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How to take crappy pictures---at pictorial on the meaning of life!

     Considering that photography is such a “mechanical” operation, it is amazing that the process of producing "good" photographs is so difficult.
     I do not consider myself to be a real photographer like Debi Boucher,  however I do on occasion come up with an “interesting” photograph, and I frequently get lots of comments on my Wordless Wednesday posts----and, like Debi's friends, I have been known to make a funny face or two. 

     It seems that for every good photograph I have taken, the following factors have been involved on one level or another (and not necessarily in any particular order).

     #1, Luck

     #2, Being in the right place at the right time (another version of luck)

     #3, The camera being “present” when I am lucky and in the right place at the right time (this element includes having fully charged batteries, camera settings correct (although sometimes having the settings messed up results in #1), lipstick and jelly off the lens, lens cap off etc).

     #4, Patience

     #5, Cropping

     #6, Paying attention

     #7, Placing oneself in a position to get a different “view” (this is important in life as well)

The light at the end of the tunnel

     #8, Lastly, and arguably the most important-----pushing the button down-----NOTHING comes of not doing that part.  This last component translates to:  “willingness.”

 

Charles Buell

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 34 commentsCharles Buell • April 25 2010 09:14AM

Comments

Charles, you present a great and direct perspective on a function we Realtors need to master. Thanks for your list.

Posted by Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin (M3 Realty) over 8 years ago

Charles, just keep pushing that button down.  Love your perspective!

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) over 8 years ago

Great list, very well done...thanks for sharing

Posted by Mary Lou Teague, Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN (HOME STYLE AND STAGING LLC ) over 8 years ago

Pat, I have seen a few "strange" listing photos :)

Geri----will do----and thanks

Mary Lou, you are welcome

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Charles, who would have thought a big sewer pipe could make such a great photo opp? 

#8- relates a lot to life... We all need to just push that button, dont we?

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) over 8 years ago

I couldn't agree more but I'd add one more thing (perhaps an offshoot of cropping and also perhaps a little bit of a cheat): good photo editing software/website. I often take some very ho-hum photos but turning up the saturation and other simple fixes can make a photo sing more than a thousand words.

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) over 8 years ago

Robert, no one is going to do it for us that is for sure

Julia, there will always be the "purists" out there but I agree----would love to hear some of the "why not" reasons from "the other side" :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

I remember when a culvert like that replaced a wooden bridge where a country lane near where I cabined for a few years crossed a similar stream. I was pretty disappointed on loosing that wooded rail to sit on by the stream on moonlit (or not) nights. I guess I should have taken another view of it. It looks pretty nice.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Don't forget the willingness to slow down so that you can actually see something worth photographing!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience (DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Glenn, I would likely grieve the loss of the bridge----and then climb inside the culvert :)

Jenna, yup---gotta slow down too.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Charles ~ You seem to have found life's meaning with that picture :)

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) over 8 years ago

You just never know, sometimes hours later, how that one picture made your day...
From your friend in Washington State Charles,
Paul

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) over 8 years ago

I wonder how many people passed by this setting without even giving it a second thought. One of the great things about having a passion for photography is that it helps us really look at things, to see them in a different way. Nice shot, Charles ... and I'm curious what the duck would say about this.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 8 years ago

Melinda---always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel here

Paul, ain't that the truth

John, 99.9%

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Great photo Charles. If you took that one here you would have some different items in the shot.  A washer with a bad motor, an old tire and very possibly a few black plastic trash bags.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 8 years ago

You realize you got an insider glimpse of the human brain, right?

Posted by Kate Kate over 8 years ago

Jack, some of them might look like that around here too :)
Kate, just Nutsy's and Steve's

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Not being a farmer, it is hard for me to pay attention to my cropping.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, Your brain needs cropping today.

Posted by Kate Kate over 8 years ago

Mr Charles,

It is so good to see you do a post that is in your area of expertise. I would say that I agree that you are an excerpt at taking crappy photos. If anyone knows more about that than you, then I am unaware of that person.

Nutsy S. Wallenda

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 8 years ago

It's so easy to take crappy pictures! And so difficult to take great ones. Debi is an artist who has the eye for it. But your pictures, Charles, are pretty darned good too. You're an artist too. Of course art is all subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago

Jay, to crop or not to crop......

Kate, don't compliment Jay like that :)

Nutsy you have the "unaware" part down pat

Craig thanks


Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Kate and Charlie - your comments taken together made me laugh out loud!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, glad to oblige. (as Grandpa Henry used to say) Kate

Posted by Kate Kate over 8 years ago

Charles, great tutorial!  Thanks!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 8 years ago

Chuck - You are so right about all the components necessary to take "good" photos!  I subscribe mainly to the "Luck" and "Safety in Numbers" theory.  I take a lot of pictures, keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of 'em will be good enough to post:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Jay, mission accomplished :)

Kate, thanks for helping out

Tony and Darcy, you are welcome

Myrl----ahhhhh yes----should have thought of "safety in numbers"----definitely should be added to the list :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Charles, You are so right about the fine art of picture taking sometimes coming down to luck, patience and having the camera ready.  I've missed many a photo because I was just trying to get the darn thing to turn on.  LOL.

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) over 8 years ago

Hi Charles, I was out taking photos over the weekend and one more thing to add to the list is the pain endurance. My neck and upper back were stinging from carring my camera around my neck all day. The pain though is worth the results. I took over 450 photos of various events and new found treasures in San Diego.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 8 years ago

Susan, been there myself----missed a live rat in a crawl space the other day because of that----dang shame to miss good blog fodder like that:)

William---must be that 100000000 millimeter lens you lug around :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Hi Charles...You certainly have a way with words and with your camera.  Really like this photo.

Kate

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 8 years ago

Charlie - Thanks for the heads up! I missed this post - as I likely missed many while I waited out the AR PE disease... This is really a terrific, and creative shot - the coup de grace is the awesome reflection that draws the eye. Everything you listed above is imperative -  especially being sure you get your lipstick off the lens! (Is that an issue you have often? just askin'....) LOL

PS too bad about the rat....

Debi

Posted by Debi Boucher, "Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) over 8 years ago

Thanks Kate, you must have snuck in here during the AR breakdown :)

Debi, I was thinking you maybe missed it----thanks for commenting.  Have been pretty good about the lipstick business lately :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

I'm glad to hear it, Charlie! LOL

Posted by Debi Boucher, "Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) over 8 years ago

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