Out with my Pentax K100D in the woods today, I realised I’d partly forgotten what a joy this camera (and it’s equally fantastic successor, the K-m) is to use.
For perhaps an hour I was lost in my own world amongst the sun dappled leaves and fading bluebells, capturing dozens of shots I hoped would result in an image I’d be proud to share.
These experiences bring a kind of peace and rejuvenation nothing else quite does.
But then, the magic very gradually started to fade.
I’d made perhaps 70 or 80 photographs, albeit some were repeated attempts at the same composition with exposure tweaks between, and there wasn’t much else I wanted to capture.
So rather than force myself onwards, I decided to stop whilst the magic was still strong, and head home.
In the past, sometimes I’ve carried on shooting anyway, drifting ever closer to just going through the motions, shooting for the sake of shooting.
I’d return home far less enthralled with photography than I was at that magical pinnacle.
Going through the images afterwards, I’d feel a similar experience, that jadedness descending half way through the editing, wondering why I’d taken so many pictures when the joy has started to dwindle.
Today, selecting the images to keep felt pretty easy, and my first few sweeps through got me down to about a dozen images from just over 100 I made.
The best four have gone on Flickr, perhaps another four or five will in the next few days.
But the magic stayed high throughout the whole experience – both in making the photographs, and in editing them afterwards.
There’s a saying that we can have too much of a good thing, and this is definitely true for me with photography.
As much I love it, I wouldn’t want to spend five or six hours wandering around taking pictures. Usually, 60-90 minutes is just about right.
With future photowalks I plan to do the same as today, return home when the magic starts to wane, so photography remains special, precious, not something I’m just doing for the sake of it without questioning the enjoyment I’m getting.
How does this work for you? What’s the optimum time for a photowalk for you? What happens if you continue to photograph beyond this?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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