Thursday, November 15, 2007

Get The Picture

Maybe This Post Will Click

Dawn, Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


If I can help you to improve your photography or your writing, let me know. I've published posts on this blog to answer queries from photographers and writers but for the past six weeks or so, I was concentrating on finishing, editing and delivering my second novel, Muskoka Maharani, to my publisher and my agent.

That took precedence for a while, but now that I'm "back in Blogland", I'd like to acknowledge my Canadian friend Vic Grace, who suggested I resume posting advice. So here goes. All you have to do is leave me a comment with your query - and I'll answer in the form of a post, with a link to your blog.

If you want to catch up on my writing advice, there are several posts on my blog with the label "Telling Write From Wrong".

For the many bloggers who also use cameras, my advice is always simple. If something catches your attention, stop and photograph it. Chances are you might not encounter the same sight again. And even the most mundane sights can make a great picture in the right light. We're not all born photographers (I'm entirely self-taught, by the way) but digital technology has enabled most people to improve their skills far more rapidly because of instant view-and-edit options.

Good luck, good shooting - and do ask me your questions. I look forward to them.

46 comments:

Craver Vii said...

I don't have a specific question right now, but let me say that you have carte blanche to say anything you want about my content.

self taught artist said...

this makes me miss out west...open sky etc.
nice shot

Hootin'Anni said...

This is breathtaking!!!

Kimberly said...

I can't wait to play with my new camera and come up with some good questions for you!

katherine. said...

daughter: why do you have the camera again?

me: just in case I see something.

daughter: see something? like what?

me: I dunno....just in case...

daughter: oh geezzz...it's the blog thing again isn't it? (heavy sigh)

imac said...

Most kind David, Dont worry i'll come up with a question if I get stuck.:)

Pop over to see village stroll.

Rachel said...

Great advice and post!
Thanks for stopping by my humble little blog. I'm a newbie.
That picture is beautiful.
I agree, that there is nothing more beautiful or precious than our children.
My dad has been living in Croyden for the last 3 years and loves it. He'll be moving back to the states in December.
Hope to "see" you again.

Rachel said...

Okay, now I'm blushing.
Thank you very much for your compliment on "Before there was breath" Occasionally God touches my heart and I am driven to write.
Thank you so much for your very complimentary words. From someone who "actually" writes, that means a lot. Someday, when I "grow up", I would like to do more with it. Thus, blogging. It's kind of my practice?.

david mcmahon said...

Craver, my friend,

I'm just delighted that you're tinkering around with your camera.

More power to you,

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi self-taught artist,

Even though I am a city boy, I count myself so very fortunate to be able to see The Big Sky 24 hours a day.

Keep smiling

David

Catmoves said...

Hi David. I'll be showing up with lots of questions, too.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Anni,

Thank you kindly, ma'am.

It was my very great privilege to be able to shoot that scene.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Kimberly,

Nothing better than a camera as an early Christmas present!!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Er, Katherine,

Katherine? You've just narrated The Regular Conversation between me and my kids!!

'Tis true ....

Keep smiling

David

whodatdare said...

I can't tell you how many times I kick myself for not having my camera ready while I'm driving, or I simply for get to bring it with me... How frustrating it can be. I should start wearing my camera like it's a piece of jewelry.. Is it too late to nominate my most recent entry for Post of the Day? It's a poem I wrote 20 years ago....

Misty Dawn said...

This is exciting. I am especially interested in your writing advice. However, I honestly don't have a particular question. So, I'm going to read all of your advice posts and learn from each one! Thank you for taking the time to do this David.

P.S. Thank you for your kind words on my "Thankful Beyond Words" post - I hope I never let my blogging friends ever doubt how much you mean to me!

Gina said...

Welcome back to blogland! You are very generous to offer your knowledge to help others.

david mcmahon said...

Hi imac,

I can't imagine you getting stuck when you have a camera in your hand.

I do enjoy your work very much. By the way, check out the link on my favourites to `Digital Flower Pictures'. I guarantee you'll enjoy his work too ....

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Rachel,

I was a newbie once (just about a year ago) so I know the feeling all too well.

I do enjoy mentoring - so considerme your ``personal blog trainer''.

At your service, ma'am

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Rachel,

Just seen your second comment. I think it was a great piece of poetry.

Well done ...

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Catmoes, my old friend and fellow Aussie-enthusiast,

Would love to cop a question from you.

When are you going to post about your time as a compositor? (See, I never forget little details about all my friends!!)

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Whodatdare,

I thought it was a beautiful poem - and actually said so in the comments section.

I think you were on my blog at the time!

Do what I do, take your camera everywhere!

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Misty,

And you mean the world to each and evry one of your readers ....

We're always here for you.

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Gina,

Thank you. How's your husband going? I hope his recovery is continuing ....

My real reward is in seeing tentative writers, newbie bloggers and uncertain photographers blossom.

