How to Shoot Epic Photos - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
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How to Shoot Epic Photos

How to Shoot Epic Photos
It seems that everyone everywhere these days is highly concerned with pursuing the "epic."  Nothing less than the jaw-dropping and utterly astounding will do.  Many photographers choose to pursue and obsess over this dilemma as well.  Even the casual photographer seeks to capture something which people will rave about and will share to viral proportions on social media.  There is nothing wrong with dreaming of photographing something epic.  I would like to discuss how to stop dreaming and how to actually shoot something epic on your camera.

Be Prepared

There is a reason that this became the famous Boy Scout motto.  Luck tends to favor those who are ready for it to happen (the prepared).  This means being ready for the 'epic' to happen and then you can capture it for everyone to admire.  The only way to do this is to bring your camera with you.  Some of the most astounding and breath-taking memorable images I have seen were taken because the photographer had his or her camera ready at the right moment.  Photographers are artists but not the kind which can reproduce something from memory. If you do not have your camera, the moment will pass you by and you will forever lament the opportunity lost.

Abstract black and white photograph of a wind-swept cloud professionally created by Cramer Imaging
For this photo, I was prepared and had my camera with me so I got the shot.
More than just having your camera with you, make sure you have the basics of what you might need to make that photo into the epic you envision.  I have taken many pictures which I needed an extra piece of gear, like a tripod or a flash, in order to make a proper exposure.  Without this gear with me, I don't know what I would have done and many a perfectly beautiful photograph would have been spoiled by my lack of preparedness.  Place items in your camera bag which will enable you to succeed in your epic photographic endeavors at the drop of a hat.  This will help ensure you are ready when the moment presents itself.

Practice Makes Perfect

Truly 'epic' photography is about being in the right place at the right time with the right gear.  There is just no question about it.  Where the questions do arise include "how do you know where the right place is?" or "when is the right time?" or "what gear do I need?"  All three of these questions are legitimate questions.  How does a photographer recognize when everything is set up perfectly for something 'epic' to happen?  The answer is practice and lots of it.

Photography is a skill, much as the other crafts out there.  No I don't mean 'crafts' like "arts-and-crafts."  I mean 'crafts' as in skill sets often used as careers.  There is an art and a process involved with honing a skill and perfecting one's craft.  Thanks to computers and digital photography, the overall craft of photography has changed dramatically in the post-processing elements but the basics of how to create a quality image remain the same.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a colorful sunset and trees in silhouette in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho
Practicing composition and post-processing can be the difference between 'great' and truly 'epic.'
Any photographer wishing to capture the 'epic,' must still learn their equipment, basic composition, and post-processing.  These skills take time and practice to master.  Also required is learning how to recognize the good and the bad shots taken.  Learn to be critical of your own work.  Not every picture you take will be worthy of hanging in a gallery.  The truly discerning photographer can pick out the best one or two photos out of a hundred or more and turn them into something marvelous.  There are no short-cuts to learning any of this (and, boy, I wish there were).  Being able to reliably generate 'epic' photo after 'epic' photo takes nothing less than years of continual practice.


Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature photograph of red tulips and yellow daffodils flowers in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho
I decided to try something new with these garden flowers.  New doesn't have to be extremely different.
You have gotten to know your gear inside and out, frontwards and backwards, and all the rest of those sayings.  Your camera is now an extension of you and something you have on your person frequently, just in case.  You have also mastered the basics of creating a quality image in the camera and out of it.  You might even have a handful of prized photos in your collection which meet your definition of 'epic.'  You have probably started wondering why the 'epic' photos are so few and far-between for you.  You are ready to take the final step in shooting 'epic' photos.

With your camera in hand and years of practice under your belt, you have everything you need for the frequency of 'epic' photos to start increasing.  Now is the time to experiment with any and everything.  You know what the rules are.  Now try to find the right way to break them.  Try different camera techniques or post-processing techniques.  Try using only a single lens to shoot with.  Try lots of different subject matter to photograph.  Try anything you can think of and then research out other ideas to try.  You may find something that you like along the way which could forever re-define your style and taste in photography.

The point here is that simply imitating others' 'epic' works will not lead to a huge portfolio full of your own 'epic' images.  The internet is full of people willing to be mediocre copy-cats.  Dare to do something different and stand out.  This is the underlying principle of 'epic.'  You might be surprised at what you shoot.  Get out there and have some fun while you are at it.  There is nothing worse than pursuing something which gives you no joy at all.  Enjoy yourself while you are seeking out your own 'epic' photos and it will reflect in your body of work.


Capturing 'epic' photography favors the prepared, the practiced, and the experimenting photographers.  Nothing less than this combination will ensure your success in shooting 'epic' photos.  The more 'epic' photos you shoot, the more you will come to see and, perhaps, the more you will come to love what you are doing.  People really do like seeing 'epic' photos.  There is no reason why you can't be one of the photographers providing them with such awe-striking sights.  So, get out there and start learning how to shoot your own 'epic' photos today.

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