Enterprise

Back in the days when I was a newspaper photographer, part of our job was to find “enterprise.” That meant looking for feature pictures as we drove between assignments. So when I woke up today and saw heavy fog, my old newspaper instincts took over.

With snow still on the ground from last week’s storm, the temperatures were on their way to 60-degrees, resulting in heavy ground fog. I couldn’t resist. Grabbing my Nikon D7000 and a couple of lenses (10-24 and 70-300) I headed out the door and hit the road. And I remembered why I usually enjoyed doing enterprise.

When I got started in photography, I was lucky to find a local studio

The fog made a nice background, even for close-ups.

photographer willing to take me under his wing. I’d process film, help with printing, carry equipment, load camera backs at weddings – you name it, I learned to do it from Kent. But my favorite part of working with him happened on Sundays. I’d head over to Kent’s house and we’d head out onto the back roads of southern Indiana, just driving around and looking for pretty pictures. Those were my first real lessons in composition. Finding something interesting along the road, maybe a fence, an old barn or a rock quarry. And then figuring out how to make a picture out of it.

There’s something nice about driving without having to get someplace. It reminds me of how people used to take “Sunday drives,” for no real reason other than to get out. My preference

The fog creates layers in the scene for me.

doing this has always been to head out to the country. I prefer those landscapes to ones found in the city, plus less traffic means it’s safer to let my eyes wander. And on a day with fog, having open space means you can find one interesting object and let it separate from the background with the fog. Things closer to you have substance, those further away become ghostly.

The best part about going out to look for feature pictures? The chance to simply exercise my eyes, to try to find something without having an agenda. Plus, it was a good excuse to get out of the office :).