Confessions of a Weekend Photographer

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Doing a full time job and indulging in a hobby like photography can be very challenging at times.  Specially when you’re trying to find a balance between your work and personal life. Finding time for photography can be limited when you’re working full-time, married and want to excel in this craft too.  But you can’t let that become an excuse for not making photos.

One of the greatest challenge is to stay inspired and excited about it.  I guess I’m not the only one.  There are days when I get  a decent image and it makes me feel good.  It works better than therapy or any drugs.  Not that I’ve done any. But you know what I mean.  I’m not suggesting you might have done any and that’s why you know what I mean….Err…we’re digressing here. Stay focused!  And there are those ‘other’ dark days as well.  Days I feel I’m not going any where, sitting in the dark, wondering if I’m going anywhere at all or even moving?.. That all my photos suck.  I had some really strong people in front of my camera and I seem to have blown those opportunities.

The other challenge is to leave the office locked at the office.  You have a bad day in office during the week and it can sneak in to your bag and reach your home with you.  Going into the weekend you gotta cut it loose so you can focus on your family and photography.  There’ll always be a jerk on your head at the office who’ll try and ruin it for you.  “I’d always take a bad day in the field compared to a good day in the office –  Joe McNally”.  These words keep playing in my head.  It must feel good to be able to say that.

Balancing my time with my family and photography is a big task.  I sometimes (my wife may argue on the word ‘sometimes’) am guilty of spending too much time online.  I do make it a point to hangout with them even if we aren’t doing anything.  Even if it just means watching tv together.  I stay there so they know I’m around and not on the computer or with the camera.

There’s always this urge of finding that something nice right round the corner.  I’ll take this feeling any day than to lust on other’s expensive gear.  Though I have to admit I’d love to have some of the cameras that my friends use as a point and shoot (sigh…what a waste of a beautiful machine).  I’m happy with my current setup though.  It’s more than what I need at the moment.  I’m also glad that my photography has bought some of it and I take pride in that.

The photo above was specifically shot for the story in this feelings-filled post.  I hope in some way this photograph has conveyed that mood.  The setup was pretty simple.  I shot it with my Canon 1100d with Kit lense at probably 35mm.  I used a snoot (to control the splash of light) on the flash outside the room pointing towards me at an angle so it also throws the window grills shadow on the wall, to give a look of sun rays entering the room and just about nicely exposing my face and still retains the dark mood of the image with those shadows.  I shot it black and white in camera because that’s the way I wanted it in the beginning.

Take care!

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