f8 and Be There


Early on when I decided to get back into landscape photography I had learned of the saying “f8 and be there” which Galen Rowell used to say when asked about how he got such amazing images.  I later learned that saying was made famous in the 1940’s by street photographer Arthur Fellig.

What the quote means is this…

“Simplicitiy in the technical is equal to being present and prepared. No complicated photographic technique here: just a basic setting (f/8) with enough depth of field for most subjects. And then “being there” in the right place, right time, tuned in to your surroundings, ready to shoot the perfect moment when it unfolds in front of your lens”         — Rich Underwood. 

Every morning I wake and am dragging butt on trying to decide “IF I FEEL UP TO GETTING OUT AND SHOOTING SOME IMAGES” I think about this quote, and every morning I get out the tablet and look at one of those “sunrise apps” to motivate me in either direction of motivation I think of this quote. This quote is my kick in the butt to remind me that not EVERY good landscape needs to have an amazing sunrise in it. You just need to “get out and be there” and be ready IF AND WHEN that moment happens, because if you are inside trying to decide you’ll never have a chance at “that moment”.

**Photographer note about the above image; I use a free website called SunsetWX, and I find it pretty accurate. This mornings “prediction” was neutral. I decided to grab the camera and head out for a short drive and came across this scene. Just a hint of color in the sky was all I needed to add to the mist in the foreground. If I had just relied on the app I wouldn’t have gone out with the camera.