Mirrorly photos, reflections on a hobby.

August 19, 2019
Mirror Reflection of a lake and bicycle rack.

Has anyone ever asked you “Why don’t you take a picture, it will last longer”? Well, I’ve been asked that and discovered it to be true. Fortunately, I also discovered that I really like taking pictures. Who knew? today I rarely miss a day without taking anywhere from 1 to 1,000 photos. That statement might have you thinking “Wow, stop the bus” or in my case the #train. I’ve lived on an acreage outside of Saskatoon for 10-years and have to cross a CN mainline daily to get into Saskatoon. I decided to document my #train encounters on Instagram and I get lots of opportunities to use that hashtag. The 1,000 photo days occur when I am solely focused on photography, and sometimes puns.

Red and black train on train tracks.

Some people have suggested that I have a unique, alright weird, perspective on things. Just so happens that can come in handy for capturing interesting photographs. A friend and mentor, who I won’t mention by name, but his initials are Greg Johnson (A.K.A. the Tornado Hunter) encourages people to get out of the “No No Zone”, the eye-level view the way the world sees everything.  I took the photo below, from my knees, with my #googlepixel3XL and the #sunrise in the background.

White horse chewing hay in a beautiful sunset.

What have I learned?

  • What is the best camera to use? According to Greg Johnson… The one in your hand. You can spend a little or a lot on camera equipment but seizing the great photo opportunity is often a timing thing. So, get that shot with the camera in your hand – even if it is your cell phone camera i.e. Google Pixel 3XL
  • “If you want to take better photos, get in front of better stuff.” Greg Johnson
  • S.C.U.F.I –  Shoot Close Up For Impact. Attempt to tell interesting stories with your photos. Compose your photos using the rule of thirds. All G.J. Stuff.
  • When you think you’ve taken enough photos – take some more. The photographers that have taken the best photos have also taken the most shots that didn’t work out. It can really be a numbers game.
  • In my experience, other photographers are frequently anxious to offer tips and tricks on what works for them to help get the awesome shots. Always be open to learning.
  • Take professional instruction. I’ve taken several classes from Greg Johnson and have thoroughly enjoyed his style and knowledge. I am a better photographer because of what I’ve learned.
  • Photography is an activity that can last you a lifetime and even has the potential to evolve into a career. Get out there and snap to it.
Whale fin flip in the blue ocean.

“Sometimes I see things from a different perspective, then photograph them.” – Stephen Shore

-Stephen Shore is a Media Coordinator at Directwest and an amateur photographer. Follow him on Instagram and  Flickr!