July 26th, 2013 | By | 7 Comments

Photo Tip | Follow the Light Edition -Mark McInnis Follow the Light People's Choice Award Winner Explains Planning the Shot


Compose your shot before you shoot it. As a photographers, we are always working. Even if we’re driving around without a camera, it’s imperative that we keep our eyes peeled for possible locations to shoot. If you see something interesting, note the time of day, the location and what you want to photograph there. And even if you’re showing up to shoot at a location that you’ve never been to, find something interesting about it. Maybe it’s a background or a foreground. Maybe that means walking half a mile down the beach and shooting pulled back.

No matter what it is, envision what you want to see before you even look through the viewfinder. Even if you’re shooting super tight action, imagine what the image is going to look like before you take the shot. Should you shoot straight on? Maybe. Or maybe shoot a little in front of or behind the wave. Thinking about the composition before actually shooting is a great way to save time and energy and also to make sure that you get exactly what you want and are expecting. Good luck and have fun!

More About Mark

Favorite Surfer to Shoot: I can’t choose just one. My good buddy Dane Anderson is really fun to shoot because he charges the big stuff, but also rips in small waves. It’s great to have somebody versatile like that because you know you’ll always get a shot of some sort. Also, Raph Bruhwiler is a friend of mine and it’s always a blast hanging out and shooting with Raph because you never really know where you’re going to end up or what you’re going to end up shooting. Plus Raph is a full blown waterman. There’s always going to be something to shoot when you’re out on the boat in Canada.

Name of your whip: Guillermo

Daily Driver Camera: Canon 7D

Heaviest Water Situation: I was shooting water with Timmy Reyes and Rusty Long in a frigid location and I forgot my gloves. I was out there for hours in 40 something degree water losing all feeling in my hands and face. It was heavy in terms of the cold. I had to thaw out for an hour just to get my hands warm enough to take off my hood. I’ve also had my fair share of beatings and been drug across the reef at some slabs in Canada and California. Never fun.

Pre-Sesh Tunes: Ricky Ross the big boss! Or maybe some good punk rock or death metal. Just depends on the day.

Favorite 80s Movie: Back to the Future, Weird Science, Spaceballs.

Everyone knows my name at: All of the secret spots.

Can’t camp without: A good pocket knife, Poler tent and napsack, hatchet, Patagonia down jacket, weenie roasting sticks and a fire.


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