The Biggest Secret of Photography

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In this post Marc Silber shares his #1 tip for improving your photography.

take-your-camera-everywhere.jpgYou’ll hear this over and over from the photographers that I interview: Take your dang camera with you everywhere!

Cartier-Bresson took his camera with him EVERYwhere—to the cleaners, to the cafe, to the cinema…he always had his trusty Leica M2 with him. Yep, that’s why I got one many, many years ago, hoping the magic would rub off.

Ansel Adams got his famous Shot “Moon and Half Dome” on his way to happy hour. Yes, he pulled his Cadillac over at 4 PM and grabbed his Hasselblad and got that shot. Got back in his car and drove off to have some more fun. Ironic how photographers now line up in droves to try to get the same shot. Ansel loved to get shots of the moon, and was prepared to jump when he saw that shot.

If you saw my last show you heard Chase Jarvis tell you to get off your bum and get out and get some shots!

So this is basic point: Take your camera around with you everywhere. In fact that’s your assignment for this coming weekend: Take your camera with you for one whole day (nope, sorry your iPhone doesn’t count for this, nice try.) I mean your camera, your point and shoot, your cool new DSLR, your granddad’s 4×5, whatever you’ve got. Take it with you for the whole day and shoot. In fact set it up the night before by the bed so you pick it up first thing and grab shots the whole day.

Then next day process them and pick out your best and send it to me. Tell me a bit of the story if you’d like and I’ll post the ones that really grab me, deal?

BTW, as one by-product of this exercise you’ll have to get over any sort of “stage fright” that accompanies having a camera with you all the time and getting shots! But if you’ve set out on this road you might as well face it, you’re not going to get the shots you miss!

There’s lots of ways to get me your shot, here’s a few easy ones, let me see what you’ve got!

email: marc@silberstudios.com

twitter: @marcsilber

FaceBook: Marc Silber

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Marc Silber has been a photographer most of his life, and actually turned pro at age 13 when he sold one of his images to a teacher. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute with fellow alumna Annie Leibovitz. Marc loves to help others improve their photography, so in 2009 began his video series Advancing Your Photography, where he’s had the great fortune to interview some of the world’s best photographers.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanlady/3141697125/

    I tried carrying my camera one day and stumbled into a middle-eastern market right after the goat heads were delivered from the butcher. Without my camera to document it, I don’t think anyone would have believed me!

  • Calvin

    I would love to do this but my first step would be to overcome the stage fright I have. I just keep thinking that everyone is watching me in a non-good way lol.

  • the best way to handle getting going with “street photography” is to go our with a small camera, even a point and shoot and just start. Somewhere along the line you’ll notice with relief no one has thrown anything at you–although I had a woman in Rome with flowers on her head she was selling run after me shaking her fist at me!

  • Makeda Pennycooke

    The idea of the creative gap really resonated with me. I definitely have that problem with my pictures. I don’t take my camera with me enough, usually only for specific events/occasions. I finally got a camera bag that doesn’t scream camera bag (I live in an Urban city) so I will start taking my camera with me everywhere starting tomorrow when I go to work. Thanks for sharing this.

  • najah

    NICE..! usefull to me..
    thanks.

  • Christina Trone

    great
    idea though i find it annoying though to lug my D40 ever where but i have to say its a great idea :)though i did this one day its very worth while 🙂

  • rod fermin

    FANTABULOUS IDEA AND SUGGESTION…YEAH, JUST IMAGINE A POLICEMAN REPORTING TO HIS DUTY AND FORGOT TO BRING HIS ISSUED GUN, HAHAHA! OR A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO HAS HIS CAM WITH HIM BUT FORGOT TO RE-CHARGE HIS BATTERIES, BOTH FOR HIS CAM AND FLASH UNIT. HE IS LIKE THE COP WHO DIDN’T HAVE AMMO FOR HIS GUN.HAHAHA!

  • cristiano007

    It’s just me or anybody else find ALL CAPS very annoying? I can’t even read the post, It’s like someone screaming at your ear…

  • Karen S

    I am so glad that this topic was posted… My friends and family laugh at me because I am never with out my camera…. They have dubbed me the clicker bug… lol…. I have even gotten permission from our Pastor at church to bring it into the Sunday morning service as long as I don’t use my flash… Which has been kinda fun since I am in the choir and sit up front looking at the audience for the first part of the service… I must say however that I have gotten some amazing shots of people praying… And some of the “stupid things” I have taken picts of have just come out great!
    However…. I do have a reputation now… LOL…….. I don’t mind to much (except for the lack of space on my computer) as everyone comes to me if they are looking for a picture of an event at the church! 🙂
    Thank you again for the encouragement to continue!! I will show this to my DH!
    K

  • Wow! So I do something right! I carry my camera daily to office and photograph crows, potholes, hoardings, trees and a few lizards too!

