Learning My Little Fuji: Chasing Waterfalls

"As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing, I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can." - John Muir 

Yesterday we went out in search of waterfalls, and certainly found them! I wanted to try long exposures with my little Fuji, and what better way to do so than moving water, eh? The Fuji works so nicely for this type of shooting, and I should have come home with hundreds of images that were all so good that it would be hard to choose a shot to share. Sadly, I did not. I made the mistake of ignoring some issues with my other gear, such as my tripod, which caused me some issues in the field. Le sigh!

I use a cheap Ravelli tripod that has served it's purpose, but has always been riddled with with issues from the get go. For the most part, I've learned to deal with and combat those issues. For instance, where the plate is attached to the ball head gets loose and you have to tighten it with an allen wrench, or else when you attach your camera, it always has a bit of play there. Yesterday, it quickly became apparent that I needed to tighten the plate, and I had left my allen wrench in my backpack at home. Gah! So I had to shoot all my shots with this loose plate, and the wind was blowing like mad. I tried shots like that, and I tried shots trying to steady the setup with my hands (yeah I know). My results were less than stunning. So much movement, which I wanted, but also so much blur, which I didn't want at all. 

I came home last night feeling defeated and frustrated with myself. I told Brandon that I suck at this whole photography thing, and I basically cried like a child who didn't get their way. You know what Brandon said to me? Stop feeling sorry for yourself, because not every photo is going to be a great photo. He reminded my that I love photography and that I do have talent, and that I shouldn't let a bad day shooting make me want to give up on myself. Once again, can I mention how much I love this guy!? Anyway, I was all like, UH I'm not feeling sorry for myself! But in all honesty, I was a little. I was also feeling the pressure of having to take great photos because I have this new gear, and everyone expects great photos, and I got shit today! Yrp, he also reminded me that I don't do this for him or anyone else, I do it because I love it. I don't need to impress anyone with my photography skills or lack thereof. I just need to shoot because it makes me happy. It makes me feel alive. And that is my favorite way to feel, in answer to +KarenHutton's eBook 10 Steps to Finding Your Voice. A great read, by the way.

So, I sat down last night and uploaded my photos to Lightroom. Out of about 250 images, I only kept a handful. Most were just not usable and the others will not likely see the world outside of Lightroom. My last few shots of the day were my absolute favorite. They were the ones where I was smiling while taking them because I knew I'd love them. When I walked upon the scene I said this is the spot! I was so excited and felt so alive at that moment. Those were the shots I wanted to be able to use, and sadly they weren't much better than the others. I did some rescue work to some of them, and the shot you see here is the best result I came out with yesterday.  Am I happy with the result? Not entirely, but I love the memory and the feeling I have when I look back at that moment in time. I also promised on Instagram that I'd post the result, so here it is... 

In closing, the tripod will get tightened today, and I may even give in to Brandon's urging for me to get a new tripod altogether. I'll make sure all my gear is in working order before I head out on my next adventure, and I'll make sure to remember to love the experience and not worry so much about the outcome.