Having Fun with Your Camera
Sometimes, it’s all too easy to get a bit too caught up in getting the perfect shot, or trying to live up to some expectations that you set yourself when out shooting. I do this all the time, and sometimes, I perhaps take photography too seriously. This is fine when its work related or for a serious project, but it's also important not to lose sight of the joy of photography. Sometimes it’s good to shoot something for the fun of it, and not be too worried about the outcome.
Last week my wife and I were heading to the UK for a short trip, and instead of flying, we decided to take the boat. It was a beautiful sunny May morning when we boarded the ferry in Dublin port, and I quickly headed up on deck to enjoy the view as we left the city. I had brought several cameras and lenses with me, as well as tripods and microphones. I had fully intended to do a proper shoot and maybe get some b-roll for an upcoming episode of photo wander, but it was such a beautiful morning, and it was so beautiful out, I didn’t want to waste the lovely sea air by stressing over setting up shots, and making sure I had everything right.
So instead I just took out my little Canon G7, mounted on a gorilla pod and when I saw something interesting or a nice view I took some footage. This wasn’t going to be for a professional project, and I wasn’t even sure I was going to use it at all, so I relaxed and enjoyed the process. You see, sometimes I put too much pressure on myself, and I think that interferes with my creative process, and I end up not getting the type of content I want.
Ironically, by doing the opposite, and not caring, once you loosen up, your instincts as a creative person, as a photographer, cinematographer or whatever take over and they will take care of the hard part anyway. When you are having fun, it opens up the creative juices more. I find that when I do this I often see things more clearly, and I take more risks with shots. If I’m not caring as much, I’ll shoot something that I might otherwise have skipped. Well, that’s just me anyway. Everyone is different of course.
I ended up making a little two-minute video out of the trip (which actually took three and a half hours), and again, it’s nothing serious, but it was fun (linked above). Will it get tons of views on YouTube? Of course not. I doubt it will break 100, but I don’t care. It was a lesson in just enjoying the process. A photographic deep breathing exercise if you will.
Is there a moral to this story? Not really, other than this: if you ever feel like it’s getting on top of you, or that you are feeling too much pressure, take your camera and just go out and shoot. Don’t care about the result. Don’t care about what others might think. Just shoot what interests you, whatever image or scene catches your eye. Don’t think about whether or not it might make a good Instagram post, or good stock photography, or a good portfolio piece. Don’t even think about if you’ll ever look at it again. Just enjoy shooting. Enjoy using your camera. I bet you’ll be surprised with the results.
(Incidentally, the cover shot was taken with my iPhone, and edited in Luminar as a Photos Extension)
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