Back behind the lens: Time to start snapping away again

Jul 17

It’s time to start getting back into photography with more than a phone.

It’s time to get back into photography.

And, no, I’m not talking about taking more photos with my iPhone. I mean get back into it for real — with my DSLR camera and multiple lenses and trips with the idea of taking photos.

For most of my life, I’ve been into photography. I started with a newspaper when I was in middle school and I’ve always enjoyed taking photos. I went in the direction of journalism as it allowed me to mix and match writing and photography.

But in the past year or so, I’ve let it go. Take, for example, the photo blogging challenge I run. For the bulk of the past several months, I have used photos taken with my phone. Though I am totally addicted to things like Instagram, I totally have ignored my camera, outside of if I needed it for something like work etc.

Finding different things to shoot makes it easier to keep with it.

Part of the problem is ease of use, without a doubt. The phone is always with me. It’s easy to grab it and snap a shot. Carrying a regular camera can be cumbersome at times and get to the point where it’s annoying to have. But… if I am using it more often, maybe it won’t be as cumbersome.

I have a pretty good messenger-style back for my camera, but at times, I just don’t want to carry it around. I have ideas to see if I can do other things with it, so we’ll see.

One good thing is recently getting a new lens (a 28-75 2.8, so a nice walk around lens) and having something different to use. This will allow me to do more without having to change lenses so often, or so I hope.

Still, I need to come up with some sort of a plan – for carrying the camera around, for where to go and for what to do. I’ve recently been thinking about this while my camera was at Canon getting repaired.

My plan:

  • To find a new, comfortable backpack bag where I can carry my equipment as well as other needed things (health etc.) for day trips. I’ve found one that has two side pouches for water bottles, which is outstanding.
  • Plan in two or three days per month where my goal is to go out and take some photos.
  • Rent a different lens or two (such as a Lensbaby) to try and get into different things.
  • Use some different things (lenses, attachments etc.) I’ve gotten over the year to see if that helps.
  • Get back into Flickr, post photos, interact and, hopefully, get inspired.

I know a lot of people put transfer their photos and put them on Instagram. I’ve done that once or twice in the past, but I think I’d rather keep my images there as ones taken with the phone. That might change from time to time, but for now it’s good as is.

Sometimes, one needs a personal challenge to think outside the box for cool photos.

Unfortunately, I don’t live in an area where photographers are rampant. Therefore, it’s rare to find people interested in, say, a photo walk. Depending on the weekend of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk, I may actually try and run one in my area to see if there are some locals who enjoy shooting. I have loved attending other walks, but I always travel for them … so we shall see how that works out.

It also helps if I am going places where photography will be something I can concentrate on. Let’s be honest, I’m pretty worn out with my area for photos. I’ve taken things over and over. And though I can always find something new when out and about, it’s tough to plan a photo day, per say. So I have a few places I want to try and go this summer/fall, as time and cash flow allow.

Possible weekend/long weekend trips include:

  • Maine (specifically Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park)
  • Montreal
  • The beach (as I try and do each year)
  • New York City (which I try and do at least once a year)

If I can pull these places off, maybe I can get back into it.

One thing I am hoping to really get me going is to start thinking deeper about the one challenge I am in, and maybe even look at one of the older challenges I was involved in. But I did notice that challenges are hard for me because I sometimes rush them and don’t think about them until the last minute. I need to actually think more about each of these and see what happens.

Long exposure/night shots are something that could help me get back into it, too.

Finally, I think I’d like to try and learn some techniques or ideas. These may come from books or photo blogs or whatever else. But I need to start thinking outside the box some to make sure I am not doing the same things over and over. One example of this is to learn lighting a bit more and maybe learn about off-camera flash and things like that. This will likely require the purchase of a new flash, but I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, anyway.

So it’s time to start snapping away. I always love seeing what I can do with a camera and beyond and I’ve taken too much time away from it. I’m not saying I’ll shy away from the iPhone camera – far from it as I like apps such as Instragram etc., rather I’m saying I want to add something back into my life in hopes I can have the same enjoyment with it.

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  1. I always wish I had a nicer camera so I could get into photography, too! It’s just not something I can justify spending the money on right now with a kid who wants to play with everything I touch! I have a kind of cheap digital camera (cannon power shot) nothing too fancy but it works for now! Good luck getting back into the hobby and I am really looking forward to pictures from your Maine trip!!
    Rachel recently posted..Outfit of the Week: You are My Sunshine!My Profile

    • Rachel – the most important thing about any photo is the six inches behind the camera. I’ve seen some outstanding shots taken with really cheap cameras and some really lousy shots taken with really fine equipment.

      Get out and shoot every day and your skill will improve. You’ll be surprised at what you can get out of your PowerShot camera.
      Paul Myers recently posted..Bike lanesMy Profile

    • Rachel — I firmly agree with what Paul said. Good can come from smaller, point-and-shoot cameras. I am always amazed at what I can get out of an iPhone. That being said, consumer-friendly DSLRS (such as the Canon Rebel) are highly affordable right now and they have the luxury of giving you automatic settings, as well as giving you the chance to learn. I helped set a friend up with a Rebel and such and she’s used it as her kids have grown and loves having a few different lenses. It’s definitely worth an investment, when you can, as it can be used in so many facets of kids growing up!

  2. Have you tried ? I wanted to get back into photography and that’s where I started. I forced myself to take my camera with me every where and to take a photo every single day.

    You don’t have to be as obsessive about it as I was where I went two full years tripping the shutter at least once ever single day. I’m the first to admit that there are many photos that wouldn’t see the light of day now if I had to do it over again.

    But, it’s a way to really get used to your camera again. Use it every day for a year or two years and you really get to know it well. I started doing a more “relaxed” third year and just couldn’t do it. Right now, I’ve started there again at the beginning of the year and I’m not taking a photo every day. I’m posting photos in a stream, but they might have been taken at an earlier time.

    Looking back at my month of June, most of the photos I posted in June were from my Yosemite trip in the first week of the month. That’s OK with me. At the moment, my last posted photo is from July 13th, so I’m four days behind at the moment. I’ll catch up eventually. I have a bunch of unprocessed sunflower shots and baseball shots for your challenge that I haven’t really looked at yet.

    I also really like Instagram too, but I’m hampered by not having a phone. What I take with my iPad works, but I don’t carry that around with me and then I have to wait until I have reliable WiFi to post a shot. I’d like to be able to take a photo a day on Instagram with an iPhone, but that might not happen for awhile yet.

    What I’d really like to do is get away again like I did at the beginning of June and just work on landscape photography again. I think I excel at that.
    Paul Myers recently posted..Bike lanesMy Profile

    • Paul – I did the 365 project in 2010. I tried it again in 2011 … and, maybe 2013? I attempted it on Instagram this year and lost my way with it. I’m not good in situations like that because, often enough, I force myself to take photos when I am just not into it. The one in 2010 was a total push through as I was going to get by with it by hook or crook. Mike (who participates in the Photo blogging challenge with us) has taken a photo a day for probably four-plus years, unless he stopped somewhere and I never knew about it.

      What I truly wish is there was a photo club or some others around here who like exploring. I just need to kick myself in the tush to get out there more, which as I keep working on bettering my health, hopefully I can do. I just, honestly, get bored of just nature photos, so I need to find some places with urban setting or something else where I can shoot, yet still get some exercise. Basically, back to thinking outside the box.

  3. Great photos, I envy you. I have never taken a picture that makes sense!

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