For the past few months, I have been feeling kind of uninspired as far as my photography goes. I have not gone walking and exploring nature in awhile. Even going for a walk which used to be fun felt like a chore so I didn’t really go out. So many beautiful sunrises and sunsets have gone by, yet I have not even picked up my camera to shoot. For some reason, I just didn’t feel like shooting anything just for fun. I have been telling myself that I have seen better or that I’ll see another beautiful sunrise or sunset again soon so I’ll just wait. Who am I kidding? I’ve lost a lot of opportunity to shoot, and the awesome sunrises and sunsets are not going to be exactly the same. Each one is different. And it’s not just sunrises and sunsets. I have had opportunities to shoot some photos of my parents before they left a few days ago to move to another state. I have always pictured some shots of them in my mind but have not taken time to ask them to allow me to make those photos. And now what? It’s too late. I’ve missed a lot of chances. And yes, as we know it, regret is always in the end.
Just to get me back into the groove, this past Sunday, I forced myself to walk around Lake Pflugerville as it’s the closest trail from my house. I didn’t take my mirrorless camera which used to always hang around my waist in my little belt bag every time I go for a walk. I figured I’ll just walk for exercise and not take photos at all. But as soon as I saw the beautiful sunflowers, there was a feeling of excitement. They were not perfect as you can see but the yellow color of the sunflower against the blue color of water and sky was just very appealing to me. So I grabbed my phone and took several shots.
As I proceeded to walk, I started feeling good, and hoped I’d find more interesting things to shoot with my phone.
I saw a man and a child fishing and thought they would look great subjects for a silhouette. I did a quick shot, fast enough that they didn’t notice me.
Continuing on, I noticed several subjects I could put together in one quick shot – the reflection of the sun on a very calm water, a canoe or kayak (I can’t really tell because it was far), a pier, rocks and trees or shrubs to frame the photo.
I told myself that I was off to a good start. I came to the lake at a great time – not a lot of people, it was quiet, the water was calm and there were interesting subjects. I was hoping I had brought my mirrorless camera with me (again…regret).
As I continued to walk, I saw a man playing fetch with his two dogs. I wanted to stay longer and take several shots. Realize that when taking photos of fast-moving subjects from the phone, usually you won’t get it in one shot because the shutter is not as fast as a DSLR or mirrorless camera. So I asked the man’s permission to take photos of his dogs. Happily he agreed. And in respect for anonymity and to arouse curiosity, I decided to make the shot a silhouette so here’s what I got.
Right after that, I saw another man fishing but I didn’t take a photo of him. What interested me more were the ducks right close to where he was fishing.
I love birds. Texas has a remarkable variety of birds. Because of the size and diversity of surface here in Texas, there’s a great number of species that reside here in this state.
Relaxing by the rocks on the shore, there stood an adult Great Blue Heron. It was quite far from me. I didn’t want to zoom in on the bird using the digital zoom from the phone’s camera as the resulting image will not be good. There’s a big loss of detail so it’s best to avoid it. In order to get a picture I’ll be happy with, I had two choices – either walk closer to the bird (which I know would scare it off, or just shoot it and crop the photo later if needed. I chose both. First I tried to approach the bird, and as expected it flew away. But as soon as it flew, I was able to get a shot of it flying low on the water. Here it is. I know the bird still looked small on this picture, I could crop the photo more but I decided not to. I love the rocks and trees framing the scene. I also think that it’s good to show the environment where the bird hangs out.
Then the heron landed again, and as I walked more I caught up with it. Here’s another shot. Can you spot the heron?
As I kept going around the lake, it was harder to take photos. The sun was already starting to get hot and the angle was not right anymore. The sun was already behind me. These two shots were from two different areas of the lake. The sky was brighter and bluer thus the water was too. Also you will notice that what started as a calm morning, turned into a windy day.
As I was nearing my starting point, I decided to take a moment and sit on one of the benches at a dock and reflect on my experience that day. I started out my walk feeling uninspired and unimaginative. As soon as I took my first photo of a sunflower, I felt an instant inspiration that kept me looking for subjects that are of interest to me and that I thought were fun to photograph and to look at.
This was my last photo from that walk which I took from the dock.
To me that morning was a walk well worth taking. It reminded me how much I love being outdoors seeing God’s beautiful creation which a lot of us take for granted. It reminded me how enjoyable it is to document the moments I see, with the photos I create.
As I look at the photos and remember the experience, it gives me a sense of encouragement to capture simple moments like these that inspire me and may inspire others. And lastly, it motivates me to share my world through my vision.
I hope this post inspired you to take a look around and find something that will invigorate you. Take the first step and the rest of you will follow.