  • crlin

    I take my DSLR almost everywhere, but not everyday. My husband doesn’t like it when I pull it out someplace like a restaurant! I always hear, what are you taking a picture of now!! I do worry when I have to leave it in the hot car in the summer since I can’t take it in some places. I don’t get very good photos through the car windows either, I wonder if it has to do with the tint on the window – they always come out darker than I think they should. I definitely need a small point & shoot for everyday!

  • rjamsbury

    Ilan – you mentioned the Panasonic LX3. I have a similar LX2 so thought my experience of it may be useful. It’s great for having a full range of options and settings – complete manual control and will shoot in RAW too. Although it is stated to be 10mp that’s only in native 16:9 format – if you go down to 3:3 format you’re only getting 8.5 mp. Not a problem but good to know.

    It’s quite compact but nowhere near as slim as an Ixus etc. The main drawback is that in JPG mode, you can’t turn off noise reduction and even on ‘low’ it’s pretty aggressive giving some very soft pictures. Forget using it at anything above ISO400…

    I’ve enjoyed mine and take it most places – I’ve snapped some of my favourites on the way to and from work!

  • Debbie

    Xiao, I found a shoulder harness that attaches where the neckstrap usually attaches to my camera. Check sporting goods stores. I got mine from Bass Pro Shop. I love it! No more neck pain and it holds my camera securely.

  • I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I’ve written more about this in my article entitled ” “. The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I’ve written more about this in my Photobird Daily article entitled “Take Your Camera With You Everywhere“. The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I’ve written more about this in my Photobird Daily article entitled “Take Your Camera With You Everywhere“. The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • Jim Flanagan

    I agree with this, but I’ll admit, I haven’t practiced yet. Living in Chicago, I have concerns about temperature extremes in the winter. I have nowhere to leave the camera except in my truck while I am working, so that is a problem when it is 5 degrees F.

    I definitely have to start carrying my camera as much as I can when it warms up.

  • Ed Krimen,

    You use what you have. If all you have is a P & S, then that is what you use. Same with a DSLR. If you have both, then you can chose which is more appropriate for where you are going. But personally, if I had both kinds, I would still take the DSLR to as many places as possible. Because it is a better camera, and I would want to get better at using it to the fullest. which means using it as much as possible.

  • jen

    Hey,

    I’ve emailed a couple of shots to you, would it be better to post them on flicr too?

    Jen

    PS thanks for the help.

  • Sorry I got behind on these, I had many to look at!

    These make a great series. I love the beach shot. Please bump up the contrast on that it’s a great shot, just needs a bit to make it pop, possibly even make it B/W, try it and see. The clouds and reflections are fantastic.

    Work on it and send it to my FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/profile.php?id=703369904&ref=name

    Good work

  • Ginger

    I just got around to reading this… I started carrying my camera around the first of the year when I was invited to participate in a 365 Challenge. My pictures and eye is definitely getting better and better. I have a little P&S, but my goal is to get better with my DSLR, so that’s the one that I carry. I’ll be glad when the weather warms up and I feel more like exploring the city more 🙂

  • Dave Whiteman

    How true this tip is. Last week the Ulysees motorcycle group was in town. They are “older” motorcycle enthusiasts not the “Gang” type of people. Anyway, on Saturday they were wrapping up after the week long meet and there were motorcycles heading all points out of our local area.

    I had to go and chop wood and was going to grab my Point and Shoot but didn’t. Driving along the freeway wa came across a tricycle motorcycle ridden by an old fellow. He had a black helmet, leather jacket and the bike was quite colourful, but what caught our attention was his long whispy whickers which were flowing either side of the helmet in the slipstream. It must have been 12 inches long coming out of each side of his helmet.

    What a shot it would have been! As we pulled along side him, and with a speed setting of 1/60th the background would have been blurred but the bike, the rider and the flowing whiskers would have been perfectly sharp, It would have been what I call a Stunner for sure.

    So… take heed of this tip and take your camera everywhere. Good advice.

  • Yes, carry a simple point and shoot always. I use a Nikon 5700 and it takes great pics. My Canon and my Sony bags of gear stay put until necessary.

  • Verne

    My camera is always with me no matter where I’m going. When I had a point and shoot, it was a little easer to carry. Now thaqt I have the Rebel xsi, a zoom lens, external flash, and a few filters, not as easy. I had to switch over to a camera bag, so I got the Canon camera bag, put all of my “goodies” in it, and I was back in business. Oh, and the point and shoot is in the bag too.

