Ponies And Boats - Photo Biker 5

Finding Your Photo-Mojo

You know those days when you want to get out and shoot photos. The creative juices are flowing, you feel excited and inspired, the weather is perfect and the camera ready to rock n roll? And then it all goes a bit pear shaped! Well you're not alone. This was one of those days.

It all started when the left side front fork seal on my Triumph Thunderbird burst, sending oil down the fork leg and all over the front tire. Now don't get me wrong, I love doing 'Man' stuff in the shed. Wrenching up a motorbike is one of my happy places. It's the frustration that's the problem. Weather perfect, I'm in photographer mode - let's go. You know?  Hey ho never mind - could be worse so let's get on and enjoy fixing the bike. 

The thing is, we all have "Don't-Want-To" days. Days when when the mood changes and it'd be easier to have a grump about it all and complain how we were so looking forward to it but... But, are wasted days like that enjoyable?

Don't know about you but they leave me feeling lousy - and guilty. I know there's only one person who can save the day, turn it around and make it Rock. By getting in action and making stuff happen we can change our mood, re-ignite the passion, inspiration, desire, creativity. It's a two way street. Sure outside influences change our mood, but so do internal ones. Tony Robbins calls it 'Changing Your State' by changing your actions.

So what could have been a crappy wasted day turned into fun. Even when the pig boat's sailed!

Photography is full of frustrations. I thought there'd be a better boat shot around the corner - there wasn't. The ponies moved around quicker than I could move the camera and show you what I was doing. No pigs! But once you get into the photography zone - it all changes and the world's a better place.

The most challenging part of this photo-shoot was the ponies. Between you and me, I was worried there wouldn't be any animals around so I stopped by the church we visited on the way out and shot a bit about how the light had changed. That'll do... (It's in scenes deleted.)

Nearing home, I spotted the new forest ponies and my mind conjured up all the excuses ... 

  • Ponies are boring
  • I mustn't be late back because there's an Ultimate Masterclass meeting tonight
  • Photos will be crap because ponies don't stay still long enough to manage the video camera and the photoshoot (prophetic that!)

The photos taken during the video were a bit weak because I wasn't 'In The Zone'. Half the brain was thinking about the video shot, audio levels etc and the other struggled to keep up with the stills shoot. I wasn't fully in either zone to be honest. But I think you got the point none the less.

Apart from the first image below, I photographed these after the filming - so I could be fully present, living in the moment and concentrating on pony action, camera settings, light and composition. I think it shows...



It's not the camera used, the upgrade bought or the latest lens from CanNikFujony that's responsible for great photos - it's the photographer. As uncomfortable as that could be, that's Us! Sure, our understanding of camera use, light and composition so that techy stuff is intuitive, level of engagement is vital. But without our commitment, concentration, understanding of light and ability to use it and composition appropriately, the keeper rate is likely to be low. 

For example, I mentioned in the video that a horse with its ears back is probably pissed off and looks it. Remember, I unsuccessfully tried breaking a stick to get one to prick up it's ears and engage with me? Check these out...



That's not an upgraded bit of new kit making the second image so much better than the first. It's a high pitched squeaking noise through compressed lips that got the horse engage with me and that's why the image so much more interesting. 

When you have an effortless and easy relationship with camera, light and composition or you'll be to caught up in the technical to even think about squeaking! Allow me to be your camera relationship counsellor and I promise awesome images will happen as a by product. If you haven't guessed already, the program is called A Masterclass In Photography

Thank you for your support. Be well, happy and embrace the unknown.

See you next time.

mike signature clear

PS: This arrived in my inbox as was writing the above. Made my day and is why I do what I do...


I have been taking photos for many years and attended courses before. After completing “A Masterclass in Photography”, I can confidently say that this is one of the best I have ever done. 
Mike’s approach is drastically different and very refreshing. He shifts the focus from the camera to the skills of the photographer (which is what matters) with a simple, straight forward, no-nonsense approach, which anyone with a little practice can easily make use of.
The energy, enthusiasm, drive and child-like curiosity he shows in the video tutorials amazed me since he has been doing this for ages. I would strongly recommend this course to anyone.
All the best and happy learning…




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