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Old Jan 4, 2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Post-vacation photography slump

Ok, so i just came back from a vacation down in Florida for the holidays. I live in Massachusetts. I took hundreds of photos while we were down there, and some of them are actually frame quality in my opinion. (ive never had a frame worthy shot before.)

We stayed at this amazing house right on the beach a bit north of Key West. We took a trip to the everglades, and numerous beaches. The point is, is that there were so many opportunities to take photographs of awesome things.

Now, to the problem. Here in western ma., it's 16 with snow on the ground. Everything is frozen or brown and dead. Photographing here SUCKS now comparatively to Florida. Ugh.

How do you more experienced photographers get over this feeling? Do you even have this feeling? I have only owned a camera for a few months. I feel like just waiting for summer to arrive and pack my camera away until then.


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Old Jan 5, 2011, 3:04 AM   #2
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I feel the same way. No colour, unpleasant conditions... I barely want to take the camera with me. But, that won't work. So, I did a little reading on the net about "winter photography projects". Got inspired. (ok. not actually inspired).

Here's some ideas:

Personally, I'm going out this morning to do some night photos. I'll be downtown tomorrow to putter around with portraiture. I'm going to find some nearby waterfalls and do time-lapse while there is ice too. Be creative. Do close-ups. Try stuff you never really were interested in before. Start a 365 project. Start a 52 week project.

Florida will always be there. But I read somewhere that anybody can take pretty good pictures of exciting subjects but a good photographer can take good pictures anywhere. Challenge yourself. Fight the blahs.
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 6:22 AM   #3
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Can only re-echo Frank's great suggestions: try challenging yourself with some different photo genres or styles. Seek out some nearby wild place (I know that Massachusetts Audubon Society has some great wildlife sanctuaries that are open to the public). Try spending an entire photo session using only one lens. Try some night sky photos, or sunrises, or sunsets...
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 8:22 AM   #4
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I've noticed that in Winter there is less atmospheric haze (at least there is a lot less here - or maybe it's just the winds blowing away the pollution !) so maybe night shots or winterscapes can provide you with better opportunities than they might do in warmer conditions.
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 9:49 AM   #5
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What, no snow pictures? I love taking pictures in snow because its very challenging. Try doing HDR since the dynamic range is so huge. Try some macro, always a fun, frustrating subject - delicate snow flakes against a pine cone, etc.

It is harder when there's no snow. Do you have some clear plastic forks etc. and two polarizers? That's always fun. I keep saying I'll make myself a light box and play with product photography but I never do. Go for a walk and look closely for beauty - it's everywhere, you just have to look harder for it. Try black and white, the world is mostly that anyway. Try to train your eye to see the tone differences.

If all else fails, sit in front of your computer and learn new processing techniques. Try some of the free trial plug-ins you don't have already (Nik and Topaz Labs come to mind) and play with all of your Florida shots, learning new things.
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if you are able to do this but you might look for a friend/family member/etc who has a new camera and is just getting into photography and pair up with them.

My son-in-law just got a new camera (Nikon-I couldn't talk him into a Pentax!) and he has that excitement of a new and learning photographer. He is taking lots of shots, various subjects, indoors and out, and wants to try all manner of creative settings. His enthusiasm is contagious and watching him I can think back to my early days learning the ins and outs of my Spotmatic F.

It could be a way to refresh/recharge the photographic spirit.

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Old Jan 5, 2011, 1:47 PM   #7
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Well they tell me the sun comes up on Jan 11th so there should be lots after that. Seriously I have to get out and shoot some aurora shots and play around indoors again (like I did back in November).
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Pentax K7, K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

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Old Jan 5, 2011, 3:57 PM   #8
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Well... I guess I can't add anything but to say hang in there, you'll find plenty to photograph.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 3:15 PM   #9
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Living in Eastern, MA I have faced a similar problem. My solution to winter photography issues was to join a Camera club. There are many throughout New England. I include a link here: http://www.photo-ne.com/clubs/

I belong to the Merrimac Valley Camera Club and it is active with both digital and print competitions, workshops, photo shoots and all sorts of photographic knowledge based activities. It sometimes inspires you to go out and shoot even when you may not want to.

Taking part in the monthly challenge here at Steve's is another way to force yourself to shoot a given monthly subject.

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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:41 PM   #10
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thanks for the tips and links everybody. im trying to get out and about.
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