Back in June of this year I got slapped in the face (metaphorically speaking) with a stone cold reality that I did not like: I’m no longer creating, I’m copying and I’m copying me. How boring not to mention uncreative.
This thought came to me as I was preparing a weekly post. I pretty much post my photos chronologically, in the order taken. That’s the easiest way for me to keep track of photos that I’ve posted. I don’t know how many of you other than Steve have noticed but my post during most of this year have been on a one year lag, and to the month in many cases. So, I was preparing a post and I realized the photos were from the same month a year ago and they were from the same location with the same subjects that I had just photographed a few days prior.. That’s when I received the metaphorical slap.
I realized I was just redoing what I had done almost exactly one year ago at the same spot. It kind of took the wind out of me and made me wonder what the heck I was doing photographically. I like taking pictures and, to some extent, kind of have to. But still, doing the same thing over and over is not cool, unless maybe your Claude Monet painting water lilies. I’m not him, heck I can’t even speak French.
I’d known for quite some time (well in advance of that slap) that I needed to expand my area of interest for photographic subjects. I certainly haven’t mastered it but I think I’ve done fairly well with my two years of macro photography and there are quite a few areas of photography were I’d like to reach a similar level of competency at minimum. I’ve mentioned before that I like street photography; the good stuff and I don’t think that all of what is supposed to be street photography is that good. Just because it’s shot in B&W and the shot was taken on the street doesn’t mean it’s street photography. I mean under those conditions traffic cameras qualify as street photography. I’ve said this before too (and I know a couple of other people I follow have expressed this same thought): I’m too timid to blatantly photograph a stranger as they watch me and I can’t even politely ask if they would mind if I took their picture. So I’d have to do it surreptitiously or with a long lens. I’ve done a tiny bit of both but it’s always been in conjunction with some sort of public festival where people are taking pictures anyway.
I also think I’ve mentioned I like taking pictures of buildings but I really need a wider lens than what I have and the post processing to correct perspective distortion is a bear. I’m not that fond of landscape photography, in fact I find most of what I see rather boring, and I haven’t been that good at what I’ve tried in this area. I find the majority of the landscape photos I’ve tried just seem to be missing something. I really don’t know what it is. On thing I would really really like to be good at is informal, candid portraits, but I haven’t given it much of a try. Most of all I would just like to be able to see something that catches my eye and that I can turn into something that other people would enjoy viewing. Just not sure which way to go.
Rereading the above two paragraphs I see I’ve thrown in quite a few reasons why I can’t or haven’t explored some of these areas. Realistically those are just rationalizations to avoid moving outside my comfort zone into areas of possible failure. I realized that I really had no choice but to start venturing into some of those areas and I did do that in July during a weekend a trip to Chicago. What better to photograph in downtown Chicago than buildings, and I did that. Since then I’ve done the same in a couple of other locales outside the St. Louis area and I have snapped at things that just caught my eye. But, because the subjects are there whenever I need them, I continue to take macro shots; however, not sure what I’ll do during the winter months.
I still have several posts worth of 2015 photos that I’ll continue to share as well as all my photos from this year, the majority of which are macros. But I will throw in some of the new non-macro stuff I’m trying even though I know I will find it hard not to stay completely chronological.
I guess I could have made a long story short much sooner but here’s the jist of it all. I am making an effort to expand the types of subjects I photograph and will share those in my posts. At the same time I am going cut back on macro photography (I really am almost tired of it) which means sometime in the future I may not have enough material for a post each week. But that’s pretty far down the road after I finish off the 2015 and 2016 photos.
I haven’t figured out when I’ll start incorporating some of the new stuff in the blog yet but hopefully before the end of the year and that’s not that far away.
This has been pretty rambling but I do want to close with one word of advice. If you are ever feeling kind of down about you photography and think you might go to a web site like Flickr for inspiration. DON’T DO IT! Wait until you are in a good frame of mind. I did it and there were so many fantastic, gorgeous, and wonderfully outrageous photographs by so many amateur photographers that I was in a funk for 4 or 5 days wondering why in the hell I spent so much money and time taking pictures. Then we had a rain and the next day I was laying down on my stomach in the front yard taking pictures of mushrooms like I had earlier in the year, and the year before. Hello. My name is David and I’m a photoholic.
Thank you stopping by and I hope you will enjoy the non-macro photos as I try to learn something new.