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Friday, February 28, 2014

"You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take"

I am and will always be a hockey fan. Wayne Gretzky once said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.". And that quote from the world's most famous hockey player can be translated into the photography world. You miss 100% of the shots that you do not pull out your camera for. What does that mean? You have to get out and shoot. Just as hockey players fire the puck at the goal hundreds of thousands of times to develop their shot and their accuracy, so do photographers. Your accuracy builds up on the number of shots you take. That doesn't mean you fire off a hundred thousand shots without thinking. Each shot you take, you step back, you assess what quality of image you obtained and make fine-tune adjustments and each time you do that, that etches into your memory. Like hockey players adjust their shots when they come up against a goalie like Dominic Hasek - they learn what style of goalie he is, and what shots will work from what angle. Do they beat him glove or stick side? Do they go for the shot over his shoulder or through the five-hole? Do they fake him out and get him out of position so that they have an open net?

Photography is like hockey in that you learn what works in a given situation and be flexible in your skills. You have to be able to get the shot in any given situation. My favorite landscape scenes are snow. But in the Fraser Valley, it's not feasible as our wet Pacific Coastal Rainforest and mild temperatures cause snow to be shunted off to the north and east of us. So when we had that freak 3 day snowfall, I took the opportunity and went out with camera in hand. This is what Gretzky means when he says you have to take the shot or else you don't get the goal. If I had complained about it being too cold or thought that "ah, there'll be another time", it would have resulted in no photos and no 500px popularity. You take the opportunities that you are given and you just might come up with a golden moment.

Above all, keep it fun and Happy Shooting.

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