We are all living a different life. Coming from different backgrounds, living in different social environments, having pursued different career paths. Sometimes we are happy and content, sometimes we are deeply enervated or bored by our surroundings and about what we do. Sometimes we even feel trapped in life and by the burdens of having to make a living, feed our families and make our partners happy. And we feel we have missed opportunities in certain stages of our lives. And at times this leads to loss of energy and motivation.
But regardless of the situation, should we always try to dig ourselves out of these emotional holes? Finding new motivation and interest in what we do?
To read my thoughts on how this transfers to our Street Photography continue after the jump…
Obviously this also applies to our Street Photography. We all have phases where we don’t feel like picking up our cameras, we suffer from a mini photographic burn-out. And this is perfectly fine, like with everything in life there are ups and downs in motivation to go out in shoot. But we should make sure we never lose interest in our great passion that is creating interesting images and documenting life.
In order to keep your photographic motivation up, you should always have goals to work on. Exploring a new technique, like learning to focus rangefinder style and doing close up photography of people. Or approaching interesting persons directly, chatting with them and then asking them if they mind you take their portrait. Or having an idea about a project you want to pursue, like putting together a collection of street portraits of sales persons in their environment.
Or print out your images in small sizes (like 4×6), put them all on the floor and look at them. Group what you feel belongs together. Sequence them to create a photographic story that takes the viewer and leads him through the images in a visually appealing flow. Make a calendar or a photo book. Your images deserve to be looked at and not “sleep” in hidden directories on your hard drive. With this new way of looking at and presenting your photographs get positive feedback from you yourself or your families and friends. This is much more satisfying that getting electronic likes on flickr or Instagram.
Another important thing to keep your interest and motivation up is that you should never be satisfied with the results you already achieved. Always strive for your next favorite shot.
Elliot Erwin, one of my Street Photography heroes and for sure one of the masters of the genre was never satisfied with the images he had already taken. “I have a few pictures that I like, but I hope I haven’t taken my favorite pictures yet” is one of his quotes. And he also stated: “The most interesting one is the one that is the next one, I hope.”
But regardless were you take your motivation from, stay interested in your photography!
If you are interested about the technical aspects of the images, both were taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the Olympus m.Zuiko 14-150 f4,0-5,6 travel zoom.
This is a great combination if you want to carry light gear while doing sightseeing a whole day in a city and still want to have full flexibility regarding focal length, because you never now what you will find. And when I’m traveling and sightseeing the focus of my photography is typically not solely on Street Photography, but also capturing my impressions of my destination, be it architecture, small details, wider views of places and life. And there the travel zoom comes in handy.
The first image of the lady selling fish was taken at 1/200 f/7,1 ISO 200 and 63mm focal length (125mm full frame equivalent), the second of the lady in the butcher shop in Genoa’s old town at 1/125 f/5,4 ISO 3200 80mm focal length (160mm full frame equivalent). Both shots were raw converted in Lightroom CC and then converted to monochrome using a preset simulating a Kodak Tri-X 1600 analog film.