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on Nov 28, 2012 in Landscape Photography

See If You Can Follow my Train of Thought

Have you ever had a day when, you’re on a photo expedition but you simply wake up not in the photographic mood? You’ve traveled somewhere special, you have new toys with you and the photography up to that point has been excellent and your hard drives are full. And yet, that morning things in your head just weren’t clicking. I have days like that and I hate them! They are a two edge sword, you don’t feel like shooting and you feel guilty for not feeling like shooting. Staying in bed in not an option, gotta push through it.


A minor case of this happens at certain locations when I simply don’t feel the love. That happened to you? Be it the weather, your mood, the light or the company (or lack there of), you get out of the car and you simply don’t see a photograph to save your soul. I hate times like that but they happen and they happen more times than not. But you’ve traveled some distance and taken some time to be at this place. You can’t just crawl back under the covers!

I ran into this problem A LOT when I first started out. We traveled somewhere and the mental road block would smack me right between the eyes. It was expensive but I found totally by accident a solution for the photography blues. I remember the morning on the California Coast with the F3 in my hand. By accident I hit the firing release button (never found a cure for that screw up) and I ripped off a bunch of frames. It finished the roll so then I had to rewind it which the motordrive did for me. And all of a sudden, with that sound of the motordrive the mind snapped and I saw a photo. It sounds so lame but for me, it works.


So we were in New Hampshire no to long ago and it was one of those mornings when, there wasn’t a pixel to burn on nothin! There wasn’t even a stupid image to put up on twitter…how bad is that?! We had tickets for the Conway Scenic Railroad so I knew that if nothing else, I would have a cool ride. But I knew I wouldn’t be doing this again anytime soon so the guilt started to weigh in. I went into my mode to bust out, a great thing abut HDR. Why HDR? How many frames do ya gotta take to do a HDR? Even though I was shooting with the D600 which only takes 3 frames (18AF attached), I started to screw around. While I ended up deleting those photos that night back in my room, the sound of the motordrive triggered the Pavlov’s Dog in my head and I got back to shooting.


Now the top photo is not one I would recommend you doing. The train on the right is off on a siding and not moving. The train on the left if what we’re on and I’m obviously handing out the window further then I should be. The shutter speed was 1/3 @ f/22 (ISO100), the camera strap wrapped around my wrist and elbows pulled in tight against the outside of the train. And now with my photo mojo workin again, we went chasing back up the tracks after the ride to find this boxcar we’d seen during out ride. This is a 7 frame HDR, handheld shot with the D4 and 18AF. Not too bad of images for a day starting off with the photo blues. Now I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but next time you’re feeling this way, just hold down the shutter release and let the sound of the slamming snap you out of it. You follow my train of thought?