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November 08, 2010


Thanks for the reminder, Gordon. I was just now thinking how little there is to photograph here in my neck of the woods. Time to open (or re-open) the eyes!

Funny that this should come up again as I am sitting here contemplating burnout on my 365 project.

I do remember reading this one from when I started reading your site. I remember how apt it seemed then, and no less so now.

It can be hard sometimes to look around your unchanging environment (for an office drone like me) and see something worth photographing but the variety is there if you are willing to look with freshened eyes.

Good timing, Gordon. Thank you.

I remember reading about a guy who was disabled and confined to his house. No exotic locations,or rice paddies, and not much money, but he took exquisite images of the flowers that friends brought to him, and photographed the birds in his garden from his kitchen window. Every day. And his images improved.
After reading that, I realized that there often wasn't a reason, other than laziness, for my not shooting more.

Ah, so true Lesley--but to be fair, even the most ardent photographers sometimes don't feel like taking images. It is certainly true that if you think like a child, there is wonder in everything and never a shortage of subjects to shoot. I read somewhere that Picasso said the key to being creative most of the time was to think like a child. When I first read this post (I did not read the original),I said I better go out and stop making excuses about not having the "right" light.

But I saw on a webcast that a few photographers went to Canda's north where they expected to shoot the aurora borealis (northern lights). One photographer was so awed by the phenomena that he decide it was better to watch than spend his time photographing. So there is room for play, awe and work!

Although he had the city non pareil to photograph, Josef Sudek only had one hand to do it with. Would that I could do that well with my two.


Thanks for reminding me to go for it.

Early this year my 93 year-old uncle, who used to be a newspaper photographer in Sydney and Brisbane in Australia, asked me to scan his collection of glass negatives from the 1920s and 30s. What a fascinating task it was and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it (Epson 4990 flatbed scanner - easy job).

But the thing that struck me was that although it was interesting seeing all my relatives from those days, and early ones he took of me in Sydney, they were nearly all taken in back yards, standing next to cars and outside houses, and group shots on picnics.

Fascinating as this was, I really, really wished for more general scenes showing what life was like then. I wanted to see the streets, shops, early city scenes, other people on the street, contemporary signs and so-on.

What I'm saying is that although we think everything around us is boring these days (I do, anyway) and we have trouble getting inspired, if you look around, our life is changing and disappearing without us noticing. There used to be a small group of local shops 500m up the road from me 10 years ago, for example. Now they're gone, replaced by a group of dog-box townhouses. I wish I'd taken some shots as it used to be, "my local".

Get out there and document your neighbourhood and life before it disappears if you want inspiration. Try to visualise what people would like to see in 100 years. The only trouble is, it takes a while (!) before they become historic photos. But at least you'll feel you're shooting with a purpose.

Perth, Western Australia

There is no art without craftsmanship, and craftsmanship, basically, is all about working. And thinking. And working harder. And so on.

At the end, it all boils down to passion and the constant alertness in your eyes and mind for something that inspires you or simply motivates you to come out of " a lazy moment".

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