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The photographer's life


This might be a really dumb question, but I was thinking about a life of taking pictures. How do you keep the fire going? After you've taken a few hundred or thousand pictures, and you've captured sunsets and sunrises and all the grandkids and your dogs and the neighbor's dogs, etc., etc., etc. Then what? How do you keep the fire going? I know this is a very personal question to anwer, but maybe some of you have thought about this too. Maybe not. How do you keep from getting bored or discoraged with photography? What do we keep striving for? I've got a good camera (Nikon D300) and two lenses (Nikon 70-300 and 105) and plan on getting one more plus a good flash unit. I live in the beautiful Northwest about an hour from the ocean, the mountains, and the big city of Portland; right smack in the middle of the Willamette Valley.

But then what? Help!..

Comments (13)

There's a whole world out there and many different avenues to explore, so many of us will never get bored. I think your next lens should be a wide or ultra wide angle zoom and this will open up a whole new perspective..

Do you print your own photos? If not, doing your own post-processing work and printing is a never ending journey of fun. Your PC and the many software programs available can bring on a whole new creative world..

Read and learn from as many sources as you can. Learn new techniques and apply them. Each day brings new adventures..

Regards,Jeffhttp://www.zenfolio.com..

Comment #1

At some point, you can join us in the swamp with your trusty 8x10. I guarantee you'll have some new possibilities..

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Join us on Labor Day weekend. It's going to be the annual Clyde Butcher "Muck About.".

Http://upcoming.yahoo.com/photos/5351.

Http://www.clydebutcher.com/.

Oh, and you don't need a view camera..

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Cheers, Craig..

Comment #2

Benzuki wrote:.

This might be a really dumb question, but I was thinking about a lifeof taking pictures. How do you keep the fire going?.

It's difficult to be any good, without learning to be self-critical - those among us who are not self-critical, probably aren't as good as we think we are .

When we know we have done well, that gives us a brief moment of pride and reward. Doesn't last very long, of course..

A far more powerful motivator is the awareness of our work's shortcomings. This is what constantly drives even (especially) the very best - dissatisfaction. "I believe I can do that better". Or - "the world is offering me all this great material, and I am not doing it justice"..

That's why and how they become the best IMO, and that's also where their fulfilment and engagement come from..

RP..

Comment #3

Wow,You guys are great. Thanks for the help and insight. I really appreciate it..

Dennis..

Comment #4

Benzuki wrote:.

This might be a really dumb question, but I was thinking about a lifeof taking pictures. How do you keep the fire going? After you'vetaken a few hundred or thousand pictures, and you've captured sunsetsand sunrises and all the grandkids and your dogs and the neighbor'sdogs, etc., etc., etc. Then what? How do you keep the fire going?I know this is a very personal question to anwer, but maybe some ofyou have thought about this too. Maybe not. How do you keep fromgetting bored or discoraged with photography? What do we keepstriving for? I've got a good camera (Nikon D300) and two lenses(Nikon 70-300 and 105) and plan on getting one more plus a good flashunit. I live in the beautiful Northwest about an hour from theocean, the mountains, and the big city of Portland; right smack inthe middle of the Willamette Valley.

But then what? Help!.

I think you need a 'reason' to do it. Set yourself some kind of plan or project, with a deadline - maybe something you might like to document, such as an aspect of local history. I'm a publisher's editor, not a photographer; but occasionally I have a need to get out there and fill a few photographic gaps for one or other of our book projects, and I find that discipline a great stimulus - and it makes you more self-critical. Just saying 'today I'm going to shoot some pictures' doesn't really work, and it wears thin after a bit..

Incidentally, buying more lenses is not the answer, unless it's for a known purpose.tim..

Comment #5

Thanks Tim..

I know I need a wide angle to complete my beginner's gadget bag. I appreciate your thoughts about photography; you and everyone else who replied have given me much to think about.and appreciate.Dennis..

Comment #6

Benzuki wrote:.

This might be a really dumb question, but I was thinking about a lifeof taking pictures. How do you keep the fire going? After you'vetaken a few hundred or thousand pictures, and you've captured sunsetsand sunrises and all the grandkids and your dogs and the neighbor'sdogs, etc., etc., etc. Then what? How do you keep the fire going?.

You didn't say how many years you've been doing it, but personally I've been shooting for over 35 years, and I'm still finding new stuff to learn (next I'm trying infrared and ultraviolet photography)..

Sure if you limit yourself to the same subjects you're going to get bored, unless you throw something different into the mix like a different lens (check out the Lensbaby for instance if you shoot SLR/dSLR)..

Instead of following the rules of photography, purposely break them. If you do night existing light photography, instead of holding the camera as still as possible (or on a tripod), try moving the camera with the shutter open (example of the same scene, same settings, just moving the camera differently):.

