Have you ever felt frustrated with your photography?
Have you ever felt as though, no matter how many times you go out, how long you spend with your camera or how many shots you take, you still come home without any special images?
This is a feeling that is familiar to me.
Recently I spent some time in a coastal region on the west coast of Ireland.
I went out every morning with my camera hoping to get some decent photos of the magnificent landscape. However, and disappointingly, the beautiful scenery didn’t always translate into good photography.
Although I do blame my lack of skill, I have to acknowledge also that most very skilful photographers often have a similar issue. In fact, when we see a finished body of work from a photographer we are only seeing a fraction of the total images that photographer has taken.
However, our expectation can be high and frustration can set in when we are not reaching those expectations.
On one of the mornings by the coast I was walking along by the seashore. It was a beautiful morning – calm and warm. I had hoped to get some images to use in my 2024 calendar for family and friends but I wasn’t happy with my compositions and the light was poor.
I decided to stop trying so hard so I switched off my camera, walked along the beautiful beach and immersed myself in my surroundings.
As I walked I began to notice what was going on around me.
I became aware of the sound of the waves crashing onto shore then lapping at my feet, the gulls screeching overhead and the distant hum of the town coming to life.
I saw the wonderful patterns in the dark and moody sky and watched as a chink of light appeared as the sun tried to break through. I felt the gentle breeze on my face and the soft sand beneath my feet.
When I was ready I switched on my camera again and made some ICM images, some of which I am pleased with.
It’s not always the end result that matters in photography; it’s the whole experience.
It’s the process involved, the connection with our surroundings, and, maybe most importantly, our mindset, that helps us create the image.
When I become mindful, when I stop and take in what is around me and become present in the moment, when I really connect with nature and people, I feel joy and gratitude and I give myself the best opportunity to capture a decent image.
And that is why I love photography.
You might like to watch this short video on a similar theme.