to try to get out and take photos every day.  It makes sense, with anything practice makes perfect, right?  Well, Trey’s idea is that yes, you need to go out and take photos to get better but that it doesn’t make sense to go out and take photos if you’re not inspired.  This clicked with me, there were times when I was going out and taking photos and I didn’t really feel it and the results weren’t that great.  Photography is a hobby and not a profession for 99.99% of photographers, so why force it when you don’t need to?  If you’re not feeling it that day, find something else to do and save the photography for a different day.

3. Cropping doesn’t need to be in the aspect ratio the camera takes pictures in.  This seems like common sense, you can crop photos however you want, any photo editing program will do that.  However, I used to crop about 98% of the photos I took in the same aspect ratio as the camera took the picture in.  And not for any real reason, other than that it was the way the pictures were and maybe to keep them looking the same size if I made a slideshow out of them.  But really, why bother?  If there’s something uninteresting in the photo, get rid of it.  There’s no rule that says a photo can’t be square or really wide or however you want it to look.  Most of my photos are still roughly in the 2×3 ratio my camera takes them in but few are exact if they need any cropping and occasionally I find that completely changing the aspect ratio of what I had taken makes for much more interesting composition.

That’s all for today, hopefully I will find the time to start posting on a regular basis again.  And don’t forget to head out to www.stuckincustoms.com, it’s a great site with some amazing photography and interesting stories behind the photography.

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