Saturday, May 31, 2014

Photography Obstacles

I've talked about limitations and failure in photography. Now I will talk about something similar: obstacles.

Just as life throws us countless obstacles each day, there are tons of obstacles to great photography. Some of these obstacles are frustration, lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, just being stuck, no or poor photographic vision, no time, lack of skill, not thinking enough, thinking too much, being too slow, being too quick, following the rules, being in the wrong place, being in the right place but at the wrong time, and many, many others. Each and every time you and I wish to create great images, there are obstacles in the way.

This may seem strange to say, but obstacles are good. Obstacles should be embraced. We need to have obstacles in order to be successful.

Obstacle Lessons
Soledad Mountains - Mojave, California
There are lessons found in each obstacle we face. An obstacle is like a challenge. We either succeed or we fail. There is something to be learned either way. If you figured out how to move past the obstacle, then it isn't an obstacle for you any longer. If you failed to get past it, then you now know what not to do next time.

Learning is an important aspect of your photography continuum. If you didn't learn you'd never grow and your photography would be stagnate. Obstacles are life's way of forcing you to either grow or fail. And you only truly fail when you stop trying.

Whenever you encounter an obstacle in your photography, be sure to find the lesson, whatever that lesson is. Don't waste obstacles by not thinking deeper about how you got past it or why you didn't. Don't lose heart if you failed to get past an obstacle. If you learned something from the experience then in fact you did not ultimately fail.

Obstacle Creativity
Rock Behind Ice Plant - Morro Bay, California
Often obstacles require outside-the-box thinking to get beyond them. They force you to be creative. They require you to break the mold. They make you see differently. Obstacles force you to think deeper and try harder.

Creativity is essential to art. Without creativity photographs are completely boring. It is imagination and ingenuity that make images interesting.

Obstacles foster creativity by forcing you to figure out how to move beyond them. Without obstacles, the photographs that you see would be much less interesting.

Obstacle Focus
One Tree - Tehachapi, California
There are things in life that you can control and there are things in life that you cannot. Obstacles make you realize the difference. Obstacles force you to focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot.

You cannot control the weather. You cannot control nature. You cannot control what others do. You cannot control whether your photographs will be liked or if you'll become famous. You cannot control anything that is out of your hands.

What you can control is yourself. You can make yourself get up, grab a camera and head out the door. You can control the camera settings. You can push yourself to try harder to be the best that you can be. You can be proactive. You can choose to tackle the obstacles that are in the way of your great photographs.

If you spend your energy worrying about what you cannot control, you are wasting away. If you are not spending enough attention on what you can control, you are wasting away. Obstacles help us to see what we should and shouldn't be spending our time and efforts on.

Obstacle Overcome
Energy - Tehachapi, California
Obstacles lead to positive change. Once we overcome what is in our way, we move forward to bigger and better things. Overcome obstacles are what take us to improved vision.

If you are not moving forward then you are moving backwards. There is no standing still. Everyone is moving. Obstacles that are not faced will prevent you from improving.

You have to keep moving forward, so that means facing whatever it is that's in your way. It is tackling the difficulty. It is figuring out how to move beyond where you currently are.

Conclusion
On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
Don't be afraid of obstacles. Don't get discouraged by difficulty. Don't hide from whatever it is that's in your way.

Instead, embrace obstacles. They will lead to learning opportunities, creativity, focus and eventually positive change. Obstacles are good.

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