You cannot go against nature
Because when you do
Go against nature
It’s part of nature too
– Love and Rockets, “No New Tale to Tell”
I’ve never been much of a specialist. I dabble in lots of different things, and although I try not to do anything half way, I wouldn’t throw the word “expert” out there without giving it some very serious thought. That’s fairly clear from my posts consisting of written words, pictures, videos, and sound clips.
In photography, I always have leaned toward natural scenes. As a result, I haven’t developed (pardon me) my photography skills much in other genres. I’m okay at photojournalism because I’ve done it as a job, and I’ve shot several weddings that turned out pretty well. Through all that, Nature was the only one whose countenance inspired me to wake up before sunrise or to backpack to a rugged locale with the lows dipping to 15 degrees.
I try to keep my pics out here fresh instead of rifling through my archives, but in summer 2005 we moved away from the scenic places, and historically that’s where I did most of my photography. I like to think I did it hysterically, too, but that’s wide open to interpretation.
Once you get past the grueling backpacking part, capturing Nature’s hidden gems seems pretty simple. For me it’s mostly a craft. I know how to use the tools and the media, and most landscapes don’t move a lot, so it’s a matter of avoiding the blatant “me too” photos. Some sites have been photographed for so long and so frequently that it’s hard to come up with something original.
Unless, like my photographer friend Tim Ernst, you happen to have a knack for it. And, it doesn’t hurt to live within rock-throwing distance of the shot you’ve been wanting, and then running out to get it when the conditions are right.
He put in his time as a people photographer and now makes quite a living at his passion — nature photography. Check out his site if you haven’t, to see how a nature photographer/outdoorsman lives. His online journal often includes his latest photos, many quite spectacular. His calendars and photography books are best in class.
Living at the opposite extreme from Tim, but still wanting photography as a hobby, I’m trying to shift a bit. I realize that instead of letting my environment stamp out my photography hobby altogether, I should adapt my focus (ahem) to fit where I live (and work) now, while somehow keeping it interesting to myself and others.
A job that takes me to new places has facilitated this change almost perfectly.
I hesitate to say this is the opposite of Nature photography. As the song verse opening this post suggests, humans are part of Nature, so anything we do is natural. I don’t buy that completely, but it’s an interesting notion.
I haven’t had much experience at this, so bear with me as I jump on this new ride. And accept the fact that I’ll still pull out an archive shot when the timing’s right.
Have you ever adjusted (or dropped) a hobby to fit a change in your life?