I often receive an email asking how I go about taking a photograph. Sorting through some old emails I discovered a response to this question that I thought would be of interest.
Q: Can you share some of the secrets in getting such quality golf course photographs?
A: I don’t think there are any real secrets in taking good shots of golf courses. There are many photographers capable of capturing wonderful images of our natural environment. I simply have concentrated on the golfing landscape.
An important aspect is some degree of understanding of golf and the hazards that confront the golfer during their game. Sometimes I wonder if I have a pessimistic view of the world, because if my golf photography is a reflection on my outlook on life then maybe I have a bit to worry about because of the focus I put on the traps and the pitfalls that can befall the golfer. But these are the elements that challenge us on the golf course, without them we may as well swing a mallet on a smoothly grassed croquet pitch. Smooth, verdant swathes of well-manicured grasses without bunkers, swales and the odd creek and water hazard to challenge us would be dull golf, and, certainly be uninspiring visually.
The most important discipline in photographing a golf hole is being there at the right time. Many times I have heard golfers describe in rapturous tones how fabulous a particular hole appears. They often express their disappointment in not having a camera with them, and they resolve to return in the future and record their vision. However it is extremely rare that I have seen the results of their plan - they simply never get around to it. Taking the shot requires planning, and strong resolve, to return at the appropriate time. Most casual observers of the golf courses are aware of what is a picturesque view, and with a little planning, and a dose of determination, they could eventually record the view they glimpsed out on the course.
If there is a secret perhaps my biggest one is simply that I enjoy what I do. Being out on a course at the best times of the day is not a chore. I enjoy the sense of solitude and tranquillity that surrounds me early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when the courses are at their visual best, and the crowds are sparse. It seems easy to get the shots when the surrounds are beautiful and, with a bit of luck, the sun is shining at the right time and place.
You can do it if you make the effort.