Archive for Younes Bounhar

Guest Posting – Younes Bounhar

Posted in Artistic Development, Guest Columnist with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Darwin

I have always wanted this blog to be about life as we live through the lens. How do we, as a community of photographers, see the world not only through our lenses but through our living? In this spirit, I am happy to host photos from photographers in any genre (hence the LLTL monthly photo contest). As well, I would love to hear your ideas, rants, opinions and musing about our craft. If you have something you want to share on this blog feel free to send me your stuff. Below is a piece from Canadian Photographer, Younes Bounhar.

Stacking the Odds in Your Favor

Landscape photographers seldom get any credit for the amount of work and dedication required for their craft. I often here comments such as “wow he’s so lucky, that sky is incredible!” or “I could have pulled it off had I been there!” The fact is, to consistently produce high-quality images there is no such a thing as luck! The only luck you get is the one you make yourself. So, how do you stack the odds in your favor? 

©Younes Bounhar

©Younes Bounhar

•1-    Get out there and  get out there often.

As much as there are times I wish my camera would just go out there and get me some incredible pictures, it has remained, to this day, an unfulfilled promise. Simply put, the more you are out there, the more you are likely to shoot in awesome conditions. Spectacular light rarely waits for the week-ends (as much I hate it!), so whenever you get a chance, grab your camera bag and head out to your favorite spots (make sure the camera is in the bag though!). 

•2-    Know you gear.

I always like to hammer the fact that it is not the gear, but the photographer that makes the shot. That said, you can’t realize your vision unless you know what your gear can and can’t do, and that you can get it to do what you want it to do. Know your camera inside out, know exactly what each of your lenses can and cannot do. It is not when the light shows up that you should try to figure out how your split density filters work…be ready to seize the moment when it comes and don’t let your gear get in the way. 

•3-    Know your subject.

Whether you are visiting a new location or paying an old friend another visit, if pays to research your subject ahead of time. It’s hard to shoot a moonlit scene on a new moon or tide pools at high tide. Know when and where the sun rises and sets. Check out the moon cycle and the tides to maximize your shooting opportunities. Whenever I go out on a shoot I also make sure I get to my location at least an hour or two ahead of time because it allows me to carefully study the location and plan out potential compositions. 

•4-    Familiarity breeds success.

I really love traveling and photographing new areas with a fresh pair of eyes. The reality, though, is that I can’t travel all year long and as such am bound to shoot areas I am fairly familiar with and I this reality to my advantage. First, because I know I can go back anytime, I don’t have any pressure to get the wide-angle, cliché shot, or any shot for that matter. I can just take the time and experiment to my heart’s content until I get something I am satisfied with. Second, by knowing the area, I can also better predict with greater certainty where the light conditions will be the best on a given day and as such increase my odds for a successful shoot.

©Younes Bounhar

©Younes Bounhar