With the web inundating us with thousands of fantastic images on a daily basis (there are a lot of bad ones too), it can be frustrating at times for the average photographer who thinks they are stuck in a black hole where they live seemingly unable to find inspiring photo opportunities.
It’s wonderful to spend some time viewing and learning from great images. It’s pretty hard to go wrong there… But in the end you can only produce based on the raw materials you are given and how often you can put yourself out there as a photographer. That’s your situation right? Either you can change your situation or you can adapt to it. Those are your choices.
If you have access to frequent travelling opportunities then that’s terrific. But suppose you are someone who has a demanding day job, or suppose you are someone who lives in a small town.
I find myself having to write this article because I’ve talked to quite a few local photographers who have experienced the “home town blues” and often talk about the photos they will take when on vacation or on a road trip. And I have first hand experience dealing with this kind of situation. I am currently working on a street photography project in my small town. It would be very easy to say that there is no interesting architecture, no grand staircases, no checkerboard floors, no crowds of people, and terrible light for most of the year. But there are other things. For example, there are reflections. There are gestures. There is rain and snow. There are textures. The people here are extremely skittish when alerted to the presence of a camera. But that just means that you have to either blend in with the situation or be invisible to get your opportunities.
So it’s important not to let yourself feel like you’re a victim to a lack of opportunities or that you’ve been put into a dull situation that has nothing interesting to offer. You have to train yourself to think differently and find the interesting in the routine. Photograph whenever you can…whatever works with your particular schedule. I do most of my photography during my half-hour lunch breaks. I have to do this otherwise I’d be lucky to take 5 photos a week.
Everybody’s situation is different. Some people have wonderful opportunities based on their free time and their geographic location. Others are quite restricted. But the bottom line is that you must photograph on your terms, on your turf. OYTOYT