The Importance of Fearlessness

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #29

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on May 26, 2013

Being fearless to me is something I don't always have when it comes to taking pictures. I have to often times push myself to go out and take pictures that are out of my comfort zone. As a high school photographer, I feel like there are different aspects that require fearlessness in a photographer.

Being fearless with your gear and body (human body; camera body is part of your gear) is very important. I have a 50-200 WR kit lens that allows me to do that. But even so, sometimes I just don't feel like going out to take pictures because "it's raining" and "the rain won't allow me to get good pictures" etc. But what I have found is that if I dig down deep into my guts and pull myself out there, I will be able to take decent pictures.

Hustle: Pentax K-5 - DA 50-200 F4-5.6 WR @ 1/400s, F5.6, ISO 1600.

Context: This picture was taken during a rainy day at the Middle School soccer tournament. The kids had been playing at least 4 games that day and this picture was during the championship game where the Morrison Mustangs (where I study) are up 1:0. The defender (as pictured) is hustling to the ball after it was popped in the air.
Process: I currently live in Taiwan, and during late winter and early spring, rain can be extremely heavy and commonplace. That day started out pouring rain and games that were scheduled for the morning were delayed for more than an hour. As it continued to rain slightly, I still was sitting my lazy butt at home. But as I heard our school was in the championship game, I urged myself to go out and shoot. I grabbed my K-5 along with my WR lens and out I was in the middle of an intense and rainy soccer game. As a result, I ended up with a picture of Josh, the defender, looking determined to win, and most importantly, one that represented my fearlessness to shoot in the rainy and gloomy day.

Fearlessly Pursuing Creativity

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #28

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on May 25, 2013

It's good to be FEARLESS, because life and especially creative pursuit are inherently risky endeavors. There are many many photographers who take good photographs by following rules, and emulating popular conventions. Great photographs go further, they break conventions and challenge their audience. A fearless photographer follows their passion without concern for money, fashion, or personal risk because even failure is beautiful when you are chasing your dreams.

This first photo was taken in the summer of 2011 with a K-7 and DA 16-45. I took this photo on a whirlwind attempt to climb Vestal Peak in Colorado's Grenadier range. The approach to the climb is an arduous 18 mile hike, and having only carried the DA 16-45 I was disappointed that I could not get a wide enough view to capture the entirety of the peak. I had put my camera away and sat down to organize our gear for the climb when I was struck by the intensity of this reflection in the lake.

Fearlessness Beyond the End of the Road

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #27

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on May 19, 2013

I work in agricultural development which has led me to far flung places in Eastern and Southern Africa for most of the past 15 years - generally places considered 'just beyond the end of the road'. I have seen the most incredible sights while off the beaten path – such as this young gymnast on the streets of Nampula, Mozambique (October 2012). I slammed on the brakes of the 4x4 and did my best to capture these kids (there were 6 of them) launching themselves off used truck tires. They were fearless and didn't need video games to have fun. While still a cool picture, the old Panasonic Lumix point and shoot simply couldn't do the kids justice.

Fearlessness in Brazil

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #26

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on May 19, 2013

Leaving behind what is comfortable and experiencing new people, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse cultures is what being fearless means to me. Letting go and being fearless can provide a profound learning experience. I enjoy chronicling my life journey through photography to share my experiences with other people. I have had the opportunity to take pictures throughout the Pacific Northwest from the snowy peaks of the Cascades to forest fires in the dry coniferous forests, and more recently of the great diversity and urban landscapes of New York. However, the photographs for this “Pentax Event” are from a trip to the humid tropical country of Brazil.

Fearlessness in Self-Portraiture; Once, Twice, Thrice

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #25

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on May 18, 2013

Why is it good to be fearless? For me, fearlessness is being prepared to step out of one's comfort zone, regardless of the occasion. This might be something physically challenging, such as skiing off something. Sometimes it is something new such as traveling somewhere different or agreeing to a new job (as I discovered recently when everyone else turned out to be far more optimistic about my ability than I am). Sometimes it is being prepared to stand-up for what you believe is right. OK, I admit it, the lesser spotted Pentaxian isn't a real cause; however being prepared to publicly poke fun at yourself is important.

For me, photographically this mean being prepared to follow my imagination and find a way of making that seemingly impossible idea possible. It also means having the courage to put the results of my photography in front of an audience.

A new (weather sealed) lens would help me make a few more of my ideas possible. As an example, there have been many occasions shooting in the rain where I have been reduced to walking around nursing the non-weather sealed lens attached to the front of my weather sealed Pentax K-10D. It would also give me a really good excuse to sing the praises of Pentax (and the Pentax community) more than I currently do.


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