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Re-kindle your Photography Passion

Simplify the Photography Process

 

We are bombarded with images on a daily basis. Over 350 million images are uploaded to Facebook each day. Today, most people are walking around with a camera in their pocket, ready and eager to shoot every element of their lives. In fact, it’s actually difficult to get through a day without seeing someone taking a picture, whether its a selfie, a picture of their meal or a cute little cat photo. 

And then- you quickly pop onto your social media accounts to have a quick look and you are flooded with those images. As a photographer you are probably also following a photo group or two for a bit  inspiration and guidance. This is when you can be overwhelmed with the sheer volume and quality of images that are presented to you. No matter how much you have developed as a photographer, you will inevitably be confronted with images of such high quality that it can have you asking ‘why bother’? You question whether you will ever be able to take pictures of that quality.

I’ve found that in these circumstances one of two things can happen:

  • You give up trying because you convince yourself that you will never be able to take photos that will match the quality of the ones you see on-line.
  • In your quest to find some element of originality, you end up making the photography process so complex that you begin running short of motivation to keep taking the photos.

That’s the position I found myself in recently. Basically I had gotten to a point where all of my photo shoots required me to lug around lighting equipment and backdrops, assorted photography gear and the PC – and then there were the hours spent in post processing. Alternatively, when I wanted to focus on my Seascape or Nightscape photography, it meant early mornings or late nights, long drives which often lead to disappointment when the weather and lighting conditions didn’t evolve as expected. The more complex my projects became, the more I found myself making excuses for not picking up the camera. 

Challenge Yourself with Photography but Keep the Process Simple

For a variety of reasons, I began to explore Bird Photography and quickly found myself passionate about the genre. Don’t get me wrong, Bird Photography is not a simple genre to tackle. You are constantly adjusting your exposure settings and are also presented with a range of focusing challenges that can happen in a blink of an eye. You will most likely return home from each shoot with more bad images than good. 

One of the things I have found truly appealing about Bird Photography is that in addition to having the opportunity to capture truly beautiful nature photos, Bird Photography has offered me an opportunity to simplify the photography process. It is quite simple to pick up your camera, head to the local park and begin photographing. 

This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to embrace Bird Photography to re-ignite your photography passion, there are many other subjects you can tackle to simplify the photography process and get the creative juices flowing again. You may wish to photograph flowers, trees, insects, architecture and many other potential subjects. Selecting a subject that has a simple photography process can really be narrowed down to two criteria:

  • A subject that allows you to concentrate on the basics – Composition, Exposure and Focus, eliminating all the additional complex options that today’s cameras offer.
  • Something that allows you to simply grab your camera when you are presented with a spare hour or two, that doesn’t require complex planning or travel

Keeping the process simple means you are more likely to head out on a moments notice and be excited about picking up your camera again. 

Photography is a Personal Journey

With the ability to post your images on-line and share with people outside your circle of family and friends, it is very easy to get caught up in comparing your images to others. In fact there are numerous photography social media sites that run contests and offer awards in addition to the accolades you can achieve with likes and comments. Most camera clubs also have regular judging nights which can leave you feeling a bit dejected if your images fails to capture the judges, subjective eye. 

There can be value in entering these contests and seeking out the opportunity to get constructive guidance with your photography, but they are not the be all and end all. First and foremost, photography is a personal journey, one of creativity and self discovery. Seeking to challenge yourself is more likely to motivate you than constantly comparing your work to others. 

Bird Photography allowed me to set some very straight forward goals for myself and allowed me to develop a photography project that keeps me motivated. Quite simply, each time I head out with the camera I am either trying to capture a new bird species that I haven’t photographed before or I am attempting to capture a better quality image of a bird that is already in the collection. The outcome is that I have a photography collection that is constantly expanding and improving whilst also encouraging me to pick up the camera more often.

Live in the Moment.

