Todays article is a guest post by friend and fellow landscape photographer Martin Gommel.
Last week Martin hosted my guest blog entry “Inspired Photography” and has reciprocated with his own take on photographic inspiration. If you’re unfamiliar with Martin’s work I highly recommend checking out his blog Kwerfeldein and his Flickr photostream.
Source Of Inspiration: Gratitude
Being frustrated and weary when shooting landscapes has been a demoralizing factor for me in many of my photo shoots. When this happens it feels like I have no power to engage in the things I see. It’s the same story at home, when I am working on my pc, looking at the days photos – despaired while reviewing the outcome.
Does this sound like a familiar problem? If yes, you are not alone.
Over the course of my photographic journey I have developed a technique, which has now become habit, that has enabled me to experience photography in a sensible and inspirational fashion. If having moments of frustration while out in the field, I am able to better handle these situations by relying on this technique. As part of my guest post today I want to share the technique of “gratitude” with you and I hope that it is a technique that helps you when in similar situations.
Recognizing the Moment
The first step to handle problematic situations such as this is to recognize it. Being conscious of the situation enables one to take the needed steps of corrective action. Its more than sufficient to make your position clear to yourself : “I am in a snit / halfhearted / nerved / dull / dissatisfied / bored “.
Take a moment to put your camera back in your camera bag and pause, ceasing all external activities. Slow down. Very often I reexperience relaxation when I allow myself to do nothing, to get away from it all and – yes – to be non-productive. Pressure to perform is good, but it can be one of the biggest creativity killers. In such moments I try to let go of every attempt to “work”, “do something”, and to “shoot” with a guilt free conscience. Try it 😉 .
Become aware of the ambience you are in at any particular moment. In nature it totally makes sense to name what you see. If you are standing on a lake in the woods you can simply specifiy the things arround you : ” Water, wood, moon, clouds, etc … ” This easy step can help distract yourself from your current situation. Elements of your surroundings gain new meaning and value.
Say : Thank you
This is the essential step, in which internal and external perceptions quickly come together. When feeling frustrated in the field I try to simply say “Thank you” for every seen or newly discoverd element. Why ?
By taking these steps I give myself a chance to revaluate the things around me and change my state of mind from being nerved, bored, dissatisfied, etc. to inspired and thankful. Having an inspired and thankful mindset easily returns one to being productive.
Give it a try.
[tags]inspiration, photography, gratitude, Martin Gommel, landscape, nature, tips, technique[/tags]