Falling into the same trap, or, those who do not heed history are doomed to repeat it...

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Yeats, May 19, 2013.

  1. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Last year, for a variety of reasons, I sold off most of my Pentax stuff. I decided to take the opportunity to raze my photographic self and arise anew, with just a Panasonic LX5 - kind of like when an ageing rock band ditches their pomp and pageantry and professes a desire to get back to their "roots". My primary photographic interests (other than a zillion pics of my cats) had been the local wildlife and non-extreme insect macros. I figured a new tool, limited but nifty, would coerce me into seldom-explored photographic visions. hmph

    Things were middling for a few months, family & natural crisis led to a dearth of photographs, but that was okay. I did get an itch, though, for something with better image quality than a small-sensor compact. With the release of the new Fuji X100s, I explored the possibility of a used X100, but they were still too pricey. Then I stumbled upon that red-headed rented stepchild of the APS-C community, the Pentax K-01. Being something of an outlier, it's neither fish-nor-fowl status appealed to me. What also appealed to me was the opportunity to purchase it brand-new for $350 with the 40/2.8 XS lens. In yellow, even. I had a few little compatible lenses sleeping in the cabinet, waiting to be roused to action. So I bought the K-01. Swell.

    My mild - and self-justifiable - case of GAS didn't stop there, though. Several additional lens purchases followed. Then, with Spring burgeoning, I began to see things... critters! I love me some critters. Back when I had my last Pentax DSLR I also had a Sigma 170-500, and while I liked the length, I didn't like the bulk and obtrusiveness of that combination. So I began a personal odyssey of auditioning superzooms. After more than a month of try-try-again, I at last settled on one I could live with, a Fuji HS50 exr.

    Since I bought the Fuji, it's my most-used camera. Shooting wildlife, just like I used to, just like I said I wouldn't.



    How 'bout you?
     
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    You gotta photograph what you like to photograph, right?
     
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Lol! "Doubling back" is something we all do. I didn't expect to be trying to write any musical stuff any more and haven't for decades -- but now suddenly I'm gripped with the bug to do that for short video presentations.

    I think the old saying about "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" is sometimes part of the learning curve. Once we separate ourselves from something, we may become aware that it was of more value than we gave it credit for.

    I think your desire to get out of a rut with your photography is commendable -- but sometimes I think we torture ourselves with the idea that we're in a rut when actually we're just doing what we like. Do you know what I mean? We compare ourselves to others and feel we come up lacking so we try to reinvent; only to find that who we are hasn't really changed at the core.

    Or not, lol. Just how I see it.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I know that tune all too well. It's good to hear you've come back to where you you really want to be.
     
  5. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    My photography saga began over 50 years ago, and I still am not sure about a "fixed" definition of what I like, or how to do it. There's been a restlessness in my photographic soul, that is never quite "settled". I think, maybe, it's the same spirit that drives pioneers or explorers. But, Hey. We're having a grand time exploring!:thumbup:
     
  6. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Aye, but I do feel like I'm sabotaging myself in my lack of creativity.


    I know what you mean, John. But I do feel a need to push against my own boundaries, yet find myself settling for a comfortable routine.

    Perhaps I need to go Urbex... :wink:


    The problem, Luke, is that I'm not where I want to be... I think. I'm not sure. Wildlife photography is addicting for me, I think, because 1) it satisfies the hunting instinct, 2) it's easy, in the sense that the struggle is getting to the spot... it's more physical, less creative than some other genres, and 3) I <3 animals.

    My best photography equipment is designed for other forms of photography, I just need to find where it best conjoins with my own desires.
     
  7. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I like that, Steve! Makes me feel better! :thumbup:
     
  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    So find more creative ways to photograph animals... Seriously even the pros step away from their bread and butter shots to photograph other things.. Why should you have to limit yourself? On the other hand, you should photograph what you like. Want to push boundaries, a deer stepping out of the early morning fog, evening shadows and nocturnal creatures watching from the darkness, insects at work [macro] seeming almost human in their behavior, water birds and sky filled reflections.. it's like landscape but better, there are animals in it!
     
  9. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Yes, Chris. Urbex. Come to the dark side, Chris...
     
  10. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Oh, I try - and do - just that! I've shot geese trudging their way thru the fog over a frozen lake, reclined close enough to a muskrat to tap him on the shoulder, gone to a house-party with ducks, been bluff-charged by a mama bear... sat in the midst of a cloud of darting waxwings, attacked by blackbirds, dived at by a seagull, hissed at by a swan, had tea with a monarch butterfly, observed a bald eagle caught in a sleetstorm, watched a dragonfly eat a ladybug... I've imperfect images of these things, would love to do them again, but I also need to do something different.

    I guess what I'm lamenting is my lack of discipline and vision.

    Anyway, I'm really interested in what folks have to say about their own experiences!!! :smile:
     
  11. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Not too much "Urb" in my neck of the woods, John, lol. Still, there are a few structures that I really should get to know better.
     
