One thing that I have been wrestling with lately is about shooting over and over in the same place and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing creatively. This thought takes me right to my favorite location in West Virginia, and that is Blackwater Falls State Park (BWF).
I discovered BWF about 11 years ago when I moved out to the country. I live about 1.5 hours away from this gorgeous park, and have made the trek out here at least two to three times a year to photograph my favorite waterfall, Elakala Falls. Even though I love this waterfall I noticed that my photo stream (on Flickr.com) seemed to have a lot of shots from here, and I am one that believes there can be too much of a good thing. So a while ago I decided that I needed to stop covering the same ground and find some new places to photograph, and while discovering new places is wonderful, I missed the magic of BWF.
My thoughts on this dilemma I was having eventually brought me to these two words…. Ansel Adams. When you think of Yosemite you think of Ansel Adams and his wonderful photographs from there. He visited this park a lot, and there is even a gallery there in his name. Remembering this made me realize that photographing someplace you love over and over isn’t a bad thing, but rather a wonderful thing. The trick is, you have to allow your photographs to grow and mature.
Also, going back to a favorite place allows you to see compositions you hadn’t seen before, and that will make you work harder to improve upon your own work. Also, by going back to a place you love and photographing it again and again you may inspire others to love that place too.
I will leave you with a detail shot of Elakala. Thank you for reading!
Since I’ve gotten older, of the four seasons winter is the one where I shoot the least and I believe this is due to two main reasons. First is that for the last 30 years I’ve worked outside in all the weather for my “day job”. So in the winter I really find it hard to motivate myself to get out on the weekends into the cold I am subjected to during the week. The second reason is due to my age with how the cold is now affecting my bones after working outside for 30 years.
Now even though I don’t shoot as much in the winter that doesn’t mean that my artistic soul doesn’t cry out to be fed. So instead of going into a funk when this happens I have learned to use these cold months to train my mind to see differently. I spend my time looking at other photographers work as to push myself outside of my own creative boundaries.
I don’t believe I have a certain style of shooting, and I think that keeps me fresh and always wanting to create. I equate it to listening to a hit song on a radio station, when it is new it is good, but then after hearing it every hour for weeks on end you end up despising the song.
I write this to encourage everyone to push themselves and discover other photographers and study their work. Learn new techniques for processing your own images. Learn your camera as well as you can so that when you do get out and put the camera to your eye you can see something today that you would have missed yesterday.
Over the years I have accumulated a lot of photography equipment and for a period of time while I was trying to put together my perfect “sets” for the type of photography I was doing, for example in 2000-2010 I was photographing weddings, and from 2008-current I was moving into outdoor/landscape photography. So the equipment I needed for weddings was much different than what I needed to go out in the back country hiking with a backpack of photography gear.
Brenda and I would like to wish you a VERY Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! We look forward to the New Year too as we continue to expand our portfolio with our travel adventures and share our experiences with you!
Image borrowed from the web
After many months of debate we here at Byrne Meadow Photography have decided to pull out of social media altogether as we found that social media was taking up way too much of our time and energy. We had discussed this thought back in May of this year when we wrote The Social Media Pool, as then our thought was we could focus on one or two sites to push our photography via online. Even two social media outlets became a burden, not only for the time it took to post on the different sites we experimented with, but we felt it way too impersonal as well.
I would like to discuss something that I am pretty sure happens to all of us who put our hearts into our art… we get discouraged for whatever reason along our creative journey. I know it has happened to me over the years, and I know I haven’t always handled it so nicely. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten better about NOT letting setbacks discourage me, and here is why.
Today was a big day for us as we set up a table for our first Arts and Craft show. It was a local show being held within our gated community, and one that we had hoped we could manage to sell some calendars we had printed up just for this show. Unfortunately the show was a bust for us as we didn’t sell a single calendar. A part of us is a bit down due to the money we invested in this endeavor, but another part is looking at the glass half full!
I have always loved a good sunrise or sunset within an image as I feel that the sky is an intricate part of a great landscape shot. Now when I was first really getting into landscape photography I was still of the mindset of a normal human being, and that was to rise and be out shooting when the rest of humanity was awake. I found that by keeping those hours with my camera I was in locations that I wanted to photograph, but so were many other people. So I learned to scout out locations in the daylight, and then get back to those locations in the early morning hours as I found that VERY few people will make the effort to be out before the sun comes up.
We are SO excited to be selling our first ever calendar! We will be attending a local Art/Craft show and decided to have these calendars printed. We are selling them for $20 each, so if you would like one please contact us directly. All images were shot within the Virginia and West Virginia area. Below are a few examples of the images that are inside.
I have been at this a long time and I still love a great sunrise or sunset! Capturing a magical sky is one of the greatest challenges I love as a photographer. I cannot count how many times I spent hours driving somewhere only to have Mother Nature disappoint at curtain call. But when She decides to give us a wonderful show I must be ready.