In the beginning, my blog was mostly about travel photography. Then it was anything I could find to photograph close at home as I “practiced”. Now I don’t know what to do next.
I use to be interested in documentary photography. This actually started long ago when I would look at war pictures in old Life magazines. Now I am appalled at what I see in documentary conflict photography.
I took to studying travel photography while traveling with groups when I had to be quick to capture all that I saw. It was/is similar to documentary photography.
I started blogging so that I could share my travel pictures with those I traveled with and family, but few were interested. I then started writing about what I learned as I tried different equipment and learned more. That has pretty much ground to a halt since I’m not buying and trying much anymore. Over time I kept obtaining better cameras and lenses. A lot of my blog articles then became about various technical aspects of the gear. Now I have reached a point where I can’t blame my deficiencies on gear, it is all on me. In fact, the qualities of my cameras exceed my needs, especially if I don’t go somewhere to take pictures.
I have looked at a lot of different genres of photography hoping to see something that I could pursue. I have looked for something that I could write about and take pictures and post about frequently … something that would keep me busy and interested. I haven’t found it yet.
Maybe I will start a new photography genre … boredom. They could be images of anything common around the house or wherever I go … along the street or maybe in the stores. It might be the evolution of my practice photography. I’ll just call it something different. Maybe rather than “boredom” photography I’ll call it contemplative photography. Oh, that already exists. Hmmm, I wonder what the contemplative photographers would think.
This genre also seems to fit most of the “phone photography” images of others … lots and lots of images of whatever exists in front of them. It is slowly dawning on me that this is what I have done … photographed whatever I saw. It is just that my images changed over the years depending on what I did or where I went. Should I call it boredom or contemplative photography? Probably the term “life photography” fits better.
I know that I’m rambling but it is because I don’t know where I’m going, but maybe that is alright. Well it might be alright for me but I’m not sure about you. You may get quite bored at times depending upon what I photograph. But then, you have an option. You can move on even if I can’t seem to do it. The more I think about it, my photography is just about life, my life. It is just me capturing whatever I see, moment by moment, or day by day. If it becomes bland or boring, it will be because I am getting more narrow in terms of what I see, where I go, etc., or that I am repeating images. What you see is what you’ll get.
I think that photographers, at least those who pontificate on the web, need to stop and think about what is more important. Is photography about the camera and lens and technical aspects of their use or is it about capturing life, one moment at a time? In reality, good photography is about both but you rarely get that from reading photography blogs.
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
— Joseph Campbell
This even applies to my photography. It is my practice, when using prime lenses, to make a judgment before I go out as to what lens I will use and then stick with it. I rarely take multiple lenses with me or change lenses in the field. I let the chosen focal length guide me to the composition and images I make. For the above image I was using a 20 mm lens on a micro 4/3 camera so the effective focal length was 40 mm. Maybe it is blissful ignorance in that later when I get the image up on my computer screen I don’t remember, or miss, what might have been out of view.