  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    From your post in your other HS50 thread, I thought you must be going to sell it or return it, after all. Glad you aren't, your photographs of wildlife are just lovely. Those frogs, for example... fabulous.
     
  13. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Thanks, Sue. I did return it, but my second HS50 has none of the defects of the first.
     
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I do photography primarily as a hobby, so my two rules are:

    1) Photography and related activities should be enjoyable
    2) See rule 1

    I don't pursue photography as some kind of art or commercial venture so I don't make myself do anything if it ultimately doesn't interest me.
     
  15. asterinex

    asterinex SC Regular

    111
    Oct 23, 2012
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thx for sharing your story.

    2 years ago I started photography with the Olympus E-P1. It was and is still my first love.
    After a few weeks with the kitlens I bought the Pana 20mm pancake for indoor shooting. The Oly 45mm followed. Then I sold both to buy the Pana Leica 25mm.
    After a while I tried my first legacy lens. The OM 50mm 1.8f. Now I have 30 legacy lenses.
    I sold my Pana Leica to fund the Pancolar 80mm 1.8f.
    In the mean time I bought and sold 2 Nexes and an E-PL5. None of them gave me the same feeling as the E-P1.
    A real man's retro well built camera. Altough I must say that the E-PL5 with the VF2 was a real good combo.
    The Nexes on the contrary I didn't like.
    Now I have the X-E1. Finally I found a worthy follow up for my E-P1.
    I only shoot legacy glass. I haven't got any AF lenses anymore.
    I invest in old glass which keep their values and from time to time I buy a new body.
    That's my story. What can happen in 2 years time he:)
     
  16. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Ha ha! Well, I only do my art because it interests me, and I've taken almost all the commercial stuff off my website now because I'm just not interested so much.

    You can do photography as a hobbyist AND be an artist, if you like. Those things, at least, are not mutually exclusive.

    I suppose if I was trying to make a living off of this, I might take a different attitude -- but I have a day job and intend to keep it, lol.
     
  17. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Then you need to decide to either put more effort into what you are doing or accept that you really don't want to ;)

    Nic makes a good point. An excellent one in fact..

    All I can say is push yourself a few times and see if the means justify the end, if the results of more effort also result in more pleasure or if you feel the same. If the reward is greater you probably won't even think of extending yourself the next time, you'll just do it. If you enjoy your results but they don't make you particularly happier than when you don't push yourself photographically, then you can continue doing what you are doing and have been doing without second guessing whether or not you should be working harder for it all.

    ------------------------

    Adding, since you wanted to know our personal experiences..

    I would love to do Haikyo [what you guys are calling Urbex] however I don't feel as a female and probably even as a male, it's always so safe to do, particularly alone. John I admire you and fear for you sometimes. I would love travel photography but we don't travel all that often and vacations that come so seldom should be enjoyed for what they are and should not become photoshoots. Landscapes and star-scapes and macro-scapes: I am hindered by location [chicago burbs, yeah sunset over the 7-11 with free light pollution] or equipment.. or health.. and so I am in a state of apathy. My husband shoots more with his cellphone. Would.. putting the effort into it as I suggested to you, excluding health or travel/gear costs result in renewed desire and more pleasure from my photos-- probably. I just have too many obstacles.

    That is why.. I think you owe it to yourself to try a few things, to really.. seriously try to accomplish a few of your desires and IF.. those things please you then continue to do them, as you can, and if those things don't add anything particularly special to your shooting, then be happy with what you have been doing and don't second guess yourself. Without the obstacles the only thing holding you back is you :)
     
  18. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Well said.
     
  19. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    This is what stops me.
     
  20. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    John is a bit bold but not alone [no pun intended] in his private practice of urban exploration. I've heard of photographers going out alone before but have also heard of them doing it in small groups as well. In most cases it is illegal on the grounds of trespassing which is why people are so secretive or even solitary about doing it. I've heard of them running into trouble in no-so abandoned buildings that they thought were empty.. from wild dogs to people involved in illegal activities and being that the way of egress into many of these places are tunnels like what John used for the old sanitarium to cracks in the walls etc, they aren't so easy to get back out of in a hurry if you need to exit fast. A lot of times I will see demolition sales and enter those houses where there is some risk of entering a condemned house however there are people on the grounds and it is legal on the basis you are looking for treasures from trim to flooring to fixtures. Or in my case photographing them. It's not as exciting but I'm just not brave enough to go into some old apartment complex alone... nor a farm field at night etc. Women get raped, they get beaten and they get found dead in some swamp for less and I just don't feel an urgency to play that hard. I will instead enjoy the fruits of those that do and keep my fingers crossed they remain safe. Not all places are dangerous, but many can be.

    I found this to be a good read on it: The Hazards of Haikyo and Urban Exploration