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How to Fall In Love?

Pro-Photography Tips & Tricks

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  • I am not a wildlife photographer - never were and probably never will be - it has always been my love to photograph people. Some time ago a friend of my invited me to go with him and document the cranes that come to the Hula Valley in Israel as part of their Great Migration from Africa to the east. We decided to get up early and make it to the first vehicle that goes out into the valley at 5:00 AM in order to catch the cranes with the very first morning's light. On the way to the valley we could already see that we have in store for us a very foggy morning, it was impossible to see more than several meters in each direction, everything was wrapped in gray. During the ride in to the valley itself I found myself sitting in a car full of disappointed people that, just like me and my friend ,made ​​all the effort to be there on time for the first morning light.

    "I can't believe it! What a waste of a time ..."
    "Why didn't anyone inform us about this?"
    "You can turn the vehicle back already ..."
    "Maybe we will have our money back?"

    The tendency of most of us is to look for what's wrong in a situation, what is missing, what would make it all better, but as photographers we need to think differently. Instead of asking ourselves - what is wrong here? We need to ask ourselves, what is right here? What is beautiful? What attracts our eye? In fact the question is: "what do I fall in love with?"

    I remember sitting in the vehicle and looking toward the lake, suddenly and out of no-where, three large cranes emerged out from the fog and passed us. For me, the scene was so imaginary and abstract. I found what I fell in love with - the fog itself and the amazing mood it generates in the valley, I immediately started shooting. The first thing I was looking for was symmetry; some order in the chaos, this was the first image from that morning.

    IMG 0402 2

    The eye is always looking for something to lean on in a picture. No matter how messy or full of detail the image is, the eye of the viewer is looking for some type of an anchor, in the first image the symmetry which the cranes lined up in my frame was the anchor that I was looking for. Of course during the morning I continued looking for different types of anchors like in the following picture:

    IMG 0593 2

    Most photographers photographed almost the same image that morning, some birds we can see clearly and some look dark and abstract as misty figures in the background, but in my shot the little duck is my anchor in the shot: in front of the large cranes around him he gives the eye a point to wander back to - a good and may I say cute anchor.

    As you can see in the pictures, despite the heavy fog, the crane's reflection was clearly visible on the water. In one of our stopping points around the lake I noticed a single bush which together with its reflection in the water formed a star. I built a composition around it and waited for cranes to fly around it and enter in to the frame. At the beginning only a few cranes passed over the bush but I was always ready with my camera , keeping my composition around the same star and waiting for the right moment, after a while I noticed an increase in the number of cranes passing me, suddenly a large group of cranes passed over the bush, squeezing the camera button I photographed as many pictures as possible, The result was worth the anticipation.

    IMG 0660 2

    A lot of people asked me how I made this picture in Photoshop, but you know it is not the case here. The waiting was my only way to get this photograph, the method of building a composition and waiting for something to happen in it works every time . Ultimately it is our patience and preparedness as photographers to spend time and concentration in the possibilities in front of us to get good images.

    When you arrive at the situation, don't get fixed with what you planned to do in your mind or only with the idea of what you expect to find there. Look at the situation in front of you, look for what is appealing to you, what you find interesting as a photographer in the reality that exists before you, and you should simply always ask yourself – "what do I you fall in love in?" This question is the key to get the best out of any situation and never go home empty-handed.
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