The funny thing is, now that I have discovered a project that just allows me to keep things simple and to grab the camera and head out on a moments notice, I have found that my passion and motivation for the other, more complex photography projects I like to embark on has also been re-kindled. 

So, in addition to any complex and detailed photography projects you may be embarking on, remember to also have a genre that allows you to keep things simple, something you can do at a moments notice. 

Also remember to live in the moment and enjoy the additional benefits that photography can offer. On days where my bird photography doesn’t produce any new species or better quality images to add to the collection, I have at least had an hour or two, away from the computer, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and have had a lovely break in a local park – enjoying nature. 

If you would like to have a look at my Australian Bird Photography project  – Australian Birds – The collection is constantly growing and improving!

Looking for a bit of motivation to get your project underway? Here are some up-coming Photography workshops you may find valuable:

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  • 13th - 15th Sept
    Mastering Exposure & Focus - Merry Beach

    Mastering Exposure & Focus - Merry Beach

    Friday 13th Sept. 10am - Sunday 15th Sept. 2pm

    This 3-day workshop is all about mastering Exposure & Focusing - two critical elements in successful photography

    Join us in picturesque Merry Beach as we explore your camera's Exposure and Focus features and use the surrounding coastline, and the abundance of Kangaroos and Rainbow Lorikeets as our subjects.

    The workshop and accomodation is in the Merry Beach Caravan Park

    *Please Do Not book your accomodation until you have received confirmation that the minimum number of bookings have been met.
    $550

    Mastering Exposure & Focus - Merry Beach

    $550
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  • 18th - 20th Oct
    Bird Photography Tour - Capertee Valley

    Bird Photography Tour - Capertee Valley

    Friday 18th Oct. 9am - Sunday 20th Oct. 3pm

    Spend three marvellous days immersed in Bird Photography as we explore the Capertee Valley.

    Capertee Valley is recognised internationally as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and one of the top 50 Bird Watching places in the world. Home to around 242 species including the Regent Honeyeater, Painted Honeyeater, acred Kingfisher and the Turquoise Parrot to name just a few.

    Our 3-day tour will focus on visiting the spots designated as the Capertee Valley Bird Trail and a couple of the State and National Parks.

    Our accomodation will be based in Kandos.

    *Please Do Not book your accomodation until you have received confirmation that the minimum number of bookings have been met.
    $550

    Bird Photography Tour - Capertee Valley

    $550
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  • 6th - 8th Dec
    Nature Photography Escape - Jenolan

    Nature Photography Escape - Jenolan

    Friday 6th Dec. 3pm - Sunday 8th Dec. 2pm

    Grab your camera and join small group of like-minded photographers as we explore the relaxing natural surrounds of the Jenolan Karst Conservation reserve.

    The workshop and accomodation is in the Jenolan Caves House - There are a variety of rooms to choose from.

    *Please Do Not book your accomodation until you have received confirmation that the minimum number of bookings have been met.
    $425

    Nature Photography Escape - Jenolan

    $425
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  • 13th - 16th Mar. 2020
    Seascape Photography - Narooma

    Seascape Photography - Narooma

    Friday 13th Mar - Monday 16th Mar. 2020

    Take a break from the normal daily hustle and bustle, grab your camera and escape to the picturesque South Coast town of Narooma for four days of amazing Seascape Photography

    We will visit some spectacular coastal locations where you’ll get guided instruction on photographing seascapes that are both breathtaking and exciting to look at.

    The workshop and accomodation is in the Narooma Holiday Park

    *Please Do Not book your accomodation until you have received confirmation that the minimum number of bookings have been met.
    $695

    Seascape Photography - Narooma

    $695
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Brian Bird

Brian is an avid photographer and educator that enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others. His love of photography coupled with more than 25 years experience in teaching technology to technical & non-technical people has put him in an ideal position to pursue his passion of helping other photographers improve their photography skills and technique both in the field and in post production.
Brian Bird
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