Beyond the Go-Pro Camera: Photo Tips for Not-So-Young Photographers

Go-Pro Video shot in a Recliner Disappoints

Go-Pro Video results disappoint from recliner
Go-Pro Video results disappoint from recliner

  Action seems to be the cornerstone of Go-Pro Videos, like the ones my niece and nephews make while skiing or snowboarding.  Strapping the camera to your head and recording the action while watching TV, reading a book, or listening  to music in your recliner is less engaging. 

 Is there a camera drone in your future?

Kit Eaton of the New York Times reported on January 2, that he was the recipient of a Phantom 2 Vision drone that with its remote controller and your iOS or Android  device can take beautiful pictures and video of places unreachable to  the Not-So-Young photographer.

For less than $2000., a camera drone provides a bird’s-eye view of hard to reach places.



With the drone, I could photograph land close up that was previously unreachable. I think my current -“Ranch Land to Housing” project would greatly benefit.

As the great photo journalist Robert Capa said,  “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

 I am against armed military drones that appear to be outside the rule of law. Questions I ask– how do you surrender to a drone and who is accountable for grievous errors?  But for now, photographers can benefit from yet another technological novelty that expands our creative possibilities.


Cows Grazing near Fallon Rd. Development, Dublin, CA
Cows Grazing near Fallon Rd. Development, Dublin, CA
Ranch Land Meets New Development, Dublin, CA 3/2014
Ranch Land adjacent to New Development, Dublin, CA 3/2014

Most of you let social media resize your photos unless

1.  you hate social media and don’t want them to mess with your pictures or archive anything about you,

2. you are worried that National Geographic, other photo publications or fellow photographers will steal your photos,

3.  you are a control freak who likes to do everything yourself. (The reason you have a milk cow in the garage),

4. you want to email your photos and they’re too big to fit on a computer monitor and take too  much time to load,

5. you’re afraid that the NSA or other spy agencies will take an interest in your work,

6. OR you shoot huge megapixel files for maximum detail that you later process in PhotoShop or Adobe Lightoom.

If any or none of the above apply to you, visit this excellent link to learn about resizing


Goodbye for now! Please comment if you found this amusing or instructive.

© Copyright – Marlene Hutchison, 2014

Photo Tips for the Not-So-Young

More than a Billion New Photographers:

Smartphone technology has created more than a billion new photographers. With a camera always at hand, (the best camera is the one you have with you), this highly democratic development has increased the possibility of everyone capturing  “stunning” images.  Not everyone is happy about the  democratization of photography. After all, it took more than a hundred years to elevate it to an art form. Photographers complained when Kodak put a camera in almost every American home in the 1940’s. I had a photography professor who complained that  David Hockney had ruined it for photographers by taking snapshots for his collages like the one below (Pear Blossom Highway) and developing them at local one hour photo shops instead of in a darkroom.  

Professional photographers admit  that chance  is often an element   in great photographs. So with a camera always with you, you’re posed to capture “decisive moments” that make great photography. It  is just an opportunity, however, and not a substitute for intentional study and honing of the craft.

Conserve your Energy for What Time is Left and Follow these Tips

It’s better to know what you can’t do than what you can do. Don’t attempt the impossible.

Gravity isn’t easy, but it’s the law.  Don’t hang from cliffs or tree branches trying to get a shot. Leave “extreme” photography to the young. If you must try out action video/photography, strap a GoPro Camera to your head before you go out for your morning stroll or find a quiet lake to Kayak or canoe and record your trip.

Don’t hand hold your camera while driving. Your children might report you to the authorities or worse.

When I die, I want to die like my grandmother who died peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car.

Hwy 5 while driving
Hwy 5 while driving

Festivals and Rock Concerts are way Too Noisy and Exciting  so look for Quieter Scenes. Park yourself beside waters that can be stilled with a fast shutter speed of 1/120 second or higher. Or create a running water effect while relaxing beside a rushing stream, a waterfall or ocean waves. Set your shutter speed between 1/30 sec. and 1 second.

Even Flowers can be Too Lively. Don’t bother with flower photographs on a windy day unless you’ve set up a windbreak or have an assistant to hold them still. Instead, head for the nearest park bench and wait it out or change the subject to stationary objects such as walls and buildings. If you must photograph those gorgeous flowers in the wind, use a fast shutter speed of 1/250 second or higher. I like backlit flowers where the sunshine comes through the petals from behind.

“The trouble with Dawn is that it Comes Too Early in the Day.” Susan Richman  If you’re not a morning person, forget the “Golden Light” at dawn and catch it at sunset.

For the most part “Keep your face in the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

iPod picture with app
iPod picture with app applied















Goodbye for now.

This Concludes Photo Tips for the Not-So-Young

copyright © 2013, Marlene Hutchison