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Lanscape Chronicals - part 4

Members' Blogs: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4

Posted by: Charlotte on Fri Aug 09, 2013 16:54   (4170 Reads)
Yawn, I know but you may find solace in the thought that it may be my last one on this particular subject – or maybe not, who knows. I thought someone following along behind might find this helpful in the future.
I've been doing a lot of reading recently there are a lot of what I call proper photographers who have taken time to write and try to encourage and teach others, for which I'm very grateful. However, they wont tell you which camera/lens/shutter speed or aperture to use because that's up to you/me.

I'll post some links in the members section to some free e-books that I found interesting, if anyone is interested. Some of you may find them a bit airy fairy and those who have already travelled before me will no doubt know it all anyway. They're a bit like the books I read in my early teens whilst studying religion and searching for 'God' – the answer is the same. It doesn't matter.

What's the answer to life the universe and everything – it doesn't matter.

Am I ever going to take the perfect shot – it doesn't matter. (Ha caught you out there, I bet you thought I was going to say no!)

Brick walls.
I can remember the first time I hit a major brick wall. I lost my Mojo, couldn't do anything right. Mind you back then I didn't have a clue what I was doing anyway. Some one suggested going to the river on a cloudy dull day, finding some nice rocks and taking some long exposures. I'd never done long exposure before and it was an interesting way to pass an afternoon. I ended up with an awful lot of over/under- exposed shots but eventually I got the hang of it. I can remember when posting my endeavours on another forum receiving a pm telling me that what I was doing was 'old hat' been done so many times before and I ought to stop copying others. Cliché maybe but it was part of my learning process. I can now photograph wheat growing in a field with the wind gently blowing it and show the movement, which I wouldn't have been able to do had I not practised a cliché.

So don't worry about taking cliché shots they may have been done a million times before but you're not going to learn how to use the camera without following others. It's a means to an end.

Don't worry about hitting brick walls either – it happens to everyone and your first wall won't be your last but they're not insurmountable. If you keep shooting eventually something will click and you'll be able to move on. I think perhaps they are there either to enable you to absorb what you've learned so far, or in my case they've been put there by myself for some strange reason. Whatever they're there for, they come and go, use them as a breathing space to take stock of where you've been and where you are now. Eventually you'll find where to go next.

I'm sick of the rules. Nothing stifles creativity more than rules. I can remember when I was tiny, listening to a record mum was playing. It was about a little boy at school who painted flowers with different colours and was told by his teacher that flowers are red and green leaves are green and there was no need to paint flowers any other way. Eventually he went to a new school and the nice teacher said that flowers were all different colours but the little boy still painted nice neat rows of red flowers with green leaves. I can't remember who sung it but it made me cry at the time.
I know the rules are there for a reason but if something looks better centralised then surely it should be centralised. How can one develop ones own style if you have to follow the rules all the time. I don't want to be a clone and I have never been a lemming.

I mean, what was I thinking – foreground interest to anchor the photo. A bloody great lump of rock doesn't really add to the image does it ?

How to bugger up depth of field in one easy photo !

I did have fun that day though. I learned a lot about myself and took some 'me' photos which I'm happy with – without following the rules. Someone actually commented on one of my 'me' photos that they could feel the joy of the place, which made me sit up and the brick wall I've been banging my head against for heaven alone knows how long, suddenly disappeared. I'm on to something but I'm not sure what yet.


I stumbled upon fields of Sunflowers yesterday – another cliché I know. Instead of lumbering around like I would have done in the past, snapping away hundreds of useless shots, I 'came' into the moment and took my time and only a few shots (a lot of them useless as usual). There were two fields split by a lovely s bendy road. So obviously I took a shot with the bendy road snaking through the middle and all the other obvious shots. They didn't work though 'cause they weren't me.

Anyhow, someone told them I was coming 'cause they all turned their backs on me and it got darker and darker and started raining.

Sent to Coventry.

Turning point.

We were out this morning and saw a notice for a Photography Expedition and hubby said if I was interested then we could go if I wanted to. Not normally the sort of thing he'd be interested in. I have always avoided looking at other peoples work, (unless they're people I know then it's nice to follow their progress and see them grow – or I've been given a link for a specific reason), because I'm concerned that I'd end up inadvertently copying them. I said as much to hubby. His reply was that he could understand that when I first started but at the stage I'm at now it shouldn't be a problem. That made me sit up as well (even though I was standing at the time), along with a couple of comments I've had on my photos recently, it suddenly dawned on me. When did I stop being a beginner. I hope that doesn't sound big headed, I know I've still got a hell of a long way to go but I've come a long way it seems. It suddenly dawned on me that I could actually 'make' a photograph now – they don't often say anything but they're still photos that I've made. Now that was a revelation and a half – I needed a lay down after that shock.

I've lost my train of thought now – hooray – I might come back to this and write another one at a later date, - groan - if I carry on now I'll ramble more than usual (if that's possible).

Keep taking those cliché shots, 'tis the only way you are going to learn how to use the camera as a tool to tell your story.
Live in the moment, experience each second you'll have more time to play if you do this.

Watch the light dance across the earth and rejoice that you're there to see it.

Embrace constructive criticism, try out other's suggestions it's the only way you're going to improve. You'll soon learn whose advice to take and whose to ignore.

Don't allow praise to give you a big head some people might just be commenting so that you'll say nice things about their work.

Don't take criticism about your work personally it's not you being criticised it's your photo and if you get defensive about your work then you are likely to build your own brick wall.

One thing about this forum that is brilliant is the fact that there are no cliques nor fan clubs if you ask for cc then that's what you get – honest straight forward constructive criticism to help you grow.

Can't help you with your story though, no one can, 'tis yours and yours alone. I hope you have as much fun trying to find it – as I am trying to find mine.
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All 10 Comments

Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   Leave a Comment
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment Agree wholeheartedly on your observation on Rules.

My conclusion on "The Rules" - actually reached in the darkroom - is to treat them as a "Cheat S ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment :oops: Open office auto correction did a good job there didn't it. :lol:

No I haven't been to the exhibition :wink: it runs until the 25th. I' ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4 I enjoyed reading this Charlotte, thank you. I suppose that at some point I should read what the rules are..........
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment Charlotte - I remember when you were a beginner or at least a beginner to macro work and many of us watched your lightening progress with delight. For ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment fritzthedog: "Charlotte - I remember when you were a beginner or at least a beginner to macro work and many of us watched your lightening progr ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4 Good words from fritzthedog.
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment I disagree somewhat, with landscape then I think that following the rules will generally give the best results. I think it is more a case of understa ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment Hi Carl, :D
'tisn't the first time you've helped to pick me up, brush me off and point me in the right direction, is it. 8) I thought it was supp ...  more
Re: Lanscape Chronicals - part 4   -   See entire comment Hi Adrian, :D

I can see what you're saying and I suppose when you build a house there's no point in starting with the roof is there. I understand ...  more
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