So I started writing this while on holiday in Heilbronn Germany, been back a few weeks and forgotten to post it, D'OH !!
Anyway I thought it was time to write a blog about my photography as the last post was about my impending 'retirement' from Portrait photography. I have been a little quiet on the photography front since not 100% of my choosing just needed to take a break from it all and get back my 'mojo' for it.
So what has happened since last summer
Well I have taken stock thought about what I like doing, what I'd like to do and more importantly what I don't like doing. I have really only used my camera a couple of times in this time once at one of my favourite places ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. This is one of my favourite pictures from that day just after Christmas.
Stop trying to be something I'm not I think is the key. Yes I enjoy photography but I'm never going to turn professional and I don't want to pressure myself into trying to be better than anyone else and I think there was an element of that creeping in which meant I was losing the enjoyment of it. I'm an amateur photographer, I enjoy it, occasionally I will take a really good picture but most of all I will be enjoying myself while I do it and that has to be the overriding factor in how I approach my photography going forward.
I was spending too much money ....
.... on photography and that stopped me enjoying the other things in life that I like to do like watching my football team, spending time with Sonja and George, riding my motorbike, going to concerts, the theatre and the like. So I have to make some decisions like stopping the tech race. I have to stop trying to have the latest piece of kit, the latest version of software etc etc. For instance I was part of the Adobe Photography Plan but I never used Photoshop only Lightroom so why was I paying for something i wasn't using? Simples right? So I have cancelled that 'membership' and I've reverted back to the last version of Lightroom that I 'owned' outright. This has meant that I have had to rebuild my library of pictures as I hadn't used this version since late 2014 or something like that. Fortunately I hadn't tidied up my computer and still had the Lightroom versions library's at the time I upgraded. So at least I have some of my original edits of my work pre that date. Anyway this process has giving me the opportunity to
Go back to the very beginning
I started serious photography in March 2011, that seems so so long ago now a lot of things have happened in that time. What I do know is that my skills at taking and editing pictures has vastly improved. So I've decided that I should revisit some of my early work and re-edit them. I started off by reworking pictures from my very first photoshoot back in May 2011.
This was taken at a local camera club for which I am no longer a member (that's a story for another time). The picture on the right is a re-edit from that shoot. As you can see the lighting set up was at best appalling but I had no idea at the time how to set up studio lights or what settings to use on my camera. I just dialled it to manual and took some settings from one of the gents attending the shoot at the club. I have reworked all the images I took that evening about 50 I think it was and about half of them have been uploaded to a gallery in the portraiture area.
This was a good exercise....
.... as it has shown me how my skills have developed not only on how to set up the camera, the lights (although Andrew at Saracen House Studio does that most of the time, cheers buddy) but how to compose the photograph etc and I sat there thinking wow I've come a long way in this time. It was a good feeling completing this exercise at the beginning of April. It has helped me get my photography mojo back. Sometimes in life you need to step back and look at where you have come from, be it work or play, and this was the perfect exercise to demonstrate that to me.
So what's next....
.... well for starters I want to get the camera out and take some photos that hasn't happened in a good while. So I have booked my seat at IWM Duxford Spring Airshow in late May. This is one of my favourite events of the year to photograph, I don't know what it is about taking pictures of aircraft but it just does it for me. I hope to be able to go to a few more air shows this year although I won't be going to RIAT this year, I got a bit bored with it last year maybe I should be Billy no mates and go on my own next time maybe in 2018. I have also booked an hour on one of Saracen House Studios model days. I used to do hour shoots and really enjoy them then I stepped up to two hours and felt I had to do too much in the time so I'm dipping my toe back in and see if I enjoy it again. It's with Carla Monaco so not bad model to reintroduce myself to the model photography genre.
We're also planning a holiday near to Dorset's fantastic Jurassic Coast in the summer. I'm hoping for a few good sun rises and sun sets for some good landscapes/Seascapes of this beautiful part of England. I'm also hoping for some clear nights to try....
This is a subject that has really intrigued me for quite a while and I don't know why I haven't tried this genre of photography before! So this is on my agenda for 2017 I think I have the right kit just not necessarily the right knowledge. So I need to do some research and work out how to set up my kit for it and go out and practice somewhere local, maybe up at Houghton House near Ampthill would be a good place although there maybe too much light pollution up there but until I can try I guess see what gives.
Some of the pictures of the night sky are just stunning and if I manage to get just get one remotely good I will be chuffed as nuts! I think this is something that you need to try try and try again but this is photography, practice makes you better, very few of us make it to perfect.
So what else??? oh yes my website needs a refresh/redesign
... again this is always a task that I need to block a couple of days away to work on. Its time to have a complete revamp so look out for a new look coming soon
Right I'm going to sign off now and get on with my website planning
Happy snapping people