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Embracing the situation and being creative


Taking your camera out of its bag is a big step some days, right? I know for me it is. Although lately, it seems that I’m not always able to go when it’s ‘perfect’ weather, or I’m taking my camera as part of a trip or day out that has other purposes.

The thing is, no matter what the situation, I can still create fairly decent images. Much like restricting yourself to one lens, one focal length, one area, etc., these situations that are not ideal might push you to be more creative and you’ll end up with images you may have never expected.

Weather

Of course, the weather is a big one. Great if you can plan ahead, check the forecast and get out when you want to. Personally, I don’t often have that option. So I make due and try not to put any limitations on what it is I might capture during that outing.

Windy situation

Wind can wreak havoc on your photography plans some days. A few weeks ago I was out and it was crazy windy. I mean trying to photograph flowers or trees was pretty much out of the question. Two things helped me. 

First, patience. Hang out and wait for the moments in between the longer windy moments. Be ready for those though, get yourself set up, focused on your subject and ready to click. 

Second, embrace the wind. Show the movement in your images. Blowing grasses, flowers and branches can make for some interesting abstracts or can help you tell the story of just how windy it was that day.

windy situation
Handheld, 1/4s, f/4.5, ISO 100, 400mm

Rain and snow

I have to say, I know quite a few photographers who will not go out in the rain or snow. This kind of boggles my mind. So many photographic opportunities happen because of precipitation. 

Rain is the perfect chance to create reflection images. It also adds a certain light quality that you just can’t get on sunny days. Think also about how much more saturated colors look when it’s raining, or just after. 

Calder Flamingo Chicago situation

I get it, many of you don’t like snow or winter. That doesn’t mean you should hibernate and let your camera sleep all winter. Not in my opinion anyway. Snow-covered scenes are beautiful, quiet and peaceful. It totally changes how the landscape looks, or even how everyday things like picnic tables, plants and even the streets look. There are also many details to be found in ice that forms.

ice situation

Heat

The heat and humidity are my nemeses. This is when I hibernate. That does not, however, mean that my camera goes into hiding as well. Find local museums to hang out in. Be sure to check their photography policies before you go.

girl with phone museum situation

Stay inside and see what you can find around your home. Practice product photography or get out your macro equipment. Our own homes have so many possibilities to create images that we never even think about. Heck, you can even practice your portraits by working on self-portraiture.

Lack of time

This has been a big one lately. Even when traveling. Because the trips have not been photography focused, my time with the camera was limited.

Don’t let this stop you. If you plan even just a little bit, you’ll be able to make the most of the time you do have at each location. For instance, during a recent trip to Los Angeles, I managed to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours photographing places that were on my list. Because I knew the locations from my research, I had ideas already in my head for the types of images I could create.

Traveling with others 

With summer travel picking up, it’s a good idea to consider how your photography changes and is affected by traveling with others. It is not always easy. With proper planning and communication though, everyone on the trip will be much happier and it will be less stressful.

Know in advance what your must-have locations are. If it’s somewhere you’ve never been, research and look up what images are already out there from the area. Here are some tips for traveling with non-photographers.

travel on bus

No excuses no matter the situation

Yep, that’s all any of the above topics are, excuses. We all have them, we all make them and we can all learn to push past those things we think prohibit us from creating the images we want. 

Keep your camera and bag ready to go. Make it easy to just pick it up and go out. No matter what, embrace the situation and get out there. 



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Rafael Jones

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