Rick Hobbs Photography

Wildlife/Nature/Outdoor Photography

From The Field

Follow Your Heart

Generally speaking, to create your best photographs one should follow their heart. Most photographers enjoy taking pictures of a wide variety of subjects. We just love being out in the field experiencing nature first hand and the photographs we make, while important, are just a bonus. There is a difference, however, between "taking" photographs and "creating" images. The most notable impact on the final outcome appears to be in the level of our passion about the subject.

Fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

It is not difficult to shoot a photograph when you go around the corner and, bang!!, there it is right in front of you. We simply stop, make some quick evaluations about things like lighting, composition, backgrounds and the quality of the subject or opportunity, and begin taking our photographs. While these can be very good images, and we have fun doing it, they are usually not what we would consider to be our very best photographs.

Our best work usually happens when we are willing to spend the time and effort necessary to create great images. A good place to start is by looking into your heart and asking yourself some important questions. Thankfully, there are no right or wrong answers since they will be different for each photographer.

Shooting Star found in Yellowstone National Park, WY

Try to discover what you are really passionate about. What subjects really get you excited when you are in the field? Some photographers get a thrill from being close to wildlife while others are in all their glory while standing in front of a magnificent scene or a beautiful field of wildflowers. What subjects are you drawn to when looking at the final images? What subjects are you willingly to get up early, walk over the next ridge, spend time researching, or stay out in the cold for?

Baby porcupine following its mother on a log, MN

Years ago, I attend a program given by Dewitt Jones that changed my photography forever. He said "Creating great photographs comes down to four basic principals, Vision, Passion, Purpose, and Creativity." Dewitt went on to say "When your vision is in focus, then your passion and creativity are there, and when your passion and creativity are there, discipline and commitment are non-issues". Wow, was that ever the truth. When you discover what you are passionate about the discipline and commitment to do what ever is necessary will already be in place.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN

The deeper the connection and the more time you spend working the subject the better your photo opportunities will be. This is because you will begin to see more and have a better understanding of your subject. As a result, the more likely you will be ready at the magical moment when everything comes together to create great images.