Make Notes – Tip 2

MCT 01 2012 01 16 2012 2070 Make sure you remember to plan those “memorable” images to come

How often do you pass by an object or a certain location and say to yourself “wow, this would be a great picture if only ______” !  Fill in the blank: “good light”, “cloudy day”, “it was wet”, “it was dry” . . . . and so on.  Well, here’s an opportunity to make some of your own luck.  Create a “shooters to do list” and add your new found opportunity.

When you find that special something, follow these steps:

  • Snap a cell phone shot of the scene or object:
    • If you’re using a relatively new phone, not only will you have a reference image (like the opening shot in this post) but you’ll have the GPS info embedded, enabling you to find the location in the future.
  • Use a voice recorder app on your phone (or make paper or mental notes) to note the best shooting direction, lens you’ll want to use and what unique elements you’d like to have for the image.  In the above tractor image, it was already late fall with some snow on the ground.  I visualized an overcast day just after a fresh snowfall so that’s the conditions I figured would look the best for this shot.  Here are a few examples of elements you may desire for your future plan:
    • A certain time of the year, like fall – or maybe the dead of winter when everything is barren?
    • Would the shot be better in early morning or late evening?
    • Could it be a nice “rainy day” shot?
    • Should you wait for a foggy morning?
    • Are you looking for a bright day with shadows just so – or would a totally overcast day be better?
  • When you return home, build a quick record of your planned “shoot”.  Doesn’t have to be fancy, even just placing the info on a single sheet in a word processor will do.  Save it electronically along with a calendar reminder or just print it out and keep your planning file the old fashioned way.
Tractor planning

With a little bit of advance planning when you find something of interest, you’ll be able to return at the right time and capture a great photo.  The tractor shot below is what I ended up with about four weeks after I took the original cell phone picture and envisioned the “perfect” shot.  I also had a ball in the process!

MCT 03 2012 03 03 2012 2158 HDR

So the next time you see potential – make your own luck!

Stay in focus,



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