Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Am Who I Am

I read a blog recently that made me think, but in an opposite way from it was intended. The author was trying to inspire photographers who found themselves disappointed or frustrated by harsh criticism, either by themselves or others.

I suppose he had a good point when he pointed out we all make mistakes. This is not a perfect world and there will always be shots you should have done better. I have certainly taken trips where I missed that right moment and came home with pictures that were "all wrong". That is a part of the road of life. It is having the ability to learn from your mistakes that makes you a better photographer and person.

Along that same line, I have also always been one to encourage others to learn. It is only by admitting that you don't know everything, that you will grow as a person. In my opinion, some of the "worst" photographers are those who seem to have an answer to everything. There is nothing worse than a "photo snob". You know the type. They have the best camera and know exactly what lens to use at all times. They can crop it, adjust it, frame it, and sell it before you blink.

My philosophy about photography has little changed since my beginning shots were taken, and the first and foremost thing I always emphasize is YOU SHOULD ENJOY IT. Over the years I have found certain things about photography cause me to lose enjoyment of it. Competitions are one such thing. I stopped entering them years ago because I found I focused more on what would win, than what I really in my heart wanted to photograph. Photograph what you like! If you love the patterns and textures of big buildings, then go for it. If photographing bugs bores you to tears, then don't!

Preying Mantis

Preying Mantis

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHER TO ENJOY PHOTOGRAPHY! You don't have to have the best equipment or the most expensive software. I have never owned a DSLR and by choice will never own one. I like the lighter feel of a point-and-shoot camera. I like that I can take macros, or wide angle shots, or zoomed shots without changing lenses. I like it even more when people are surprised what I "took that shot" with. Be the best at what you have.

Sunrise, November 24, 2008
Aperture Priority F8.0, Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Sunrise, November 24, 2008

FIND PEOPLE WHO LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE. I have joined groups where I had little in common with the people there. Often we do not agree on politics or religion or philosophy. Perhaps they were not even photographers, but we shared a love of a common thing - a love for natural sound, knowledge about wildflowers. I have learned so much from people with more time to study than I have. I have found that it always affects me through my photographs.



IT'S OKAY TO HAVE A DRY TIME. If you find yourself with little time to photograph, the weather is just terrible, or you just can find that one thing to inspire you again. That's okay. We've all been there. Stop and take the time to look around without a lens. Sometimes when you're not looking for it is when inspiration comes the best.


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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

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