    It only makes good sense to carry your camera with you at all times, this is when you can get the best surprise shots.

Some Older Comments

  • Verne September 25, 2009 12:24 am

    My camera is always with me no matter where I'm going. When I had a point and shoot, it was a little easer to carry. Now thaqt I have the Rebel xsi, a zoom lens, external flash, and a few filters, not as easy. I had to switch over to a camera bag, so I got the Canon camera bag, put all of my "goodies" in it, and I was back in business. Oh, and the point and shoot is in the bag too.

    It only makes good sense to carry your camera with you at all times, this is when you can get the best surprise shots.

  • David Neely September 21, 2009 01:02 am

    Yes, carry a simple point and shoot always. I use a Nikon 5700 and it takes great pics. My Canon and my Sony bags of gear stay put until necessary.

  • Dave Whiteman March 23, 2009 04:43 pm

    How true this tip is. Last week the Ulysees motorcycle group was in town. They are "older" motorcycle enthusiasts not the "Gang" type of people. Anyway, on Saturday they were wrapping up after the week long meet and there were motorcycles heading all points out of our local area.

    I had to go and chop wood and was going to grab my Point and Shoot but didn't. Driving along the freeway wa came across a tricycle motorcycle ridden by an old fellow. He had a black helmet, leather jacket and the bike was quite colourful, but what caught our attention was his long whispy whickers which were flowing either side of the helmet in the slipstream. It must have been 12 inches long coming out of each side of his helmet.

    What a shot it would have been! As we pulled along side him, and with a speed setting of 1/60th the background would have been blurred but the bike, the rider and the flowing whiskers would have been perfectly sharp, It would have been what I call a Stunner for sure.

    So... take heed of this tip and take your camera everywhere. Good advice.

  • Ginger February 19, 2009 04:21 am

    I just got around to reading this... I started carrying my camera around the first of the year when I was invited to participate in a 365 Challenge. My pictures and eye is definitely getting better and better. I have a little P&S, but my goal is to get better with my DSLR, so that's the one that I carry. I'll be glad when the weather warms up and I feel more like exploring the city more :)

  • marc silber February 11, 2009 01:00 am

    Sorry I got behind on these, I had many to look at!

    These make a great series. I love the beach shot. Please bump up the contrast on that it’s a great shot, just needs a bit to make it pop, possibly even make it B/W, try it and see. The clouds and reflections are fantastic.

    Work on it and send it to my FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/profile.php?id=703369904&ref=name

    Good work

  • jen February 10, 2009 04:51 pm

    Hey,

    I've emailed a couple of shots to you, would it be better to post them on flicr too?

    Jen

    PS thanks for the help.

  • Tom B. February 5, 2009 03:49 pm

    Ed Krimen,

    You use what you have. If all you have is a P & S, then that is what you use. Same with a DSLR. If you have both, then you can chose which is more appropriate for where you are going. But personally, if I had both kinds, I would still take the DSLR to as many places as possible. Because it is a better camera, and I would want to get better at using it to the fullest. which means using it as much as possible.

  • Jim Flanagan February 5, 2009 01:10 pm

    I agree with this, but I'll admit, I haven't practiced yet. Living in Chicago, I have concerns about temperature extremes in the winter. I have nowhere to leave the camera except in my truck while I am working, so that is a problem when it is 5 degrees F.

    I definitely have to start carrying my camera as much as I can when it warms up.

  • Ed Krimen February 4, 2009 03:43 pm

    I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I’ve written more about this in my Photobird Daily article entitled "Take Your Camera With You Everywhere". The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • Ed Krimen February 4, 2009 03:42 pm

    I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I’ve written more about this in my Photobird Daily article entitled "Take Your Camera With You Everywhere". The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • Ed Krimen February 4, 2009 02:18 pm

    I agree with the comments above by steven and norm burnham: Great photography is not about the camera. Take a compact camera with you everywhere, not a DSLR.

    I've written more about this in my article entitled " ". The photo in the article was taken at sunset with a tiny 5-megapixel point-and-shoot camera.

  • Debbie February 3, 2009 01:28 am

    Xiao, I found a shoulder harness that attaches where the neckstrap usually attaches to my camera. Check sporting goods stores. I got mine from Bass Pro Shop. I love it! No more neck pain and it holds my camera securely.

