Saturday, August 20, 2016

Why I Photograph Every Day

Ready For Adventure - South Weber, Utah
I try to photograph every day, if I can. I don't always accomplish this goal. Sometimes things happen. But I try to capture at least one image daily.

I love creating photographs. Photography is how I best express my creativity. I can communicate things through exposures that I have a hard time putting into words. There is not much that I would rather do instead. Why would I continue to photograph if I didn't love it? I enjoy photography, and so I want to do it as often as I can.

One reason that I try to photograph each day is to improve my photography. The more I do, the better I become. Each exposure offers lessons (what did I do good and bad and what could I do better in the future?), if I'll consider each one for a moment. Photography takes practice. I like to get my daily photographic exercise in.
Fuji Film - South Weber, Utah
It also prevents "rust" when I photograph daily. If I let some time go between photographing, I find it takes longer to get into a zone. I have to work through my rustiness in order to start creating good images.

There are plenty of things that prevent me from taking pictures. There are plenty of obstacles to photographing daily.

Life can get busy sometimes. Work pulls in one direction. Family pulls in another direction. There are tons of chores and tasks and obligations and such. Sometimes photography just isn't a priority. And there is only so much time in a day, only so much of me to go around. Somethings got to give, and sometimes that "something" is photography.
The First Day of School - South Weber, Utah
I try not to let life get in the way of photography for too long. If a day or two goes by where I didn't make an exposure, that's not a real big deal. If a week or two goes by, that's a much bigger deal, and I need to reconsider what's going on in my life and make photography a little bit higher of a priority.

Sometimes it's myself that gets in the way of photographing daily. Maybe I'm not feeling inspired. Sometimes I don't think there is anything worth photographing around me. Perhaps I don't feel like carrying around the bulk of a camera. Whatever the reason, I have found that the best thing for me in these cases is to force myself to go out a capture something. I typically get out of my "funk" pretty quickly as I begin making exposures.

One thing I started doing recently when I don't think I have the time or inspiration to photograph is to make still life images using my cheap and simple homemade studio. It only takes a couple of minutes of my time and allows me to get some photography practice in. I'm able to create some interesting images even when there is seemingly nothing interesting to photograph. All of the photographs in this article were captured that way.
Pumpkin Chestnut - South Weber, Utah
Another thing that has kept me from photographing daily is my backed up workflow. My post-processing workflow got backed up a ridiculous amount this year, thanks (in part) to a move from California to Utah. I didn't want to photograph because I didn't want to add more to the overwhelming pile of editing work. I have (guesstimating) about 10,000 RAW files on my computer right now waiting for me to go through.

Recently I purchased a gently used Fujifilm X-E1, which can produce great out-of-camera JPEGs that rival edited RAW images. I find that about 95% of my photographs captured with this camera don't require any post-processing. That saves me so much time and takes away my backed up workflow as an excuse for not capturing images. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.

When excuses keep me from capturing images, I do what I can to remove the barriers. I want to photograph and it's good to photograph. So I try to make exposures each day. I don't always succeed, but it's better to try than to not try.

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