Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ROI And Photography

We've heard the term: Return On Investment, an economic term that has direct 
application to photography. The investment is in time, dedication, commitment, and 
tenacity. The return is in the quality of images we come home with. I look for places 
that have great potential for those images that are absolute "keepers." I will revisit 
certain places, either on a periodic or annual basis, depending on when I am most 
likely to get the highest ROI.

One of those places is Mapleton Avenue in Boulder, Colorado, in October. I have 

had such success there that I go back annually, like clock work. It's like going on an
Easter egg hunt. I look high and low until I find the right combination of compositions,
shapes, texture, and colors. My favorite timing is right after a snowfall. This is what 
I found this  past October.

I got several shots of leaves against snow, which I liked. But, it was this particular
grouping really got my attention. The combination of color, texture, melting snow, and
nature's arrangement was just too good to resist. My job was to create order out of 
chaos. There were so many of these leaves, covering a large area, most covered by
snow and ice. It took me a few minutes to carefully scan the area, ensuring that I did
not disturb the leaves. What I was looking for was the best composition that would 
give me the strongest impact, interest, and design. 

After getting several good images on the ground, I decided it was time to see what was above me as well. I saw this great combination of yellows, reds, and greens against the
blue sky. I liked the diagonal lines created by the thin branches, which I knew would 
come out dark (I know how that built-in meter works!). As luck would have it, I saw the
sun peaking behind some leaves. I knew instinctively that I just had to include a sun 
burst as part of my composition. I also knew that if I hid it behind some leaves, it would
not be overpowering. In order to get the sunburst, I chose a small aperture (f/22). I've
used this technique in similar situations with great success. Careful with your your exposures though--these situations can give you ugly, dark results because of the bright  light. You will need to overexpose as needed.   

So, next time you visit a place and go home with a collection of "keepers," revisit 
that area again. You might get a good return on your investment.