  • rjamsbury January 31, 2009 10:02 pm

    Ilan - you mentioned the Panasonic LX3. I have a similar LX2 so thought my experience of it may be useful. It's great for having a full range of options and settings - complete manual control and will shoot in RAW too. Although it is stated to be 10mp that's only in native 16:9 format - if you go down to 3:3 format you're only getting 8.5 mp. Not a problem but good to know.

    It's quite compact but nowhere near as slim as an Ixus etc. The main drawback is that in JPG mode, you can't turn off noise reduction and even on 'low' it's pretty aggressive giving some very soft pictures. Forget using it at anything above ISO400...

    I've enjoyed mine and take it most places - I've snapped some of my favourites on the way to and from work!

  • crlin January 31, 2009 03:14 pm

    I take my DSLR almost everywhere, but not everyday. My husband doesn't like it when I pull it out someplace like a restaurant! I always hear, what are you taking a picture of now!! I do worry when I have to leave it in the hot car in the summer since I can't take it in some places. I don't get very good photos through the car windows either, I wonder if it has to do with the tint on the window - they always come out darker than I think they should. I definitely need a small point & shoot for everyday!

  • Sunshinemom January 31, 2009 03:26 am

    Wow! So I do something right! I carry my camera daily to office and photograph crows, potholes, hoardings, trees and a few lizards too!

  • Karen S January 31, 2009 02:10 am

    I am so glad that this topic was posted... My friends and family laugh at me because I am never with out my camera.... They have dubbed me the clicker bug... lol.... I have even gotten permission from our Pastor at church to bring it into the Sunday morning service as long as I don't use my flash... Which has been kinda fun since I am in the choir and sit up front looking at the audience for the first part of the service... I must say however that I have gotten some amazing shots of people praying... And some of the "stupid things" I have taken picts of have just come out great!
    However.... I do have a reputation now... LOL........ I don't mind to much (except for the lack of space on my computer) as everyone comes to me if they are looking for a picture of an event at the church! :-)
    Thank you again for the encouragement to continue!! I will show this to my DH!
    K

  • cristiano007 January 31, 2009 12:00 am

    It's just me or anybody else find ALL CAPS very annoying? I can't even read the post, It's like someone screaming at your ear...

  • rod fermin January 30, 2009 08:20 pm

    FANTABULOUS IDEA AND SUGGESTION...YEAH, JUST IMAGINE A POLICEMAN REPORTING TO HIS DUTY AND FORGOT TO BRING HIS ISSUED GUN, HAHAHA! OR A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO HAS HIS CAM WITH HIM BUT FORGOT TO RE-CHARGE HIS BATTERIES, BOTH FOR HIS CAM AND FLASH UNIT. HE IS LIKE THE COP WHO DIDN'T HAVE AMMO FOR HIS GUN.HAHAHA!

  • Christina Trone January 30, 2009 06:26 pm

    great
    idea though i find it annoying though to lug my D40 ever where but i have to say its a great idea :)though i did this one day its very worth while :)

  • najah January 30, 2009 05:17 pm

    NICE..! usefull to me..
    thanks.

  • Makeda Pennycooke January 30, 2009 12:02 pm

    The idea of the creative gap really resonated with me. I definitely have that problem with my pictures. I don't take my camera with me enough, usually only for specific events/occasions. I finally got a camera bag that doesn't scream camera bag (I live in an Urban city) so I will start taking my camera with me everywhere starting tomorrow when I go to work. Thanks for sharing this.

  • marc silber January 30, 2009 11:02 am

    the best way to handle getting going with "street photography" is to go our with a small camera, even a point and shoot and just start. Somewhere along the line you'll notice with relief no one has thrown anything at you--although I had a woman in Rome with flowers on her head she was selling run after me shaking her fist at me!

  • Calvin January 30, 2009 08:03 am

    I would love to do this but my first step would be to overcome the stage fright I have. I just keep thinking that everyone is watching me in a non-good way lol.

  • wendy January 30, 2009 06:38 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanlady/3141697125/

    I tried carrying my camera one day and stumbled into a middle-eastern market right after the goat heads were delivered from the butcher. Without my camera to document it, I don't think anyone would have believed me!

  • Norm Burnham January 30, 2009 05:49 am

    For those of you that think the big camera is the answer to better photography and as such you have to drag it with you all over Kansas, and the Rain Forests of South America, here is a photo shot though the windshield of a car with a 12 mp point and shoot.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/87394431@N00/3232010166/sizes/l/

    Give the point and shoot a try, the results may surprise you

  • Jami January 30, 2009 02:03 am

    Because it is sometimes difficult for me to lug my DSLR everywhere, I bought myself a new 10MP Sony Cyber-Shot T700 so that I wouldn't miss a beat. I chose the higher MP because I previously had a 5MP Cyber-Shot (and did not have the DSLR) and got some great shots, but couldn't enlarge them more than 5x7!! I'm so paranoid that I'm going to miss that spontaneous shot that I have had a camera attached at the hip for the last 3 years! I still have the old Cyber-Shot (even though it's on it's way out) so I can take it with me to the beach or some other high-risk area that I wouldn't want to bring my nice ones to.

