In my previous post, I shared some words of thanks and talked about the importance to interact with others to up your game. And that brings me to the point of information: there is so much information out there, and so many places to look for it. Luckily, living in Kenya, my choice in terms of magazines is made a bit easier, yet the web is full of information. And to prevent ending up behind the computer all day, you have to focus and go for a few links that inspire you and follow them.
Here’s what works for me. First of all, there are 2 magazines I can get on a regular basis here in Nairobi (and say what you want, reading on paper remains more pleasant than staring at a screen): Outdoor Photographer and BBC wildlife magazine. The first one didn’t impress me at first, too many adverts, … yet as I went along, I started reading it with more and more interest. Each edition focuses on a specific type of photography: macro, B&W, … great stuff. The wildlife magazine is no photography magazine in se, yet has great pictures, a nice monthly competition and a monthly photography masterclass article (which can also be found as pdf files in the photography section of their site, along with tips and galleries).
Both magazines run assignments and contests through their sites, competitions around a certain topic, and I find these great for inspiration, competitions like: yellow, spot of color, golden hour, abstracts, … simply make you go out there with a different viewpoint, they help you seeing images everywhere. To me it also works to browse through the entries, looking at the thumbs, checking out which ones draw your attention and then asking yourself why they do so?
Finally, I would also want to share the Veolia Environment Photographer of the Year site, it has some great and inspiring shots and to me it also shows that although some of the shots have obviously taken a lot of preparation, your shots don’t necessarily have to be rocket science to be a winning shot. Often, keeping it simple also works really well. You can find the winning shots in their online gallery, great stuff. One of the pictures that struck me especially is the On the Track picture that got highly commended in the Urban wildlife category.
All this being said, nothing beats picking up your camera and going out there, either alone, or in the company of others and then discussing your pictures with others (face to face) and sharing your work online. It is by doing so that you get feedback, that you start understanding what kind of emotions your pictures communicate to others (or not). Going out of your comfort zone often goes a long way in making you understand what works and what doesn’t, which of your images move others and which don’t (and the funny thing is that at this point of my photographic journey, this is often quite different from what I think myself). A good example of this is the rhino in the picture above, myself, I always found the more tight shot which I published before the most interesting one of the shoot, yet in general the wider shot inserted into this post gets way more reaction, which is good to know.
Keeping up with this blog really works for me, it keeps me on the edge, simply because I am creating something, with the journey being more important than the destination, wherever or whatever that may be. Besides that I, also started sharing through Facebook, Twitter and 500px.
If you have some time, go and have a look, and feel free to like the facebook page and some of the pictures on 500px. Let me know what you think and feel free to share with others whom might also like it.
All the best and have a good week,