Saturday, September 27, 2014

Everyday Photography

Hill Valley - Stallion Springs, California
You should photograph each and every day if you can. You should make an effort to get out with your camera and capture. Photography should be an everyday thing.

Legendary street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said, "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." I like to add that your next 10,000 are your second worst. Why? Because, like anything, it takes practice to become skilled. The more you do the better you become.
Triangle, Circle & Square - Stallion Springs, California
It is important to capture at least one photograph every day because it will make you better. Just the simple exercise of doing will improve your skills.

Imagine if you wanted to run a marathon, but only sporadically trained. Would you be prepared? Absolutely not! It takes getting out day after day, pushing your limits, in order to do well in the marathon.
Curves In The Desert - Rosamond, California
One challenge of photographing every day is to stay inspired. If you are not feeling inspired to photograph, how can you be expected to grab your camera and capture anything meaningful?

Here's the thing: you get inspired as you do. Inspiration isn't something that you necessarily feel, but something that you create.
The Warm Last Light On The Hill - Stallion Springs, California
I have found that when I'm not inspired to photograph, if I grab my camera and actively look for something to capture, it is not long before the creative juices start flowing. Soon one image captured becomes 20 images captured.

If you wait for inspiration, you will not often find it. Inspiration is something that's out there waiting for you to go get. Inspiration requires action.
Mountain Oaks - Stallion Springs, California
Once you get out with your camera the ideas will start to come. Your photographic vision will become more clear. But it takes grabbing your camera in the first place, even if you are not feeling inspired.

I'm not saying that you should start a 365 project (you certainly can if you want to). What I am saying is that an honest effort should be made to be an active photographer daily. Photographs are never created while sitting on the couch watching television.
A Blossomed Rose - Tehachapi, California
The photographs in this post are recent "everyday" images. I used my camera, even if I didn't necessarily feel like it. And I captured something. Sometimes anything. Doing so allowed me to create some other photographs that can be found in other posts on the Roesch Photography Blog.

Some of these photographs are good, some are mediocre. But without them other photographs are not possible. These images are stepping stones to others. 
Hazy Sunset - Stallion Springs, California
Starting at the top, Hill Valley was captured moments before two other photographs that I really like (Light Rays and Rays Over The Valley found in the Don't Be Afraid To Crop post). I had to stop and create Hill Valley first, and then my eyes could open up to the better opportunities present.

Triangle, Circle & Square was an exercise in underlying photographic elements. You have basic shapes. You have the rule of three. Good use of light contrast. Even so, it isn't all that interesting of an image. Perhaps it is the best images that could have been made of that scene, but it doesn't stand out as anything special. The lesson: sometimes following all the rules and principals equates to nothing if the photographic vision isn't all that strong.
Bee On A Yellow Flower - Rosamond, California
The next photograph is Curves In The Desert. I wasn't feeling inspired. The lighting was terrible (harsh and overhead). The scene wasn't particularly great. But I wanted to create something. Anything. So I pulled off the road, grabbed my camera and created this image.

The Warm Last Light On The Hill was captured while on a short family hike at a local park. The color contrast is pretty weak, but I like the lighting. The shadowed foreground adds a little (much needed) interest.
Country Road - Tejon Ranch, California
What I like about Mountain Oaks are the purple distant mountains and the subtle depth. The hill was actually quite far away. I used a telephoto lens and then cropped about half of the image out to create this photograph.

I was at a local park with my family when I captured A Blossomed Rose. If I hadn't brought a camera with me, I wouldn't have captured the photograph.
One Wish - Tehachapi, California
Hazy Sunset was a more of a test shot than anything else. I had purchased a new camera, and I wanted to see how it would handle being pointed directly at the sun. Digital cameras don't always do well with that. The hill is the same hill seen in Hill Valley but on a different day. 

After capturing Curves In The Desert I was feeling inspired to create something else. Bee On A Yellow Flower, captured only minutes after Curves, is the image that came out of that inspiration. If I had not stopped to capture the first photograph, the second photograph most likely never would have happened. 
Mojave Joshua - Rosamond, California
Country Road was captured immediately before Mountain Oaks. I used a telephoto lens, then "zoomed" some more by cropping about two-thirds of the image out. There was a lot of haze/smog (as there often is in the Central Valley), and I was at an elevation about 3,500' above the scene. The tiny black dots are actually cows.

I was at a park with my family when I captured One Wish. The black background is the shadowed side of a structure. The dandelion was back-lit. A bunch of people were at the park, but I don't think anyone noticed the beauty of this small scene.

Finally, I captured Mojave Joshua one morning while traveling through the desert. It probably would have been a better photograph if I had been at the scene 15-20 minutes early when the light was a bit softer. Even so, it is a decent image of one of the more interesting things found in the Mojave Desert.

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