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Shoot every day objects in a way you don't normally see them, like really up close. How about combining an every day object with a flash effect (two flash fires with the shutter open, taken in very low light):.

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You say you live in a picturesque area...try doing some panoramics, shooting 2-5 pictures panning the camera between each shot and then stitch the shots together..

I know this is a very personal question to anwer, but maybe some ofyou have thought about this too. Maybe not. How do you keep fromgetting bored or discoraged with photography? What do we keepstriving for?.

Take a trip to the library and check out the books and videos they have on photography, especially outside they range of photography you normally do. Check out the book "Photo Idea Index" for ideas..

Check out sites that have more abstract or outside the box photography. Join a "brick & mortar" camera/photography club, you can get inspiration from others...

Comment #7

A Pentax SV, and have never been tired of shooting since!! There's always something new to learn. You can join a local photography club and share photos/experiences with others who share your passion! I recently went on a holiday to Hawaii and did my first underwater photography with a Canon G7 and the underwater housing...totally new photographic experience for me and makes me want to take up SCUBA diving!! Here are some photos taken while snorkeling..(plus some others)http://www.pbase.com/duncanbristow/hawaii_2008.

And here are some very early black and whites with my Pentax SV in high school..the passion never dwindles....http://www.pbase.com/duncanbristow/simcoe_1970.

Duncan Bristowhttp://www.pbase.com/duncanbristow..

Comment #8

Well, indeed it is very personal and philosophical question and it is very difficult to tell you what to do..

But. I would take a break for a few weeks and then look back. Do I realy want to take photos or I forced myself to do so. Your photogear is for enjoyment and it shouldn't make you sad or bored. If it is, sell it and find something what you interested for. But for now I would stop spending money just because you want to complete lens set..

Cheers. Life is like a zibra, black strip, white strip and so on...

Comment #9

Guidenet,.

How many people survive the swamp walk, with our without hospitalization? Do you throw Pentax users in the water a 100 yards away to feed the gators?  .

Seriously, It looks like great fun if you have the right boots / waders and gear. I'd love to see some posts from the trip..

Mrx..

Comment #10

Mrxdimension wrote:.

Guidenet,.

How many people survive the swamp walk, with our withouthospitalization? Do you throw Pentax users in the water a 100 yardsaway to feed the gators?  .

Seriously, It looks like great fun if you have the right boots /waders and gear. I'd love to see some posts from the trip..

Mrx.

I've signed up this year for the first time. I've been out there a lot of times, one of my favorite places, but this will be my first on the Labor Day weekend trip..

I'm only going to take a point and shoot if I do the swamp walk with Clyde Butcher and group. The purposely go in some deep holes. It's sort of like a badge of entry or something to fall once or twice. My gal is extremely excited. Like me she's an Everglades gal, both of us native Floridians..

Clyde Butcher is a bit like an Ansel Adams of this modern day. For years he's has had get togethers, sort of workshops, for nature and conservationalist who love the Big Cypress Swamp and the Everglades. It's a view camera group mostly, though today, I'm usually with a digital camera..

We hope not to cancel this year, as my gal's mother is pretty ill, and I'm still doing physical therapy for a heart attack, but God willing and the creek don't rise, we'll take some images. I used to use an old Toyo Field 4x5, but even a small view camera with tripod and all is getting heavier as I get nearer to the golden years..

You ought to see Clyde Butcher, as old and heavy as he is, still trudging miles through the swamp with an 8x10 and all the equipment on his back..

If you ever come to Florida, I'll take you to his studio in the Big Cypress Swamp. It's an amazing place. Your Pentax will do you well, being weather protected. LOL That gator feeding shot was actually made by my gal with one of my cameras. She had left her little D40 back in the truck. I called that litle female gator up near the skiff and held the pogie out, while she took the image.

I tried to get him out, but he would have none of it..

The Everglades is a great place to take pics or just enjoy the outdoors. Bring plenty of OFF and a big hat. Beautiful birds and flowers back there..

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Cheers, Craig..

Comment #11

To keep photographing once you have photographed everything in your locality you need to have a personal reason to photograph. Some people photograph so as to have more pictures of their children than a professional could give them. Others photograph to capture something - "feelings" or "the light" are popular. Personally, I photograph because it helps me look closely at the world, and see things I would otherwise miss (this is an excellent reason because the fact that the photographs are always mediocre is not a drawback)..

'Some of the money I spent on booze, women and fast cars, but the rest I squandered' - George Best..

Comment #12

I think you're right. Some of the most interesting and beautiful things in this world are the small things: a spider's web early in the morning glistening with dew drops; capturing a raindrop's splash in a forest pond. There's much to see and shoot and appreciate in this fantastic world...

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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