  • carole January 30, 2009 01:19 am

    As a mother I also have alot in common with many others on this forum. It is definitely a pain to haul my d300 along w/ my toddlers. I have a small point & shoot that I always keep in my purse, but have tried to bring the DSLR along as often as possible. (My teenager does get embarassed when I take it to the mall etc...but I'm not going to risk having it stolen from my car!) I have a great ThinkTank Digital Holster 40 to protect it.

    ***Also my children (except the toddlers) all know how to run my DSLR. I find in many public situations where people seem uncomfortable with me taking their photo, they have no problem with my little girl taking their photos. They actually seem to welcome it when she is the photographer. They let her get in nice and close.She gets some great shots too!!!

    I also have a long commute (50 miles) so I have made it a habit to not leave home w/out my dslr in the vehicle. Each time I leave it home, it seems like I miss the shot of a lifetime!!!!

  • Peter W RUlon January 29, 2009 10:10 pm

    Living in the south; I have found that the summer heat in my car drys out the lubricant in the camera lens and may degrade my sensor. I use one of the hot-cold bags to store the camera in the car all year long. This also helps to keep it cleaner. - Pete - .

  • Finola Prescott January 29, 2009 09:58 pm

    I used to do this when I lived in London and later at college and I had boxes of the photos I took and in those days, had printed. I've been missing this so much in recent times and am searching for a good DSLR that's not too heavy or bulky to carry around easily (and also keep hidden when needed). I SO look forward to having my camera again!

  • Ant January 29, 2009 09:49 pm

    I think the point isn't to have your DSLR with you all the time, but a camera.
    I have a Fuji S602Zoom prosumer which is now over 6 years old and owes me nothing. I have taken over 40,000 shots with it and is invaluable lightweight tool and I love the results it gives.
    I will let you know when it dies because shares in Duracell are going to plummet!!!!!!!!

  • marc silber January 29, 2009 07:14 am

    Shelly you're running into the "creative gap" that Cchase Jarvis talked about here http://www.silberstudios.tv/chase-jarvis/

    watch that and follow what he talks about.

  • Shelley January 29, 2009 03:03 am

    I am trying to develop a photography hobby-I can take a ton of crappy pictures while hunting for the one representative image that captured what I saw that possessed me to grab my camera in the first place. I don't have a fancy camera and I do have some adobe software I don't know how to capture, adapt, and present the image my minds eye saw. It makes me feel like I am not suited for the task. Is this normal? Is this what being an ametuer photographer is about? I can take the pictures all day long and feel like I have a high school photo album not a compilation of moments that speak to others the way they spoke to me.

  • Lorenzo January 28, 2009 06:01 pm

    I just missed a great shot because of leaving my DSLR at home... Hope I will learn from my mistakes!

  • marc silber January 28, 2009 01:02 pm

    Wow, so glad to see so many digging this and sending me their shots.

    Here's some suggestiions:

    1. Shoot and then go back and pick your best. Don't worry about having to have 5 or 10 or 3, just get the one you really like. Ansel Adams said a "good crop" would be one a month, if you did that you'll build a portfolio. When I was in South Africa last fall I had about 2 shots that I really loved out of about 1700--many of those were well liked and loved by others but in the end I'm the one I have to please to add to my portfolio.

    2. I'm getting hammered with your photos, which is great but to make it easy let's just use FB http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703369904, let me know you heard of me through DPS. Only post ONE photo and I'll comment, but I'll do what I do with my students and be honest.

    3. If you haven't seen my interview with Chase Jarvis, watch it here http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703369904

    4. If you'd like me to do more posts and take you along on a path you could let the guys at DPS know. My goal is to help those who follow along get better shots, week by week.

    How about it?

  • lola January 28, 2009 04:52 am

    It comes down to -- who cares what anyone else thinks?! -- no one will think you look like a dork anyways -- YOU will be the one kicking your own butt when you see the great shot you COULD"VE had, had you brought your camera along. I have young kids, so camera is usually in hand at any given event, as with most parents, but the one day you go out for the same old walk or drive to school, THAT"S the day you see something you wished you had dragged that camera along. One day, tired of hearing me say for the upteenth time, "darn, wished I'd brought my camera", my 7 year said, MOM! You ALWAYS say that! Just bring it with you next time!" She also gives me courage to take photos in resturants, etc, when I'd rather be a little less obvious with the camera - she'll grab it herself & start taking photos --- and her photos are great. Kids have a completely different perspective - just by seeing the world from a lower vantage point to begin with -- and they take photos of things we might not think of or even notice.

