Sunday, December 12, 2010

Don’t Believe Me? Let the Pros Tell You!

I have written and posted two articles on this site that promote the whole concept of “Quality” that both relate to my last post “Observations on Photography in the Digital Age” ( My first was “A Quality Affair” (, and then “Start to Finish ‘Tack’ Sharp”. In both these articles I stress the importance of Quality.

I also teach two workshops that also go hand-in-hand with this concept. I have presented both workshops in the last two weeks, one at ArtShots and the other at the Surrey Photography Club. At Artshots I did a workshop entitles “A Quality Affair: From Start to Finish” where I discuss how to achieve the optimum quality throughout your entire workflow. I will be posting notes from this workshop soon.

The other workshop is titled “Tripod-ology 101” and it is all about Tripods, why use them, how they improve your photographs and so on. I have posted the notes from this workshop here (

I was just reading Outdoor Photographer Magazine, the December 2010 25th Anniversary issue and I came across a great article called “25 Best All-Time Tips From Our Pros”. It’s a great article, but one that I found rather funny as it contains some tips that I often try to pass on, not always with success. I know some of you out there have listened to me because I have seen your work improve and also because many of you have thanked me for it.

I would highly recommend that you read all 25 tips in the magazine (Outdoor Photographer) but here are a few of my favorites. I have taken only short snippets of the quotes from some exceptional photographers, but they represent my thoughts very well.

#14 – Take Your Time: “This is the essential ingredient in every photograph” – Moose Peterson

#15 – Lose The “I’ll Fix It in Photoshop” Attitude: “Never photograph under the assumption that Photoshop will save you from sloppy work. Always think of Photoshop as a way to optimize the best image you can come back with. The better the content, composition and quality in the capture, the better the final result.” – George Lepp

#19 – Your Feet Make the Best Zoom: “It’s easy to get lazy when using zoom lenses.” – William Neill

And my absolute favorite. . .

#21 – Quality and the Tripod: “We now have image stabilization and vibration reduction to allow handholding of the camera at fairly slow shutter speeds. No matter how good you think you are at handholding, your quality and percentage of keepers will improve when you use a good tripod and head” – George Lepp

It is specifically followed by an Editor’s Note: “Almost everyone of the pros we asked to contribute to this article suggested using a tripod”.

So as I mentioned, you may have chosen not to listen to me, but, perhaps you’ll listen to all the pros that wrote in and to the excellent magazine called “Outdoor Photographer.”

And, a special note to the Editors of Outdoor Photographer, thanks for trying to teach us how to make better quality images.

© 2010 François Cléroux

(Version 1.00 - December 2010)

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I value thoughtful comments and suggestions. If you like or dislike this post, please let me know. If you have any ideas or suggestion, comments or corrections (I do make mistakes) please also let me know. Thanks.

- Francois Cleroux