Leave the screen
It’s that time of year. Even this year. Christmas.
Love it, hate it, celebrate it or ignore it, whatever you do, its hard to avoid it.
I’m generally a creature of habit when I’m not out in the field. 6am is my body clocks preferred time to wake. Coffee needs to be made first above all else. I’ve been a coffee snob before now and have been through all versions of the brown stuff; instant, machine, espresso, frothy milk, sugar, no sugar. I’m 47. I don’t care so much now. All time favourite is a Moka pot.
This time of year, I’m good with instant. Milk, no sugar.
Coffee made and sitting on the sofa by the window, I like to wake as slowly as the sun rises.
The day at the desk will yield all manner of work related issues, some good, some bad. And before the daylight is over, normally around 4pm at this time of year, I force myself to go for a walk to catch the last of it. Normally, I’ll grab the camera too and leave the phone behind.
It wasn’t always like this. I’ve been guilted into many forms of photography and I’ve chased my fair share of early morning and evening golden hour light. And I’ve realised this; I don’t have the temperament for the discipline. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting it either.
I love it. But I hate it.
You see, landscape photographers have my deep admiration. To head out to find a location, I get. To wait for the light to be right, I get that too. But to keep going back to the same spot, for years in some cases, to get that shot. I am nodding my praise slowly. I just struggle to do it.
But that doesn’t stop me seeing how these amazing people work and learning from it. There are many people who I follow and take great delight in their amazing imagery in the landscape world. Some manage to just capture the essence of a misty morning so well I can smell it. Others capture wonderful shapes created by the light and fantastic compositions. It is wonderful to see the skill that they portray and the work they produce.
For I like walking in the landscape over shooting it. Much of that is because I find great calm in the walk and if I take a camera backpack and tripod, I seem to put pressure on myself to get something from the trip.
This has given way to my lazy landscapes.
Instead of hiking to the vantage point that gives a great composition or offers the MOST amazing photograph, I simply carry the camera and take some shots of something that gives me my own personal calm.
Shoot for yourself
And this is the mantra that I’ve finally started to follow. I only need to please myself with these images. Some might go out on social media. Many, I just look at for myself when the weather is awful or I’m in need of a break but too busy to have a long one.
These lazy landscapes have been taken on mountains, beaches, lakes, roadsides. Out of the car window, plane window even the back of a train. But they all have the same effect – I like them. From time to time, I do venture out to shoot with a tripod and try that bit harder for a shot. By doing things this way though, it means that I still have a photographic outlet that means I’m the client.
It helps me realise that ALL of photography is subjective. And if you like it, that is half the battle won.
And if you don’t there’s plenty of people out there shooting stuff that you will!
“It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream”
- Found via a Google search for a sunset quote