A Solitary Pursuit?

The weather here has been consistently crappy in the weekends – I had to light the fire in the weekend and the last couple of evenings because the temperatures have been in single figures, and today was the First Day of Summer!! So I haven’t been out to play with my camera – the light has just been so dull and overcast (and wet which hasn’t helped)

So I have been spending time online, finding new blogs and websites and reading them. And a recent post on Forkboy’s Blog about Photography and Companionship got me thinking.

For me photography has been a solitary pursuit. And yet the interesting thing is quite a lot of my photography is me being in a group of people that I know, but I take photos of them. I record the event for posterity, but its always one woman and her camera. And when I go out on a field trip, usually its just me and the subject.

Sahar bellydancing with the veil

There certainly are times its useful to have an assistant along – taking good cat photos requires having someone over your left shoulder with a feather or a piece of string to catch your subject attention. But an assistant isn’t a companion, they aren’t sharing the passion, as it were.

Ollie - a red Birman being distracted by my assistant

Recently I attended my first photography workshop, and it was a new experience because so much of it was practical, so the class of 12 was sent out over two afternoons to shoot (after we had covered the theory) and then we all got together a few days later to view the best images from each person, and have the tutor critique them.

This was my first real experience of shooting with other people with a similar interest and passion in photography. At first we all scattered, but a small group of us caught up after a couple of hours, and were talking about what we had done, and the challenges we had faced, and the things we had learned, and I really enjoyed it. I think I gain a certain amount of creative energy from that kind of interaction, but I also feel like I have to be by myself to concentrate and try and ‘see’ as well.

The thing I enjoyed most about being with a small group was the opportunity to share the excitement when you felt you had gotten a ‘really good’ shot, and have them understand (and not think that someone getting excited about taking photos of a seagull having a bath meant you were a bit nuts LOL).

Seagull after a brisk bath

And I think this is an element of why sites like Flickr are so popular, and other forums where you can share your photos. There are all these other people out there who ‘get’ it, in the way non-photographers just don’t!

So yes, like Forkboy I do have a wistful longing for having a photography buddy for occasional outings (tho I could do without the getting lost and slogging through miles of muddy countryside), but I’m cool with going solo too. I think I need to aim for some balance and attend photowalks and other opportunities where I get to listen and learn, and fortunately I have joined the Nature Photography Society of New Zealand who do a lot of that kind of thing.

Thats enough navel gazing, bring on the sunshine I say !


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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1 Response to A Solitary Pursuit?

  1. forkboy says:

    And now Forkboy is famous in NZ!

    Don’t get me wrong…I very much enjoy going off by myself and spending the time alone. And I wouldn’t want to bring a long a non-photographing partner for simply companionship.

    Going alone is great because I can go where I want to go, for as long as I wish, without worrying about the other person’s needs, wants or desires.

    But when I read the occasional tome from folks who have ventured forth with a friend or two it always sounds so nice. Comparing shots. Working together to find angles. Suggestions and chat about photography. It just seems so perfect to share a passion with someone else who feels the same way.

    Maybe it’s because I feel that I have a lot of passion in general, but no good place to put it.

    And congrats on joining the NPSoNZ. I hope that works out well in so many ways.

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