Well I started with good intentions…Boy how about photographing your hometown. The one you’ve seen day after day and photographed more times than you can count.
Thats what I did for a couple hours this afternoon and I just wasn’t all that impressed.
Not that Helena isn’t a beautiful town, nor is the architecture and sites not visually stimulating, but you know how it is when its your hometown. Not always inspiring, like a fresh new town or wilderness that you haven’t been to yet.
For those who aren’t familiar with Helena: It was founded in 1864 at the beginning of major gold rush and by 1888 it had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world. It really had its share of cool western history. Including some interesting brothels and the local hanging tree(which apparently was just around the block from our house).
Helena is also Montana’s capitol and has a great, diverse mix of people in the community. And if you are an outdoor enthusiast, Helena is situated close to just about everything you could want. So I suppose it’s a fine place to be, I just need to see it with some fresh perspective.
In the theme of yesterdays post, finding things to photograph in places you are uninspired by can be quite challenging. But it does force you to start thinking outside your box, and that can only be a good thing. It also helps fine tune those skills you have developed or are developing.
For today I carried around a 70-200 with a 1.4tc and one camera body. That was all. Keeping it simple sometimes really helps to focus your energy on your surroundings instead of playing the lens switcharoo game all the time. It may force you to take some steps back or contemplate shooting something from entirely different angle.
I wasn’t all that impressed with what I shot today, but hey, I was out and having fun and working on seeing things differently and I think that may be a very important practice.
Don’t get me wrong though, when I am on a serious photography trip, I carry a fair amount of gear, including many different focal length lenses and an extra camera body. Always to make sure I have the proper equipment for certain potential situations.
But I still love trying to keep it simple and it can lead to some really cool shots you may not thought of. If you have a 50mm lens, that’s the one to run around with and see what you can get. It also provides a perspective that lends itself to many different points of view.
Generally just carrying around one non-zoom lens is the best way to practice this exercise, but I wanted some flexibility for a few things I thought I might photograph, so I suppose I was cheating a little on limiting myself.
So in any case, I guess my theme is keep it simple sometimes and see where it leads. Maybe next time I will bring the fisheye…
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