My macro lens shrilled in delight as I picked her up and took her on another tour of magnified adventures. My ego personally congratulated me for my choice of lens and avoidance of human beings and landscapes. My resistance to change engulfed my body in a comforting blanket of goodness and adulation. Why would I ever want to leave my comfort zone when everything I need is right in front of me?
You would assume that by living in the rural area of Cornwall with some of the best coastal opportunities to photograph would leave me ecstatic. That sleepless nights of ecstasy would have me up at the crack of dawn with my camera in my hand. You would be wrong.
My specialism is in fine art photography and unfortunately landscapes are not really something I am into let alone enjoy photographing. It does not invoke the same excitement as fine art does for me, and I personally find this style of photography very elusive. If landscaping leaves me with such a void inside of myself, why would I persevere with this particular style of photography?
Sometimes a missing ingredient can come from the most unexpected places by changing our photography style. By learning our strong points versus our weak ones, it will allow us to identify aspects of our craft that we can improve upon. By pushing boundaries and removing myself from my comfort zone it will help improve my fine art photography.
Not only am I stubborn but I also do not like being beaten and the nemesis of my existence has become Bedruthan Steps. With her magnificent coastline and abundance of landscaping opportunities it is a blank canvas just waiting to be digitally captured. For months I have returned to Bedruthan Steps, and for months I walked away in despair left engulfed in a feeling of awkwardness and dissociation. It is amazing how a simple lump of rock that was formed millions of years ago and covered in grass could pose such problems for me.
There are some amazing landscape photographers around Cornwall and one of them is Edge of The Map who is based in Newquay. He is able to see the potential of a particular landscape and turn it into a digital masterpiece. He is able to make the Cornish environment come alive with memorising images and well-planned shots. For him landscaping just flows in the same way as my fine art photography does for me.
There is nothing wrong with just having one particular style of photography or having the ability to be multi-talented. What is important is that we recognise our gifts and nourish them with knowledge and experiences. When we find what we are good at we must cherish these feelings and allow them to guide us.
The expansion of our learning curve and therefore improvements to our photography will only come about from breaking the mould and leaving our comfort zone. Stagnation goes hand in hand with resistance to change and often when this happens our photography pays the price. Even just dipping our toes into another genre of photography will pay dividends and help to keep us on track and focused.