One Step at a Time

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” — Joe Girard

The biggest mistake we often make when setting goals is that we want to go from zero to hero. We desire to be the person that goes from playing catch with a football in the backyard to being Tom Brady. We prefer to avoid the work in between and go straight to the goal. Before we can achieve our main goal, we have to set small goals in order to get there. Obviously we want to achieve out goals sooner rather than later, however we cannot be too quick to hate the journey. The journey is what gets us to achieve and become better. The journey is where we experience the growth. The growth does come when we reach the destination, but it comes while we are going to the destination.

Take for example, check out these photos I took with a longer exposure. I think these photos turned out amazing. To me it looks like something I would see inside a photo book. I didn’t just walk up to the Jacob Fork River at South Mountains State Park and this photo just made it to my memory card. Here are the steps I took to take this photo.

☁ I started to practice taking these types of photos on a cloudy day. They turned out okay, but I discovered I wanted to get better at this type of photography.

💻 I researched how to take better long exposure photographs. A little Google can go a long way.

🙋‍♂️ I asked different photographers what tools they use to take long exposure shots.

💲I invested a little bit of money to buy a Neutral Density Filter for my preferred lens. Click the link to learn more about it. I also purchased a mini-tripod. I found it easier to take with me when I have to go on a longer hike. I have a larger tripod, but when on long hikes and bike rides it’s too much to carry.

📷 I practiced long exposure shots where I live. I found some great spots to practice. Some turned out great, and others not so much. The more I practiced, the more I improved.

🌍 Whenever I travel, I look for opportunities to practice.

Hopefully this overview was helpful to those who want to get better at long exposure photography. If you have some suggestions for long exposure photography or photography in general, add it to the comments. My goal this summer has been for me to share more about what I have learned and encourage others to share as well.

Here are some examples of long exposure photography from my hometown of Charlotte, N.C. This is where I get most of my practice in at.

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