The learning curve is steep, but I am really enjoying trying something different.
The big difference with my landscape photographs is that I “went there” to take photos, almost all of my other photography is opportunist, I was there (or close enough) anyway. Generally it’s really relaxing, normally a nice hike in a great location and this in some way mitigates the pressure of getting good photographs when time has been dedicated for the task.
However, contrary to the relaxation there is a frustration of seeing things I can’t photograph.
Above are a few examples, needing either a longer lens, more compression, better clarity - just not what I saw or wanted.
Perhaps because my main focus has always been street photography, I still find myself looking for a focal point or story rather than just the scene.
There’s a greater time commitment, this is good for creativity but difficult with a full time job. Normally I need to find a full day with the need to travel, I can’t squeeze in a quick hour as there is the need to take time over a slower process. With candid street photography, I am there anyway and things happen quickly.
Taking myself out of my comfort zone is very positive and the lessons I am learning are transferable, most notably in care over composition and attention to detail, particularly with framing.
Research and location is so important
Location, time, light, tide - I tend to use Google Earth (rather than Flickr) for locations as I don’t want to see other peoples pictures first, I have discovered the My Tide Times Pro app, Dark Sky for weather, TPE 3D for lighting.
Because I am learning, I am less self critical than with my street photography and happy to both make mistakes and come away empty handed.
Whilst there is more “stuff” than the one camera, one lens needed for fast, candid street pictures, I don’t think you need lots, a few filters, and a tripod. With the incredible image stabilisation on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the tripod is as much to control pace and care over composition as to stop shake. Ironically, whilst a larger sensor is advantageous for high resolution fine art photography, but excessive for street photography where I care less about image quality, it is the versatility of the Olympus OM-D system that has encouraged me into trying new disciplines that I had never considered with my Nikon D750 or Leica cameras.
This year I plan to attend another workshop, I honestly believe this was the best value for money of any photographic spend in the previous year. (Reminds me of a bike fit being more valuable than any bicycle component!)
I still enjoy the thrill of candid people photography both at home and when travelling, but look forward to exploring more of the UK coastline with my camera this year.