  • Mindy January 28, 2009 01:23 am

    I'm in the same boat as Marcy (5th comment from top.) I have a 1 1/2 year old & a 2 1/2 year old. I already carry way to much stuff, but some days I take my camera with me just in case. I plan on getting a slingshot camera bag soon so i'll be able to take it with me more often. Great tip though!

  • The Pimento January 27, 2009 10:16 pm

    I thought this was a really cool challenge. I have owned a DSLR for almost a month now, and while I'm still figuring it out, bringing the camera with me made me have more of a 'photographer's eye.'

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pimentoofdoom/sets/72157612993583569/

  • Joanie January 27, 2009 06:27 pm

    Since my camera already goes everywhere with me, that won't be the challenge. The real challenge will be finding something fun to shoot between my house and the studio (across the street). Then again, one never knows!

  • K. Praslowicz January 27, 2009 03:46 pm

    I tend to neve rleave the house with my camera slung over my shoulder. As Susana said above, it felt dorky for a while, but now I'm used to it. Now I just fear that the time I I don't have it with me, the greatest thing I'll ever expereince in my life will happen.

  • Heather Provan January 27, 2009 01:38 pm

    I have recently renewed my passion for photography with my partner giving me a Nikon D60 for Christmas. Prior to that I was using a Nikon Coolpix 4300. I was an avid photographer in my teenage years using a 35mm Ricoh camera. Most of my photos during the intervening years have been of my family. Now my interest and enthusiasm has returned, along with more time to indulge in this past time. I also believe the first rule of getting great shots is to always have your camera handy. I especially love getting out very early in the morning and capturing the light at that time. As I am just getting to know DSLR a little better, I am always looking for new ideas and tips on improving my technique. I am loving looking at and reading about others photos. We can all learn from each other this way.
    I have uploaded a couple of recent shots to the following link.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormgirl1960/

  • Susana January 27, 2009 11:37 am

    I started carrying my camera everywhere on January 1st, and there's no going back. At first I must admit I felt dorky, but now I feel "naked" without my camera. I'm already starting to take better pictures, and now everybody at work knows I'm the woman with the camera. Nobody questions it anymore.

  • jgodsey January 27, 2009 07:28 am

    i feel weird now.
    i usually put mine under the pillow beside me.
    i put a special camera sized pocket in my winter coat.

  • cristiano007 January 27, 2009 07:07 am

    Oh, great, I followed your advice in advance, with a twist. I needed a good macro shot to participate in my local black and white Flickr group competition and I had to travel to my mother-in-law house this weekend. Well, I did a tour around his house looking for interesting things to shoot: rusty nuts and bolts, glass decorations, porcelain dolls, insects, plants, everything. I took my camera into everything interesting in the house. I'll show you some in the DPS pool...

  • Lorenzo January 27, 2009 06:43 am

    Yep, definitely that was my idea of photography. Catch the moment, stop the time (your time) and then go back at home and make some post-production stuff. It's great to always have your own camera with you, but (as some of you already remembered us) it's not possible at all if your not a pro.

    I promise I will try to have my "whole-camera-day" next Saturday or Sunday and, maybe, I will take my DSLR at work one of those days. I haven't tried this trick yet, I always get stucked in searching for great photos without thinking about telling a story.. And that is good, when you had perfect days with great light and beautiful colors, but what about having a cloudy or rainy weather?!

  • Shar January 27, 2009 05:53 am

    I would like to see a photo of someone "wearing" the Slingshot bag. It looks like a regular backpack to me, and I don't see me walking around with a backpack.
    Shar

  • steven January 27, 2009 05:22 am

    After reading the replies, maybe secret number two should be, "It's not about the camera!"

  • Nathan January 27, 2009 03:45 am

    My girlfriend got me the LowePro Slingshot 100 for Christmas. Let me tell you, this has been a BIG help in me carrying around my dSLR more!

    I'm able to fit my Canon Rebel + Battery grip comfortably inside with the 18-55mm lens, plus fit my 50mm prime, a 75-300mm from my brother, my vivitar 283, a sunpak 110/something, cables, memory cards, etc.

    And it makes it exceptionally handy when you see a shot - just sling it under the arm, unzip, and grab your camera.

