Pressure makes diamonds

“Pressure makes diamonds” George Patton

As I shared in a previous blog, I was asked to be the photographer for the Army unit I was attached to. My first professional camera was an older Nikon DSLR that we bought used and it came with a 50mm lens that was ONLY manual. (Most lenses offer automatic focus and manual.)

The manual focus was quite the challenge. I equate it to learning to drive for the first time ever with a standard car. (Which is exactly how I learned to drive.)

Manual focus requires a steady hand and a skill level that took me quite some time to build. If your hand is not steady and you do not focus your subject quickly, your photo will be blurry and useless. Since I love candid photography, I found that life moves quickly, and you need to be prepared for it. Some battle assemblies are filled with a lot down time, so, I had plenty of time to practice. Once I was asked to capture training and promotion ceremonies, the pressure grew.

Manual focus does enable you to capture images with a beautiful depth of field that can be breathtaking. Here are some of my diamonds (captures).


I love the sun light in her hair and I love the softness I was able to capture in this photo. I used a blue diffuser on my external flash.

A re-enlistment ceremony.


A soldier in the middle of combative training.


I love the clarity and depth of field in this photo.


This was taken on a gloomy overcast day.


Taken with a pocket wizard (tethered light).


Taken on a sunny day with a blue pop up flash diffuser.


Taken on an overcast day with a warm diffuser on my external flash.

If you make the time to learn, acquire skills and prepare yourself for any situation in life that may come your way, you can learn to use your pressure to create your diamonds.

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