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Inspiration at a Boring Location

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How many times have you gone out with camera in hand but can’t find anything interesting to photograph because you’re in a boring location? It happens to us all from time to time. I’ve heard it called subject failure.

How can a subject fail though? Surely that’s not possible because a subject is a subject and it’s you and I who chooses what it is. So it’s not the subject that has failed ­ it’s us. Our imagination as photographers isn’t running on all cylinders.

As photographers we are the only person or thing in the world that’s responsible for out images. Sure it’s easy to find excuses like “I had the wrong lens with me” or “The light changed” or “I was in a hurry because my friend was getting bored”.

So ask yourself, who is responsible for taking the right lens with you? Whose job is it to wait for the light to change back to being appropriate? Who could have said, “You go on ­ I’ll catch up in a minute”?

Who chose this boring un-inspiring place as a location to photograph? (Humph mutter mutter scowl!!)

It can be difficult to get excited and inspired about photographing somewhere we’re all too familiar with and have photographed to death. I promise you there are images everywhere just waiting to be picked. They are harder to spot in a familiar location because we stop looking, but beautiful images are there and it’s up to us to stop being lazy, stop procrastinating and go look for the,

The big advantage to repeatedly photographing the same is that you become an expert on it. You start to notice when the light’s going to be at it’s best for it, what effect changing weather has on it and the best angles to shoot from. Over time this can grow into a stunning portfolio.

My friend Jurgen Zarsk lives on the small lake of Pfäffikersee Near Zurich in Switzerland. He helped me set up my Photography Masterclass there. Every day he takes a walk by the shore to unwind, catch his breath and he always takes a camera. He is an expert on photographing Pfäffikersee and has hundreds of breath taking images of it as a result.

So, taking my inspiration from Jurgen, I went out into the forest where I’ve lived for more years than I care to mention to see if it’s possible to become self inspired and capture images of somewhere I’ve photographed to death.

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