Chance: Odds Are You Aren’t Responsible For Your Best Photos

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"Looking Back" by D. Travis North

Yet another photo in which Chance had a hand.

Time for some sobering truth: Many of your best photos have very little to do with your skill or your talent. If you’re not shooting in a controlled environment such as your studio, Chance had a hand in the balance of your work.  Chance is cunning, and he has his fingers in a lot of pies.  He is particularly fond of photographers.  Photographers are there to document their work – whether they want to or not.

Chance is an interesting character.  To the best of my knowledge, he’s never sued anyone for stealing his work.  I am pretty sure he’s never requested credit be noted for his contribution.  He’s the silent partner in your work.  Take advantage.  He’ll only help you.

Unfortunately, Chance has no agenda.  He’s erratic.  He could care less if you get a great photo or an awful photo.  Most of the time, he is selfish and has much more fun trying to get in your way.  But catching him off guard – well, that’s a difficult skill.  And the odds are stacked against you.  Eventually, you’ll get to know his tricks.  You’ll figure out the best way to beat him at his own game.  But he has much more experience than you.  He is a refined and efficient adversary.  There’s only one way to beat him:  Improve the odds.

The only way to improve your odds is to shoot more.  There’s no reason you can’t carry your camera with you at all times.  You have little or no excuse not to have your camera with you at all times.  There’s no reason that 10 minute wait for the train can’t turn into a short photo walk (and kudos to you for using public transportation).  Your can spare a quarter of your lunch break to try a few photo experiments.  Better yet, try cutting out 20 minutes of Angry Birds and try a few photos.

My point is that there’s a lot to be gained by accepting Chance for who he is.  You will have a love-hate relationship with him.  But that’s okay.  The few great photos will outweigh those times he gave you so much trouble.

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About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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