A lot of people wonder why their shots don’t live up to those of others. What am I doing wrong? Is it technique, equipment, post processing prowess? Perhaps, but they often ignore one fundamental and crucial element; they don’t work for the shot. Typically we go on vacation, focus on convenience, walk by something cool and take a snapshot. When we review them later we have the sinking feeling that the shots just don’t stack up, we end up with exactly that, snapshots. Now this isn’t always the case, occasionally you find yourself in the right place at the right time and capture something great, but such examples are rare. The best shots happen through a combination of luck, preparedness and hard work.

In order to produce a top level shot you have to expect to be inconvenienced to get it. This inconvenience can boil down to any or a combination of the following things:

  • Lugging around a tripod
  • Carrying lots of heavy gear
  • Fighting hot or cold weather
  • Getting up really early to catch the best light
  • Trekking¬†for miles to find that perfect spot
  • Standing and waiting for the right moment to press the shutter
  • Jumping through hoops to get a permit
  • Evading security guards (this happens more often then you may think)
  • Standing knee deep in water and trying to fight the strong tide and current
  • The list goes on

The next time you’re out trying to get great shots, just remember that capturing some great goes well beyond pressing the shutter button. It’s the steps, plans and sacrifices that you made before that shutter clicks. If you want to produce more than average shots you have to go beyond what an average person would be willing to do to capture them.

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