Yesterday I was listening to Episode 5 of The Photo Podcast Network’s Q & A show, with hosts Scott Bourne. & Rick Sammon. A listener asked why were they not able to produce the same image in the camera as exists in their head. One of the reasons suggested as causing difficulty was that sometimes time is needed between taking the photo & then judging it’s quality.
I am very harsh on myself when it comes to critiquing my creativity, particularly when it comes to my photography. However around 18 months ago I realised that wherever possible I need to leave newly taken photos alone for a while before determining the quality of what I produced. This realisation came to me when I was searching for an old photograph that I knew I’d taken. As I revisited older photos it occurred to me that many of my photos are not as bad as I first thought. A lot had been left untouched, essentially left to take up hard drive space & nothing more. Yet time made me see that perhaps I’d judged them harshly.
So now I like to leave a series of photos for at least a few weeks before critiquing them. Somehow time makes them a little bit better.
The above photo of a lion cub at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo is an example of letting a photograph percolate with time. When I took photos during the day I had in mind what I was hoping to achieve. I quickly browsed my images later that day & was a little disappointed. The high I was still on from having a fantastic day at the zoo made me write off most of the photos as not very good.
I’ve revisited this series of photos over the past few days & I’m pleased to realise that there are some photos here that work. Some of them might even be worthy of printing & hanging on my wall.
This evenings sunset was a stunner. The sunsets over the past few evenings have been bland, with little colour in the sky, although the sun has reminded me of a large burning ball, which i guess it kind of is.
However this one was a show stopper. At the end of a long, tiring day, I walked into the tiny bathroom of our apartment, where a glowing pink light washed the walls. I knew immediately I had to step outside to see what the sky was doing. I was literally stopped in my tracks. With a view of the above, it’s little wonder. I like to see what the sky is doing at any given point in the day (not only at sunset or rise), so when a show like this is on display my heart races a little bit. I grabbed the closest photographic device I had, namely my iPad Pro.
Yes, I sometimes take photos with my iPad. I know certain people think this is crazy, but I’d rather get a photo, than miss out all together. If I’d have taken the time to get my camera out, find the missing plate for my tripod, put it on the camera, attached the tripod & headed back outside I’d have likely missed the majority of what was on offer.
I realise this points to my unorganised-ness (is that a word?) but still I was outside, enjoying the beauty around me & got a few photos while I was at it. Far better than sitting around inside, ruing not being organised enough. One day I will be. For now I’ll enjoy photographing with whatever’s at hand during those quick one off situations like a stunning sunset.
I recently had the pleasure of being onboard the PS Melbourne with over 120 other passengers and crew as she cruised along the Murray River making her way to Wentworth, in doing so leaving the Murray River & entering the waters of the Darling River. The day trip starting at 8am & finishing at 4:30pm was thought to be PS Melbourne’s first time cruising this route since becoming a passenger boat many years ago.
The day had quite the historic feel about it, with many of the passengers reminiscing about their first cruise onboard the PS Melbourne or the time they first met the man who made the Melbourne the popular tourist boat she is today, Mr Alby Pointon. Commentary provided by the Captains also pointed out historic things relevant to both the Melbourne & its owners.
Mr Pointon’s Granddaughter Ashton Kreuzer had the idea to run this cruise to kick off weekend celebrations at the Wentworth Junction Rally.
Ashton did an outstanding job, ensuring passengers were well fed, provided with coffee, tea or hot chocolate to keep the cold air at bay and be entertained with art & music.
As I’ve mentioned before it is not often that I find myself on the water, so I took the opportunity to make the most of it by taking my camera kit with me. Cruising at the slow pace the Melbourne takes afforded me the time to not only enjoy the scenery but to capture scenes ordinarily not seen by myself.
However the above photo was taken in the minutes before the Melbourne left the banks of the Murray where she was moored. Sometimes these moments of ordinariness are as important as those that are more historic. Here she is, the PS Melbourne doing what she does more often than not: taking on passengers who will for the first time or the upteenth time be settling in for a journey on the Murray enjoying the tranquility on offer by travelling at a much slower pace. It captures the beginning of another journey -albeit this day was more historic than most.
I can’t seem to stop looking at the sky. And not just at sunrise or sunset. Some pretty amazing skies happen during the middle of the day too.
