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07-21-2012, 07:47 PM - 1 Like   #16
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It is the eye and the mind behind the camera.

I understand everything you are talking about. It makes sense; lack of money, lack of time, the idea that everything is mundane, that everything has been captured before.These all can detract from taking images or having any excitement toward photography for anybody. Lord knows, I have gone through this.

But all this seems to me more of a mental block, a desert of ideas and energy toward taking images that are around you. This is not an indictment about you; ask just about any person with a serious interest in photography and you will find that they go through foggy periods of lacking energy toward the subjects they are photographing.

I am currently living in rural Wisconsin and try to enjoy the locale and country. It has offered me a different subject matter to the urban settings I have been accustomed to in the past and find more comfortable. I guess I am trying to make the most of it while exploring different photographic approaches in the process. Practice, failure, experimentation are all part of the deal. And also get to truly know the gear you are working with. Realize the limitations and prospects of your lenses given varying compositions or situations. It all will add toward your ultimate photographic journey.

My suggestion would be to look at forums/photoclubs that offer weekly or monthly photographic topics with which to differently photograph the subjects you have at hand. I have learned a lot from participating in the P52 Project and the Weekly Photo Challenges here on PentaxForums. Perhaps in groups within Flickr (where I also participate) you can find similar concept/technique challenges that reinvigorate your photographic juices. These efforts have assisted me in my down periods and I can say I am more solid amateur but content photographer.

I guess one has to keep on searching for the images and try to use different approaches. There in, is the fun. Discovering different ways of capturing a subject, however familiar and mundane it may seem. This, at least for me, is what has got me going.
Good luck. LIke Slacker said, just go out and look for them.


Last edited by Jools; 07-21-2012 at 07:58 PM.
07-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Believe me, I feel your pain. I'm from a rural environment. I hope you keep us posted.
Rural is Hinkley CA, now that is dirt and rocks, A real challenge.....Cliff
07-22-2012, 12:31 AM   #18
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Oh do I ever feel your pain... I live in a really rural place and there isn't much to shoot out here (unless you are really into wildlife)...and even in the closest big city (hour and a half away) I struggle to find inspiration.

For me I think the saying 'familiarity breeds contempt' applies a lot...if you look at the same thing day in and day out pretty soon you will be immune to it's novelty.

That being said I read one of many of my photography books and the author basically says that yes, we do have photographic principles to remember...but those are like paint brushes and canvas...and maybe the paint too...its how we put them all together that matters.

His advice to 'tell a story with a single photo' really stood out to me. A picture is worth a thousand words...

I live in Texas so I went to a nearby small town (as in really small)--I think possibly 200 people live in the city limits---and I took photos with a wide angle lens. I did not bokeh the pictures to death...I just captured what was going on in town...

In that process I took some photos of a lady walking a pony through downtown with a row of old run down store fronts and a broken down 'community center' in the background...

Anyway I posted those pictures up on facebook and I got quite a few messages from friends all over the world (I travel a lot) about my pictures. They were genuinely interested. I was kind of taken back by the responses I was getting.

My friends from all over the planet got to peek into the life of the pony lady and they thought it was absolutely fascinating.

I am still looking for the golly gee, neato cool subject to shoot, but I am also looking for stories. I look for colors. I look for stories. I look for a lot of things...its still a struggle but I am trying.

Having been to a lot of different places (I think I lived in about 7 countries and visited about 30-40 all together so far), for me if I flew off to Paris or Africa I would wear out the shutter in my camera in no time...I think the trick is trying to see where you are the same way someone who has never been there before would see it.

I am not saying I am the best at it, but at least its a start.
07-22-2012, 05:17 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
. . . . There's practically nothing to shoot except for aluminum sided mobile homes, small lizards and rabbits. . . .
I thought this was a camera forum not a gun forum.


On a more serious note - depending on where you live you might try to find an informal camera club like the one I hang out with in San Diego. It's not one of those competitive clubs with meetings and slide shows, instead we meet up at least once a month someplace in town and take pictures for a morning. Then we share our results on a website. For me, the result has been that I've gone to places it would never have occurred to me to go before (thinking they would be boring), and let me see other people's ways of viewing the same thing that I saw. One of the more common comments when we get back from some location is "why didn't I see that?".

