The Artist’s Way

You spend time refining your art. You take classes. You learn your tools. You seek out a mentor. You push your bounds and find your limits.

But you can never, ever predict what work you do that might capture the attention of others.

For me, with my photography, it’s been about patience. About learning how to set up a shot. Understanding the exposure triangle (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) and how to apply it.

I study other people’s photos. I figure out what I like about them and what I don’t, and I learn. I try to replicate. I use the levers and switches and sliders and I take them to the very ends of their capability to see what I like.

And sometimes I get a really good shot. Something I’m excited to share.

Every once in a while, something special happens. Something like…a parade.

And I think to myself, “well, why not take the camera.”

So there I am at the corner of Market and Powell in San Francisco, and trolley cars start rolling by carrying the players from this World Series winning team.

The light is terrible. Not only am I down in a canyon of tall buildings, but my subjects are in motion. I bump ISO, but that gets too grainy. I fiddle with white balance, one setting is too blue, the other too yellow. I mess around with my aperture. A little depth of field or a lot?

The parade is in full swing so I begin shooting away. I’m using my 70-300 lens so I can see faces.

Later, at home, I download the batch, some 200 in all. Most photos are blurred. Some turn out ok.

But there is one. Something magic. Something special. Something unpredictable.

And out of nowhere, six hundred and fifty people have looked at my photograph on Flickr.

That photo is below. It is San Francisco Giants players and best friends Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell. Aubrey has just handed Pat a Bud Light.

Oh, might I add…Aubrey is wearing his Cooperstown bound red “Rally Thong” around his neck.

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  • Karen Fayeth

    Thanks Ken and Lucky!

  • Elise

    That *is* well-done, Karen. That's one of those shots that should be on the front page of a newspaper.

    Although please allow this native Texan to mock the Bud Lights?


  • Anji

    Good shot, well worth the trouble.

    "But you can never, ever predict what work you do that might capture the attention of others." too true

  • Anonymous


    To me that pic looks like a family pic. Of interest to the family but not necessarily to others.

    Tell me what's good about it so I can learn something about your photography. I already know you're a giant Giants fan.


  • Karen Fayeth

    Elise – as a native of the planet, you may mock the Bud Light. Really, two multimillionaire baseball players drinking that p*ss water? Ah well.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Anji – Thanks!!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Ephraim – I think you missed the whole point.

    It's not the most technically superior photo I've ever taken, but almost 800 people have looked at this photo on Flickr. The most any of my other photos have gotten was 75.

    Hence the sentence, "…you can never, ever predict what work you do that might capture the attention of others."

  • Anonymous


    It seems to me that your sentence "…never, ever…" means that it's impossible to learn from mistakes.

    Clearly not true.

    So. what about your photo inspired a tenfold increase in audience?

    Please take these questions in the spirit that they're asked. I have this curse: I tend to say what I mean.


    ps. It occurs to me that you may be able to sell this photo to Budweiser. Or to the Giants. You should try.

  • Barelas Babe

    This photo is a gem! Any chance you can post the link to your Flickr stream so we can see more?

  • Karen Fayeth

    Barelas Babe – Hi! Thanks! Click on the photo in the post and it will take you to my Flickr page.

Comments are closed.