Clouds that streak across the sky, stretched out as though they are trying to reach from one side of earth to the other.
Or large dark clouds, heavy with rain that doesn’t fall here. Or fluffy white clouds, that promise nothing but beauty.
Beacuse of the beauty in the sky, and for other reasons too I’ve decided to put my camera bag in the car with me when I go anywhere, even to work. Sometimes the most stunning sky presents itself after a fitfull night sleep or after a hectic work day. So now my camera will be on hand to help me remember the beauty.
Towards the end of the day last Thursday I found myself in an all to common situation. Having finished work & grocery shopped, I literally had five minutes at home to get changed, feed my dogs & cover the bird cage before heading out to a flex class. Hurriedly I dashed outside to cover the birds. As I got to their cage I looked up to see the sun setting, creating a section of sky that looked like it was alight.
My brain kicked into overdrive – telling me I had to capture what I saw. At the same time I knew i didn’t have time to get my camera, put it on the tripod, ensure I had the right lens on & then finally take some photos. I knew however this was not going to happen. All I could do was reach for the ever present iPhone, currently residing in my pocket & be content with the results.
After taking a couple of photos I turned to dash back inside, only to be greeted by a double rainbow on the opposite side of the sky. Granted, the second rainbow was faint but it was clearly there.
I knew I had to photograph it, and knew the clock was ticking. So again I used my iPhone, this time taking a panorama as well as standard photos. This was clearly a situation where the best camera is the one you have on you statement rang true.
The resulting photos certainly aren’t as good as they could’ve been, but considering the circumstances I’m happy that I managed to get what I did. If only time could be on my side every now & again.
A week ago a friend & I headed out to a lake to capture the setting sun. Our hope was for some intense colour in the clouds. It was an area I hadn’t been to before.
I found myself drawn to the mud flats around the lake which contain decaying dead trees. As I made my way to them I noticed animal bones & just had to photograph some of them.
I’m interested in the juxtaposition of decay amongst natural beauty. It’s visually jarring however I find it compelling.
Conventional beauty doesn’t interest me a lot, even in landscapes. So I’ll continue to seek out a different viewpoint even if I’m the only one who enjoys it.
This weekend & last I’ve made time to do some heavy duty cleaning. I’ve moved the bird cage from the shaded fernery, placing the cockatiels in a better position to catch some warmth in the coming winter months. This meant I had more room for the potted plants so they were rearranged. I’ve used the line trimmer to get rid of unsightly weeds as well as mowing the lawn & doing some less intense hand weeding.
Inside I’ve rearranged furniture, getting rid of things that weren’t needed & adding a table that was. I enjoy this kind of work. I zone out to everything else in the world, focussing on what I’m doing, determined to get it completed. These larger jobs have each taken me a few hours of work but the feeling on completion is worth the labour. Sure I’m tired, but I’m also pleased with the changes & the feeling of renewal that comes with them.
The calmness I feel during this work is similar to the feeling I have after meditating. My mind is calm, clear & focussed. I like it.
Friday evenings sunset was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen for a while. I wasn’t in the mindset of wanting to take photos – I walked into the laundry to do something & caught a peek of the colours of the sky reflecting through the window onto a wall.
I dashed outside with my iPhone & was amazed by what I saw. The cloud colour was stunning with the colours being so deep it almost looked like the clouds were alight. I quickly ducked inside and grabbed my Fuji, capturing more of the beauty as the sun sank lower in the sky. I’ll process those photos during the week & hopefully will have a photo that I’ll like enough to print.
For a very long time I thought that to be a photographer I had to specialise. I had to find a subject & concentrate on it. Get to know it intimately so that when I print photos the viewer would feel what I was feeling about it.
Lately I’ve come to realise that for me this is not going to work. There are multiple things that I like to photograph & I can’t make myself focus on one thing. I like close up’s & macros, landscapes, architecture & abstracts.
This frozen flower image was created after reading a photojojo.com blog post. I love what happens to flowers after freezing them in water. It’s a great subject to photograph when the weather is bad, because all it requires is a well lit spot inside.
I need to love what I’m doing otherwise I’ll abandon it completely. If I continue to photograph subjects I love I won’t be abandoning photography.