For anyone in San Diego (or nearby) the club is: www.sandiegodslr.org

07-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #20
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i also started photography a little over a year ago. aside from shooting stuff when i'm on a vacation, most of the scene I see is something that someone has shot already. however, i try to look at those normal\common items a little differently.

i am painfully not creative. however, i usually go to a spot, lean somewhere and just shoot. after some time i sit down around where i was standing, then start shooting again. if noone is around, i'll lie on my belly and start shooting again. if there are people, i put my camera near the ground and start shooting again. by doing this, i get an idea of the place in different perspectives. if i shoot something and interest me a little, i go around that "thing" and start shooting in as many angles as i can.

i also try to read on a photo technique or just fool around with the settings and again i do what i just wrote above. i've tried making a DTI diffuser(my tshirt, a folded paper, a very thing white plasticky lid for food, etc). i've shot things in my apartment with only my tv on as a light source, so i can practice shooting at low light(no, i dont take a picture of the tv, but that is the only light source open except for whatever light comes in from the window).

lastly, I go to gatherings. any gathering. I start shooting and again fool around with the settings. i have more next to useless pics but i do have pics that i like. im not yet using postprocessing but i have raw files of almost all my shots. so i can play with that as well in the near future. long story short, unless you are talking about some unexplored place in this planet, even the older guys would have shot a scene that someone before them have already shot but we associate it to a photographer because he saw it differently from most of us, took it, and showed it to us. then we enjoyed it. ahehehe
07-22-2012, 08:01 PM   #21
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I kinda let the topic drift because it was all good things to discuss, but originally i was just bitching because the world has gotten visually boring in most places, everything modern is built ugly and I can't afford to go to far away places.
This would not effect others if they have no interest in the things I do.
07-22-2012, 09:05 PM   #22
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I can honestly say, I disagree with you I`m glad to have been in 1965 and only took photography up very recently, like in the last 9 months or so for my blog. My father was into photos when I was a kid, and I think he was pretty good, but I wasn`t into it. Why? Well, the cameras of those days ... load up your film, hope you took it right ... get home and find out ... oops never saw that thing in the viewfinder when I hit the button. These days, everything is digital for me. I can preview the shot, ick ... bad shot? Take it again and again and again. Digital has made it so easier for people to get into this.

I`m glad I was late onto the photography boat, because if I had tried to do seriously when I was younger ... I would have lost interest and wasted money. I seriously couldn`t be happier with my life than I am now. I`ve got no money, but I have my blog and my camera and life is just fantastic. Not that many people look at my blog, but that is okay, but I`m enjoying it. Every time I go out and do an article for, grab my camera and start shooting, it makes me so happy. If just a couple of people take an interest in what I`ve done that`s cool, because they saw something of value in what I`m telling them about. I don`t do it for them, I`m doing it for me. So if your wife is telling you that something has been done, and she can quote who did it and when it was done, you better stop asking her, because your enjoyment in life will be diminished.

I`m not meaning to disrespect yours or anyone else`s wives, but I assume they don`t share the same interest in photography as you do, so naturally they won`t be enthusiastic about your efforts.

And if you think the world is becoming more homogenous, I doubt that too. It`s constantly being ripped up and pulled down all the time. Maybe some times, people take the same shots over and over again, when they might be needing to change subjects. I photographed a cemetery the other week, yesterday I did a giant robot in downtown Tokyo (I live in Tokyo), and next Sunday or Monday I`ll be off to do a fine park. Even travelling to these places takes a fair whack of my salary (the company I work for has taken a major hit recently, and our paypackets got major cuts), but I have never been happier.

You mightn`t be able to travel far, I understand that, but what other photographic subjects are open to you?
07-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #23
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You know, I was told by a good friend once, when walking through a town or city where you think you have seen it all, walk through again and look up. You will be amazed at what you find. Kinda like what one person posted about going up one side of the street, then the other.....example below, taken in a small town in England.....very small

I think its a pretty cool shot.....

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