Road Trips

Out on the Road
Out on the Road

Right about now, I’m wishing that I was somewhere other than here. Ugly light. Ugly milky clouds. Not all that hot. Very humid. I actually gave up a shoot yesterday. The light just wasn’t getting it. And, despite what Jay Maisel says about a photographer having to make a picture under any sort of condition, I’m not doing that. Yes. He’s one of my photo gurus. Yes, I like his work very much.

But… you knew this was coming.

There is no point in making a picture in horrible light and then trying to fix it up in post production. That violates the old computer rule. GIGO. Garbage in. Garbage out. Improvements in post production are just that. They aren’t repairs. Repairs mean that you blew something. Light. Exposure. ISO. You name it.

Besides, I live here. I’m working for myself. It would be one thing if I were out on this road and somebody was paying me. But, not today. Even when I’m out there, I build “weather days” into my schedule. Normally, “weather days” mean really bad weather when you can’t work. But, you know how I feel about that. That adds to the picture. It doesn’t take away from it.  When I’m working for somebody I’m willing to eat a little of my expense money if I can make a better picture by being a little patient. The client remembers that. That’s a good thing.

For those of you who follow Storyteller to learn a little bit about photography. Here’s your take away. Patience. Just because you want to take a picture doesn’t mean you have to take a picture.



  1. Great advice all around. You confirmed that the little, internal rule I try to live by – Garbage in. Garbage out. I’m not so naïve to think that my photos don’t need some sort of ‘post-production’ but my favorites are still those that are framed just right with golden hour light and an expression that says everything. Thank you, Ray.


  2. All pictures need some sort of post production since almost every sensor has a filter that keeps the image from creating a moire pattern. That softens the image slightly. At the very least a raw image needs to be sharpened slightly to compensate for that.

    That said, no sensor can see what your eye sees and you brain visualizes. Film couldn’t either. That’s what you are correcting for… how you saw the picture. That’s why legends like Ansel Adams created the zone system and why Gene Smith spent hours in the darkroom.

    But, if you are making pictures where everything is just perfect, you are a much better photographer than I am. 🙂 Perfection, as a wise man once told me, is for angels.


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