I have been stalking/harassing (for want of a better word or terminology) the many , many… … many how to pages & groups on FB for a little while, & just now, have decided that no more shall I do that. It is completely doing my head in. The pressure on people – or the expectation to deliver stunning results quickly, seems to mean the basics of photography are now overlooked as the manual for the shiny new DSLR is constantly referred to in a search for the perfect settings. “What focus mode should I be in?”…”Do I toggle or leave it fixed”… “Why can’t I get my pictures to look like all those newborn shots on Pinterest?”.
I see these questions over & over again & the threads always turns into a posting rampage of assertions & what could only be described as childish bickering. I’m a little old school I guess, but certainly not a purist, & I shoot digital exclusively now.
I just wish more new & aspiring photogs would slow down a bit. Forget about the idea of having a booming photography business by the end of the holidays & just enjoy playing with the camera & learning the art of capture. So many appear to be getting lost in the sea of information & “shoot like me”,”edit like me” Youtube videos & webinars & “buy this & you will be awesome” actions & presets, that some end up giving up photography after all that as just being too hard when they can’t “quickly” produce the images like all the wonderful examples they see on the internet. That can only be a bad thing for photography in general.
Just my opinion.
On a recent trip to Broken Hill, I realised that I spend a lot of time on fencelines taking landscape photo’s of our great Australian countryside. I think it’s great fun to be cruising along keeping an eye out for something that might look interesting through my lens. These days however, I seem to stop often but upon getting out & having a “real” look with camera in hand, I’m usually quickly back in the car a little disappointed that this stop was just was not to be. I hope that’s me looking to raise the bar on my own photography & critically looking at what I shoot now & not just plain ol’ complacency. I think it’s the former. I used to shoot everything, now not so much & I hope that’s a good thing.
But then, there is the “golden hour”.. that wonderful period before & after a sunrise or sunset that can certainly produce the results I am always on the lookout for. This image was taken about 30 minutes after the sun had slipped past the horizon in the west. It was the last location of many for the day. Prior to this, I had been racing around an area of just one or two kilometers as the “golden hour” ticked away. Jumping out of the car, trudging through the roadside bush with heavy camera & tripod to fencelines that were sometimes 200 metres or so away from the road only to discover what looked interesting from the car, now looked a little “normal” as I stood watching the golden hour tick by. But then this location happened as I had almost called it quits for the day. Zooming past a little dirt road off the highway, I had a quick flash of this old tank & windmill. A quick u-turn followed & the rest is golden hour magic.
The shot from the fence.
A word about Blogging, how on earth can you find the time to blog? On the one hand I travel a bit through Central Australia with work. It’s full of photographic gems, whizzing by all day as we travel to the next town.I see so much yet record so little these days. Forgive me dear blog, for I neglect you nearly as much as my Photography at the moment. Time for a holiday I think. Sleep in a motel with no real place to go in the morning for a change.
Photography is my passion, the technology, the techniques, the journey, the discoveries. It began with my very first Praktica 35mm film camera Mum bought for a birthday surprise after we saw it at some secondhand store. I still have this camera & it still works as though it were new.
Exploring the Australian Outback by road is another passion lit by many years of traversing up & down the “middle” on the Stuart highway for work “adventures”. This big brown beautiful island seems small these days because of the vastness I have seen, & the distance’s I have travelled, but I just know, the exploration of my home has only just begun. It is much larger than I can imagine at the moment.
So upon waking up early one morning at the start of a few very short days off, I again jump in the ute & drive 8 hours into the bush to take a photo.
The image below is my best result so far using long exposures & light painting. A new obsession I believe. What you see is straight out of the camera using 1 very long exposure (shutter locked open) for around 20 minutes. Taken at night under the light of a moon at about 40%. It was cold & windy with spiders & every other bug imaginable watching & lurking close by. Suffer for the art I guess.