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Landscape, cityscape, ocean/rivers all carry many of the same challenges. On a trip with other photographers to Iceland, the “leader/instructor” in addition to other valued advice made a simple suggestion. When you see a photographic opportunity take your shot immediately. You can always adjust your settings, change angles or lenses, wait for different lighting later but generally, the best photo is the one you see immediately. If you wait the dynamics of your photograph may change or disappear completely.  


A zoom lens can take the place of two lenses. A wide-angle and a telephoto. There are a couple of generalizations you can consider. First is to take a fairly complete but not quite wide-angle shot. This will provide a great deal of information about your subject and could be the best picture of the day. After that first shot take another at about 50 mm. Then do all the zooming you want capturing small details. Move around changing the background of your subject, if it’s stationary. Be creative! You can always go back to your original full-framed photograph to help make decisions on what you are attempting to capture. This bit of good advice came from a Cuban photographer in Havana with the last name of Batista.


I have accompanied Jim Cline who lives in San Diego on many photographic trips in South America, Cuba, Central America, and Mexico. He and his camera make magic happen. His expertise has guided my equipment choices, destinations within a destination, and a more detailed understanding of photography for over a decade. 



Photographers are by nature equipment geeks. I have boxes of marginally used special lenses, motion detectors, backpack camera carriers, tripods, computer cabling, computer apps, filters, and so on. 

I have used Konica, Nikon, Nikomat, Canon, currently Sony for both the camera body and lens.

Most recently I discovered iPhone photography. It takes, in most cases, better photographs than the Sony. They may not print as large but close enough. The detail the iPhone captures is amazing and has built-in telephoto and wide-angle capabilities.


Convenience and the ability to take a quick photo or photos by pulling your phone out of your pocket has changed the world of photography. Everyone now seems to be a photographer but, in my opinion, it stills takes a special or trained eye to capture the best photo.

Phil meeting a whale.jpg
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