Monday, February 16, 2009

Shooting a waterfall for stock, or not.

Photographing a waterfall on Oahu for stock

Yesterday I decided to find and shoot a waterfall for an image I want to create. The image I have in mind is a concept stock photo of a man going over a waterfall in a barrel. I photographed the man in the barrel, in my studio, a couple of months ago. However, I don’t have a suitable waterfall image.

So here I am in Oahu, a seemingly great place to shoot a waterfall. Not so fast. It seems that finding a good waterfall to photograph here is actually rather difficult. I did a Google search and didn’t come up with much. The only one that seemed it might do for me is called Manoa falls. The various articles I encountered on the internet indicated it is a relatively easy hike of about one mile in each direction, through lush jungle foliage including a bamboo forest. The falls are 100 to 150 feet in height (depending on which article you read). Sounds pretty good!

Somewhere between a trickle and a vapor

Well, there was some jungle foliage, though the bamboo forest was barely twenty yards long. I have certainly encountered “jungle foliage” that was much more lush, and bamboo forests that were much more impressive, on other Hawaiian islands. The falls themselves fell somewhere between a trickle and vapor. Not exactly what I need for my stock photo.

A magnificent vista

It was good, though, to get some exercise; and I am sure that at some point in the future some of the foliage shots I got will come in handy. One scene in particular did get my adrenalin going. Near the start of the hike there is an open expanse just before the trail starts heading uphill. Thirty yards up the trail, when I turned and looked back, the scene looked like something out of Jurassic Park. It was really a magnificent vista and there is no doubt in my mind that I will find a use for it someday.

A service to others

Even though the falls were not adequate for my waterfall needs, I was glad I did the hike. The hike also led me to something that perhaps is more important than photographing falls. As I reviewed the hike in my mind I realized that I could write an article about my experience and illustrate the article with the pictures I had taken. I am sure I could put together this review of my experience that would very helpful to others in my situation and that are considering photographing waterfalls in Oahu. I could write the article that I wanted to find. My hike could end up being of service to others. These others, in turn, would be brought to my site where they might find a photograph to license, a product to purchase or even click on an ad. I could take that whole experience and turn it into a service to others that would in turn drive traffic to my site.

It further dawned on me that this is a strategy that I can apply to many of my shoots. I can write about the shoots and end-up with more viewers for the images I create, more traffic for my site, and a very satisfying lifestyle. Hmmm, enough blogging for now, I have an article to write!

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