    It really helps, knowing that I'm not carrying something really awkward, or ridiculous-looking; great incentive.

    http://products.lowepro.com/catalog/Sling-bags,4.htm

  • Angela January 26, 2009 11:48 pm

    This is so nice to read and so needed, I thought to grab my camera this weekend and it just didn't happen. Today! My Nikon D50 will be my companion. It's odd how you can sometimes talk yourself out of not feeling you can take your camera with you everywhere. This is a great post!

  • Jason January 26, 2009 11:31 pm

    I just got my first DSLR in August of last year (2008) and have been pretty much carrying it with me wherever I go. I have none of the "stage fright" about using a DSLR in public because I live in Tokyo (I am American though) where DSLRs are common place. However, I am moving back to the U.S. next month (to Florida) and I wonder how bold I will be with street photography there?

    Thank you for creating the flickr group Marc. I made a couple submissions.

  • stu January 26, 2009 10:53 pm

    Thanks Marc- great post. Good reminder - I've been a "weekend only" photographer recently, this week will be different!

  • Pat January 26, 2009 10:43 pm

    Great article and so very true. It's a shame that DSLRs can be impracticle, which is why I would love to have a Canon G9 as a take everywhere camera :-)

    PatB Photography

  • Sheila@DrCason.org January 26, 2009 08:03 pm

    I tell this to everyone as well and I don't they think I mean it literally. But I do. Literally It's in my purse when I drive the kids to daycare, when I see patients, when I drive home and when I go to the grocery store!

  • MT January 26, 2009 06:41 pm

    ok thanks- just the motivation i needed. This morning I looked at my dslr and then my 1368 paged Robert Fisk book "the great war for civilisation the conquest of the middle east" (Haper Collins- great book!) and chose the latter, but the sky looks beutiful today and I shouldve lugged the camera! its one of the other I am afraid! tomorrow!

  • Justin January 26, 2009 05:49 pm

    This is certainly a fantastic and motivating article. Tomorrow will be Day 1 of taking my camera with me everywhere

  • Norm Burnham January 26, 2009 05:44 pm

    I have worn out one camera carrier and into a sleek looking black and yellow "Body Glove" that is a bit bulky but keeps the camera secure on my belt and on the ready throughout the day.

    Because of my art training I see photo ops in the most common scenes but people are what make me tick and as such have had a few embarrassing moments in the public arena

    Although I have two larger cameras. my favorite shooter is the Canon PowerShot A650is

  • Kailyn Lamb January 26, 2009 05:31 pm

    This is an awesome tip because every individual sees the world differently. As a photographer I see everything as a potential picture now, it's a great way to show other people how you see the world. For example one person may look at a lake and see the way the water glows in the sun, another person may see a pile of cool algae. By taking pictures we can show others what we see.

  • Fotografi January 26, 2009 03:51 pm

    Wow interesting and useful!!! Great article.

  • marc silber January 26, 2009 03:01 pm

    I'm always honest and will tel you what I see you can put them here http://www.flickr.com/groups/751830@N21/
    pick your best.

  • Bryant Swan January 26, 2009 02:54 pm

    I feel as though photography has chosen me, over me choosing it. I carry my Nikon D80 with me into stores shooting my son, and wife while they shop. I shoot all the time here at home, and the best times are when I'm in a conversation with either my son, or wife. The body language, smiles, laughs are so genuine, I feel as though I'm literally at a toy store, and have been handed the keys to pick out whatever my heart desires. Then I have a beautiful black cat, that my wife found in the street she almost hit, one evening, on her route home from work. This tabby has single handedly improved my images 10 fold, because I now know how to expose better, due to her all black velvety coat, and I always focus on her eyes when I shoot the face region.
    I have to say, I am a way better photographer now, because I take my DSLR almost everywhere I go. Marc, I would love to share my images with you, so you could see what I see TTL, Through the lens. Only if you supply me with brutally honest critique, Because I feel the more brutal, the quicker I can adjust my focus.

  • Argos January 26, 2009 09:32 am

    Unfortunately, my employer doesn't allow cameras at work (not even in your car in the parking lot). I only get to follow your suggestion on weekends...

  • Michael Warf January 26, 2009 07:25 am

    I ended 2008 by hauling my DSLR with me daily. The potential damage that could be done from the shuttling expensive equipment around was mitigated this year by choosing to only bring my Canon point and shoot. I gain more control by shooting in RAW on my point and shoot through the Canon CHDK firmware.

