Earlier this week, the Professional Photographers of West Virginia conducted its annual fall convention in Oak Hill and my wife, Christie, and I got to attend. The programming included some very good classes on wedding and children's photography given by some very talented professional photographers.
One of the events I enjoyed the most was the Photo Walkabout. You would think that a professional photographer would take enough pictures every day that they might want to take a break from shooting and just enjoy the convention, but the Photo Walkabout was all about taking pictures.
The idea was for all of us that wanted to participate to start at one end of Main Street and work our way to the other end in a couple of hours, photographing anything that we wanted along the way, paying particular attention to details that might normally go unnoticed. We got a lot of funny looks from the locals as 20-plus photographers roamed up and down the street armed with cameras photographing the strangest things.
The results were quite amazing and taught us the lesson that everyone views things differently. Even though we were photographing some of the same things with similar equipment, we all had radically different images at the end of the day.
The reason I'm mentioning this in this column is because this is a great exercise for anyone who is new to photography or seasoned professionals. Take out your camera and spend a little time practicing your picture-taking skills.
Get down low and shoot up on something, climb high and shoot down on your subject, get really close or maybe try turning the camera at an unusual angle. Look for contrasting colors and interesting textures.
You don't have to go far, you can take a walk down your street or confine yourself to your back yard. Just have a good time and enjoy your images.
A great way to learn about photography is through trial and error. Take lots of pictures, good, bad and ugly. Enjoy your successes and learn from your failures.
Hey that's probably not bad advice for most everything in life. Good luck and have fun!
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer as well as a certified professional photographer.)