There is something very special about being able to nurture the talent in other people around the world.

Cheers

David

Moosekahl said...

What a great shot of the moon! I need to just make the time to actually get out and take pictures. Once I take them they usually turn out okay :) Thanks for stopping by.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Man, I just need a steadier hand. Ether that or a tripod I can bust ouyt at a moments notice. Beautiful shot by the way.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Moosekahl,

Thank you for dropping by. It was only when I got my first digital SLR that I started carrying it pretty much everywhere - and I found my photography improved, as well as my blog.

Do keep in touch

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi FHB,

There's a serious case for having a tripod, for sure.

But since you and I shoot on the run, we just need a steady hand.

Reminds me - someone a few weeks ago asked about a picture I shot and when told I had not used a tripod, he said I must surely be `Cool Hand Luke'.

Cheers

David

Cowgirl said...

That's a fab shot, David. The big lights look like dessert flowers dancing for the moon...by the way, since you asked me to let you know - I have blogged, but it's weird.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Cowgirl,

Just checked out your post. Thanks for the heads-up!

I am in awe of your phrase ``desert flowers dancing for the moon''.

Good on ya ....

Cheers

David

minijaxter said...

your pictures are wonderful.
and the posts for the memorials are beautiful as well.

thank you for remembering
and i love pictures of the moon and of sunset.
but how do you get such lovely photos? mine all turn out blurry. even when extending the shutter time.

joan said...

Thanks for the advice. I am not a photographer but I just like beautiful photos and I take my little camera everywhere with me. So I really enjoy seeing your photos.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Minijaxter,

Even the slightest movement of your hand (and therefore the camera) while using a slow shutter speed causes a ``shimmer'' that makes the object look out of focus.

If you don't have a tripod, try resting your camera on a nearby object.

Give it a try and let me know what happens.

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Thanks, Joan,

I'm so glad you like looking at my photos. None of us are professional photographers and the bottom line is we just want to have fun using our cameras.

Do keep in touch.

Cheers

David

katherine. said...

laughing...

and if there is more than one with you do they look over at each other with that half amused, half concerned look...raised brows and rolling eyes?

Does your family read your weblog?

CS said...

I have only recently discovered photography (driven n large part by a need for soemthng to put on my blog!), but I love it. I keep my camera handy, and take pictures of all kinds of things. It's so much fun.

Ananda Niyogi said...

Wonderful photo David - loved the crescent moon against the hue of the sky...

I don't have a specific question for you at the moment but would really appreciate if you could give me some tips on how to improve my blog and my writing, when tou have some time.

Misty Dawn said...

On a side note, David. I did an Amazon search for you first book - nothing available under $58!!!

david mcmahon said...

Hi Katherine,

Right. That's it. Your family is related to my family!!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi CS,

Thank you for visiting. See my latest post (with the parking meter picture) and you'll see my thoughts on the subject of why photography is such a vital visual add-on to a good blog.

Do stay in touch.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Ananda,

Not a problem. Will get back to you by email.

Cheers

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Misty Dawn,

The Oxford Bookstore website has the book for about $6.

You can access it at this address:

http://www.oxfordbookstore.com/oxfordonline/Services/archives/reviews/for_my_readers_vegemite_vindaloo.asp?sid=3G96AG2HQUW38NUEWDA1U5D4SE500439

Hope that link is useful.

Cheers

David

Jeannie said...

I need a camera before I can take pictures....but last week I truly wish I'd had one - I was driving home during rush hour and the colours were amazing. I will have to try painting them instead one day.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Along the lines of "If something catches your attention, stop and photograph it. Chances are you might not encounter the same sight again." -- I have also noticed that you don't want to hesitate either, because moving even a few steps or waiting a few minutes, you can lose what caught your eye. Either you can't get the exact angle that first grabbed your attention or the light changes or something. Especially with things like sunrises & sunsets, when the colors are constantly changing.

indicaspecies said...

Hi David

Thanks for your generous offer to help. I'll seek your advice in due course.

If you will kindly check out my last post, I've kind of 'ridiculed' my own photography, but on second thoughts, I guess I am not too bad. What do YOU think?

celine :)

Mahina said...

thanks for checking out my blog! i've seen you on Michal's blog, but never knew you were a photographer. I am an aspiring photographer. I am just really starting to take it seriously.

I guess, for now, I would ask you if there are any photography books you would recommend for getting a better grasp on exposure/aperature/shutter speed/ISO.

Also, i am considering adding to my camera accessories. I am interested in getting a 50 mm 1.8 lens, or a SB 600 speedlight (I have a Nikon d50). Which would you recommend adding first? I would really like to focus on people photography. I already have a 55-200mm and a 18-55mm.

would it be better for me to start with the speedlight or the 50mm lens?

Thanks! You're photography is beautiful!