Is Passion Important For Photography?
What makes you get up and out with your camera?
Do you have a passion for photography? Think about what you do now, as a hobby or for a living...are you passionate about it? Is it a passion? Do you wake up in the morning feeling ready to get stuck into your work? Do you go to bed thinking about it?
This is how I feel about photography
A couple of months ago I got up at 5.30am. Drove up a very bad road in the freezing cold. Stood next to my camera on a tripod in the freezing cold waiting for the sun to rise. Did I say in the freezing cold? We actually get snow in Southern Spain you know!
I didn’t have a clue as to whether it would cloud over or even if it would be a nice day! I simply stood there with the camera set up and gradually watched it get lighter and lighter. In fact, if I am honest, I didn’t even care if it was a good sunrise. Just the fact that it might be was good enough.
Fortunately, as the sun rose, it was one of the most beautiful skies I has seen since I moved to Spain in 1998. Not just because of the sun, but because of the silence, the chill and the stillness of everything. The usually busy streets near Marbella were dead quiet. No traffic and no noise.
I shot so many photos as the sun rose that you could have spliced them together and made a movie! In fact I think I just might. Time lapse of a Spanish sunrise! One of my favourites was this one…
Now, I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t care who likes it and who doesn’t. I like it! My photography is for me first and foremost, and for my clients or casual onlookers second. Blown up large (as it is on our wall) you can still see the stars in the sky and the detail is great. More so, it reminds me of my wonderfully peaceful morning. If you have young children...you know what I mean!
Maybe you just have a camera for family moments, or snaps of your kids etc? If so, this may seem a little extreme, ignore me. I am talking about people who are about to make a serious investment in camera gear or even take it up full time.
Whatever gear you buy, however much you spend, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether its a Nikon or a Canon or a Pinhole camera! What matters is your passion for taking photographs.
A bit of passion for photography mixed with nostalgia
I can remember buying a Practical Photography and Amateur Photographer magazines in the 80’s. Always looking at the photographs, grabbing my gear (totally motivated) and then trying to take similar pictures. When I got the photos back from the lab 2 weeks later, it didn’t matter that the majority were rubbish. I just went out and took more, read more magazines and so on.
I practiced taking the lens off, turning it around and discovering it took macro photos that way. We practiced:
...basically anything that we thought of or saw in a magazine. It cost my parents a fortune in film processing and printing.
That passion is still with me now at 54!
If anyone is listening, I will tell you a bit about my history with photography and where my passion comes from.
Apart from having a camera in my "Spy Kit" at about 10 years old, I think my earliest memories of having a passion for photography was when my Dad came home with a new Olympus OM-1. I was just 12 or 13 and my brother and I fell in love with it.
Not too long later, I enrolled in photography as a 3rd year topic at school. In all honesty, it was that or Religious Education. BAM! That was it, I was hooked after the first lesson. The teacher handed around his Praktica SLR and I (kind of) showed off a little as I probably knew SLRs better than my teacher.
I remember going on a light railway trip to the South of England where most of the other kids were just messing about. However, there was me clicking away while they were having a ball. I think they mostly took the photography class as an "easy" option.
I left school 4 years later and went to business college. Working as an apprentice with a local photographer for a year, I went to college just one day a week. At weekends I would alternate between helping at weddings and working in a local camera shop. I was in geeky heaven and the passion just grew and grew!
After another 3 years at business college, I moved to London so the photography kind of took a back seat. However, the passion never died (4 single guys living in London?). Inevitably, I got the bug again and bought the Canon EOS 5 with eye-controlled focus (great!) and an array of lenses.
With my brother, we started photographing small villages for postcards. One bride-to-be saw one with our name on and called us. From that wedding we booked a few more. Then a few more and…you get the picture. We also got something a bit special from that wedding. A few years later my brother moved to Africa to work for the WWF (world wildlife fund). I took up skydiving!!! A passion for skydiving?
Soon after qualifying to Category 8, and being a photographer (and seeing some amazing skydiving photography), I decided to train to take photographs in freefall!
The pictures to the left were all taken from video footage and not stills. Unfortunately, 4 malfunctions and 2 dead friends later, I tamed down the jumps and eventually stopped altogether.
I decided to move to Spain for a bit, which turned into 10 years. We have now gone full circle and are back in the UK as at 2010.
I shoot entirely digital and have done a lot of real estate work photographing Luxury cottages all over the UK.
I still shoot the occasional portrait and lots of weddings. The idea for me now, is to pass on some of my accumulated knowledge to anybody willing to listen and to people just getting started in photography.
Hopefully, you will Bookmark this site, and come back often. I will constantly add new pages and topics that I hope are of interest to you and for others that may gain a little from it.