  • Christopher LCP Mendes January 26, 2009 06:02 am

    What a wonderful idea. You always hear people saying take your camera everywhere, but for me it goes in one ear and out the other. I never thought of literally taking it everywhere (e.g., the movies, happy hour, etc.). I am going to get a more discrete camera bag (I sometimes feel awkward taking my camera bag into certain places) and try this out for a week. Thanks for the tip.

  • Helen Bradley January 26, 2009 04:25 am

    Xiao, I no longer hang my camera round my neck. Instead, I wrap the shoulder strap twice around my wrist and hold onto the camera body with one hand. It means no more neck pain - which after a long day carrying a DSLR is great - my camera is always in my hand and because it is wrapped it is safe and ready to use. I started doing this about 2 years ago and it really works well for me. It is helped by having a Pentax with an extra battery pack attached so the camera is well weighted and has a large 'grip' area.

  • marc silber January 26, 2009 04:22 am

    Hey good but remember to send me your shots! you can also use Flickr http://www.flickr.com/groups/751830@N21/

  • Xiao January 26, 2009 04:17 am

    speaking of lugging your dslr around, does anyone have a recommendation for a good/comfortable strap? i took my camera all over asia this past summer and i still have a cramp in my shoulders/neck that just won't go away

  • Anna January 26, 2009 04:02 am

    I've made it a habit to drag my dslr with me absolutely everywhere I go. Well, like 90% of the time. Now I just need to actually take it out of my bag and shoot more! :)

  • Peter Bryenton January 26, 2009 03:57 am

    There's simply no excuse not to carry a camera everywhere you go now, with all the choice of reliable, high quality, miniature technology available to us. I use a Panasonic Lumix as my pocket point-and-shoot. Why not blog your results? A photo-a-day project really is an achieveable target, and a very good way to keep your eye for a picture in good shape.

  • Genaro Orengo January 26, 2009 03:15 am

    5 Reasons to Take Your Camera Everywhere in 2008 {2009} by Darren Rowse

    https://digital-photography-school.com/5-reasons-to-take-your-camera-everywhere-in-2008

    Just thought I would throw in this link, as it can be carried over into 2009 as well.

  • Marcy January 26, 2009 03:08 am

    I keep my point & shoot in my purse everywhere I go, though I don't pull it out as often as I should. I'd love to bring my dslr with me everywhere, but I've got a 1 yr old and always feel like I'm lugging so much STUFF with me already... boo. But I read a suggestion recently to just buy a nice, sturdy backpack and make that a camera bag/purse to take everywhere, and it's not a bad idea. Even taking an slr with a "limiting" 50mm lens has in the past inspired some really great and fun shots, and the small lens makes the cameras much less bulky and heavy.

  • Tom B. January 26, 2009 02:48 am

    I bought my current camera in August when I was on vacation, because my old one broke on the first day of a 2 week road trip. It ended up being 3 weeks of driving through large parts of the US west and I lost track of the number of National Parks and Monuments I visited. Aside from a few days in Denver at the start, I had the camera with me everyday, taking hundreds of pictures everyday. Now it is a habit, when I go somewhere, I grab my camera. I can't take a picture if I don't have it with me.

  • Hans January 26, 2009 02:33 am

    I always keep my dslr close.
    In the car on the seat next to me, on my bike in my backpack, when I'm walking in my hand or around my neck..
    Always.
    It even sits on my desk at work, just in case...
    People don't know any better then me having a camera.
    When I do leave it at home (birthday parties, weddings and funerals) people ask me where my camera is.
    And I agree, the only way to get a shot is when you have your camera with you.

  • MeiTeng January 26, 2009 01:50 am

    I agree that this is a good tip but it's just not possible for me to lug my DLSR everywhere I go...but I do make it a point to shoot at least once a week.

  • Ilan January 26, 2009 01:47 am

    This article comes at the best time possible :D
    For the first time, for the past.. 5-6 years, I've decided to buy a compact camera for everyday use, so this issue it fresh on my mind. It's just impossible for me, as an amateur photographer, to go around with a full size DSLR all day. Too heavy, too noticeable.
    I feel pretty confident at this point at the technology of the compact cameras as well. At this point, the technological drawbacks of the compact cameras are not that severe to interfere with photos taken during those times I'm going to work/shopping, whatever .
    However, I'm not sure which one to choose.... There is the praised Canon G10, the bit expensive Ricoh GX200 (but with 24mm wide lens, which is great for my style of street photography) and Panasonic LX3 (a bit limited tele).
    Advice is more than welcome!

  • jeffrey byrnes January 26, 2009 01:43 am

    You'd be crazy not to have a camera with you at all times! This goes for anyone!

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