Musings on Photography

Forcing it

Posted in art is a verb, motivation, process by Paul Butzi on June 7, 2008

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It’s been raining, raining, raining. And although I’ve picked up the camera (or tried to) most days since I’ve finished my SoFoBoMo book, it was all dreck and it all felt forced. I kept telling myself, over and over, “The only way out is through.” But it has been sounding a little hollow this past week.

And then, this morning, I picked up the camera and Kodak and I wandered down to where our driveway crosses the stream, just to take a photo of how much water is in the stream – just documentation. The rain had pretty much come to a temporary halt, and the sky was solid overcast, and it wasn’t very bright out.

On the way down the driveway, Kodak got distracted by the smells left behind by something, either the bears or the deer he chased last night. I got distracted by the plants along the way. Everything was wet and glossy, and the sky was a huge softbox, and it all looked mighty fresh and nice, so I started taking photos.

It took a long time to go the 150 feet or so to the stream. It took a pretty long time to come back, too. But it sure felt good.

It’s sometimes hard to remember that it just feels good to be out with the camera in my hands. I’m grateful I was reminded today.

4 Responses

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  1. Steve Carl said, on June 8, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Paul,
    Thank you for reminding the rest of us.
    Speaking for myself, I need that spur once in a while.
    Nice leaf.
    Steve

  2. Lois Elling said, on June 8, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I’ve been following your blog for some time, now, and always enjoy it. Thought I’d leave a comment today because I can relate to this. I’ve learned that I may not find what I go out looking for, but I always find something interesting and come back feeling better than when I went out. It’s the serendipity factor, I guess.

  3. rvewong said, on June 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Is it possible the “feel good” has nothing to do with the camera?

    Or maybe it’s akin to the hunter gather instinct, where coming back with some nice photos is like coming back with your pockets stuffed with perfect, delicious apples you found on a wild tree. Very satisfying indeed.

  4. Rylee said, on June 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Bad weather is certainly no reason to keep your camera (and you) indoors. Depending on the situation, it could be a very good reason to get your camera out.

    A few weeks ago when we had a particularly lengthy period of rainy weather that lasted for several weeks, I got fed up and decided to go for a walk in a local city park with the camera. The city park was almost empty of people. It was a six hour walk – a very slow walk – around the entire lake. I had a lot of fun following the ducks and geese around. Got a few good shots of them.

    In bad weather, just make sure you’re prepared for it. Get a waterproof cover for your camera bag. Any place that has camping/hiking gear will have them, or you can use a garbage bag. Either buy or make a rain cover for your camera. I’ve used a piece of plastic that attaches to the camera and a lens with velcro. In wind it needs to be tied down with elastic bands, but it works perfectly.

    It’s all about getting the motivation to step out the door. Once outside the weather doesn’t seem as bad.


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