Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop...

After spending a couple of glorious days in Kerry - soaking up the only sun of the entire frickin' summer, I'm increasingly convinced that I have reached a potentially dangerous plateau with my photography. The last year has been largely exhilarating; learning new techniques, in the camera and afterwards in post-processing, as well as rules and tips about exposure and composition. And it worked. I'm not an amazing photograper - I probably never will be - but I'm almost immeasurably better than I was this time last year. Looking back at old photos is (sometimes painful!) proof of this.

However, the whiny emo at the back of my mind is finally telling me that my best stuff may be behind me; I reached my level and this is where it stays, ridiculous though this may be for somebody who has only taken photography seriously for less than a year. I've spoken previously about how my will to learn new techniques drives me forward and motivates me to take photos, and even though I view this as to some extent negative, an even worse scenario is one where I don't feel I can learn anything at all.

Perhaps I've just reached a stage where I am a technically competent photographer. Perhaps it is time to learn other, more important skills; how to think creatively and how to 'see' a photo before putting your eye to the viewfinder. I'm also extremely interested in the other side of the lens - controlling lighting and in some cases subjects. Skills I certainly don't possess at the moment. While I realise I have much to learn, I have a feeling I'll never get that concrete satisfaction you get from seeing an obvious, indisputable improvement in your work.

Gear is another issue; Somehow I feel that acquiring new stuff could be the key to moving off this plateau and back to an upwards slope in my photography, despite the irrational argument here. I have an almost painful lust for an ultra wide-angle lens (the Sigma 10-20mm), and although I try not to, I often think that it will be the answer to all my problems. Which it won't be. As it could be a long, long time before I can afford even that inexpensive piece of kit, I'll have to make do with what I have and not let it make me complacent and lazy.

After that musing, I should probably post some photos (the first time I post something without photos I will probably delete this blog - I'm bad enough as it is) As I mentioned above, I was in Kerry for a few days last week; one of the most glorious places on earth in good weather: one of the most miserable in bad. Luckily we had the former. Despite the weather, I came away with fewer 'keepers' than I was hoping for. It's difficult to make time for photography when you go away with one other person, but that's a subject for another day... Without further ado, some photos. Click on the image below to go to a slideshow of my favourite images.