Monday, November 21, 2016

How to Keep a Fresh Photographer's Eye? Play!

Peeking at You by Sheen Watkins
Photographers began their craft being inspired by something.

Many photographers started as artists, using a camera to document their subjects prior to drawing on paper or other art medium of choice. Others were influenced by magazines, such as National Geographic, the Smithsonian and other magazines known for outstanding storytelling and imagery.

Some just knew they wanted a camera.

My introduction to photography was simple.  After I became an official birder, I would always say, "I wish I had a camera" whenever I would focus my binoculars on a beautiful bird.  I guess I said it more than once or twice because my husband surprised me with my first camera.  Since then,  it has been many thousands of photos of birds, flowers, bees, deer, landscapes, black and white, and other various nature images.

Sometimes I do worry about getting stuck in a routine.  Are my photos starting to look the same, am I missing great images because I didn't consider another perspective?

by Sheen Watkins
Over the past year, I've intentionally networked with other photographers.
I've joined the Motor City Camera Club in the Detroit Metropolitan area and have started to occasionally participate in group photo outings.

Even though my best work happens when I'm solo, my photographic and post processing skills have been positively influenced by joining others.

Lines, colors, textures, shapes and structures serve as interesting and colorful subjects.

I'll jump at the chance to photograph city lights, inside and outside of unique architectural buildings and street photography.

by Sheen Watkins

The reverse is also true, I've been able to influence and help others in their nature and bird photography journey.
by Sheen Watkins

There's another benefit ...I have friends that love to 'play' outdoors and talk about f/stops, lenses, settings, camera gear and photography plans.  It's expanded the meaning of one of my favorite phrases of "happy shooting" to "happy shooters!"