Shooting Local

I would be the type to feel that I need to get away from my immediate locality to be a good photographer. It is a very common assumption. However a good photographer is one that can always find something to photograph in their own locality at all times. Let’s face it we have four seasons a year and we have, especially in Ireland, plenty of different weather situations going on and of course there’s different times of day. Any one subject or scene could look different in a multitude of different times seasons and weathers.

On this occasion the tractor ruts had made an interesting ‘signature’ just to the left of the tree.
On a familiar walk I noticed a cobweb on a parking meter.

I am also of the opinion that a subject can be explored to its limits. I once heard of a photography teacher back in the days of film photography who would give his students a roll of 36 exposures and an egg and ask them to photograph that egg in 36 different ways! In case you’re wondering, they were not allowed to break the egg! That challenges me to any subject at all and the fact that it can be explored to its absolute limit. This is the mark of a determined and skilled photographer. If the photographer doesn’t start out skilled and seasoned this kind of exercise would certainly help them to become such.

There was a white featureless sky which caused me to explore other ideas to show off the cathedral door.

No I’m not saying all this not a challenge because it’s certainly is. For me though the challenge is not so much the subject to photograph in my locality rather than the challenge not to get bored of doing so. I teach photography classes in my locality and have done so for 10 years now. Don’t you think that seeing the same scenes or subjects from my students could possibly be a little boring? Yes indeed it can be but now and again I find a student that will shoot the same subject as so many others and really amaze me and refresh my insight and inspiration in the way that they have photographed it.

I take my students out on field trips to our locality and do you not think I get bored of taking them around and showing them the same things? Indeed I do but I also see it as a challenge to keep myself inspired and thinking of new ways to show them how to photograph the same subjects again and again.

Make shadows the feature.


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