Monday, April 18, 2016

Breaking Out of the Box

by Terri

My photography has been in a rut.  Yes, it’s spring in the desert and yes, all the cactus blooming is beyond gorgeous, but that is ALL I’m shooting. Also, my macro lens is rarely off my camera. I love macro. LOVE it! But I’m starting to bore even myself with the sameness of it all.  I need to find my way out of this box!

A friend and I were planning on going to the Desert Botanical Gardens last week. I wanted to see the Texas Prickly Pear in bloom. But we were short on time and decided to stick closer to home. Another friend had told me there were some Texas Prickly Pear not too far away so we headed there.  Lots of beautiful blooms and even a critter or two to add some interest.

But we still had some time when we had exhausted all that these blooms had to offer and decided to check out a little local farm called The Simple Farm to see what possible photo opportunities we might find there.

The minute we entered, there were photo opportunities galore and none of them included cactus blooms!  There were sweet signs on worn wood fences: 

 Fields of wildflowers:

The tiniest grapes just beginning to grow:

And sweet little vignettes in their farm store just made for photographing:

And even a hummingbird stopped by:

But before long, I had my macro lens back on my camera.

Regardless of what I’m shooting, macro is my first love. I may have been able to break out of my rut of shooting only cactus blooms but I don’t think having a favorite lens and choosing to shoot with it most of the time is really a rut. It’s finding what brings you joy in your photography and sticking with it. It has taught me to see the tiniest bits of nature that I really paid no attention to before.

And then my Flying Saucer cactus bloomed and once again it’s all about the cactus flowers. I love them and make no apologies for that.

So if I’m in a rut, well then I am, and at least as long as the cactus keep blooming I’ll keep shooting them. Yes, my trip out of the box was short lived.

How about you? Do you find yourself shooting the same things with the same lens? Are you now or have you ever been in a photographic rut? If so, are you okay with that or do you make an effort to step out of the box now and then? I think what I need is a vacation with new sights to capture. I may try to plan that --  as soon as the cactus stop blooming!





Dotti said...

It's not a rut if you love it and more so if you do it well , which you do. Your macro photography is beautiful. But I agree with you that we all need to flex our creative muscles, train our eyes to see outside the boxes we've constructed, at least every now and then. It keeps us fresh and it helps our eyes to remember to see the beauty that surrounds them, even if it's not that which we love the most. All of these photos are beautiful and lucky for us the desert is blooming and you're sharing it with us!

AFishGirl said...

I am very often in the 50mm rut. I feel the urge to be in a new place, any place, just an hour away, to see something other than what I've seen and photographed day in and day out all this past six months. Yes, time to go on some sort of a little trip. You do rock the macro and having a lens love is not a rut, what Dotti says. I concur.

Cheryl McCain said...

Yes, I've been in a photographic rut for quite some time now. I have my 50mm on my camera 90% of the time but now I think more about using my macro lens. Your macro images are exquisite! It's Spring here but not enough to capture anything GREAT and AWESOME like your shots! Loved your post today!!

Linda/patchwork said...

Well...I must say, your macro rut is great.
By the way..your little grapes I think are actually buds. Go back in a couple weeks and there will be blooms. A perfect thing for your macro.

Debbie Malone said...

Terri your photos are so beautiful it's hard to imagine you being in a rut. That being said, I have been feeling like that for quite awhile. Seems I post the same pictures over and over and over again. I really am not ok with it , but thinking outside the box or leaving my comfort zone can be a little intimidating for me. Looking at your pictures always inspires me to keep trying.

kelly said...

It's funny that you should write this post because I was feeling the same way with my 24-70. So I put on my 100mm as a way to flex some different muscles. I find that getting super sharp images is a real challenge for me so it's a good way to exercise.

Cathy H. said...

I know how you feel about seeming to take pictures of the same thing over and over. But, just remember, your images are the only desert flowers that some of us get to see and we're not anywhere tired of viewing them!! Keep them coming! Desert flowers seem so much more elegant and the details are amazing! It does help us to stretch ourselves and capture new things. It gives me an extra boost of photographic energy. That hummingbird is exquisite. I just saw my first one this afternoon. If was feasted on my lantana.

Anonymous said...

Yes Terri, I often feel that Im in a rut with photography! When I started taking photos a few years back, I got a Tamron Macro lens for Christmas. I was completely in awe at the up close images I had captured! I see others photography such as Portraits, Landscapes and Stills and think to myself...I want to do that! But when I don't even come close to what others capture, its back to my macro lens! You just can't go wrong with this type of photography! Your cactus blooms are gorgeous, and I never get tired of looking at them! Thanks for sharing!

Deanna said...

That's not your rut, that's your signature and style!!

Sarah Huizenga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Huizenga said...

You are only in a rut when you stop shooting.

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