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The Photographer As Captive

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The Photographer As Captive

Being a good to great photographer has very little to do with your equipment (although I am not minimizing the importance of good equipment) and everything to do with your ability to see the world around you from both a microscopic as well as kaleidoscopic point of view at all times.

It doesn't really matter where you are located to be a talented photographer. You just need to have the ability to adapt to your present environment and turn wherever you are into your own canvas to paint on for others to see and appreciate through your own unique lens on wherever that may be.

Case in point; I love to travel on the road. I have spent a majority of my life on road trips of one extent or another that have resulted in placing me across the vast expanses of the Western United States. My favorite places are the great National Parks of the West and the inspiration they bring as a photographer can not be measured. Most recently a couple of years back I was on the road fly fishing and photographing my way from California to New Mexico. I was in complete heaven!

However that was two years ago and due to life circumstances I have found myself unable to get out on the road as much during that time. In fact, I have been relegated to the San Francisco, California, Bay Area for the past ten months. During that time I have found myself in the place as the "photographer as a captive."

Has that dampened my enthusiasm or creative drive as a result? Absolutely not! Quite to the contrary. I have fully adapted my style and perspective to that of a Street Photographer as well as fine tuned my senses to capture the things around me that most people completely miss and turn them into photographs to be shared with the world.

Granted the San Francisco Bay Area offers some of the most diverse photographic opportunities on the planet from incredible cityscapes to street photography to nature, but nevertheless I am a captive of sorts to a specific geographic area rather than have the complete freedom of moving my RV at will across the West.

I certainly miss that complete freedom but I cannot get enough of the opportunities where I find myself and I am taking full advantage of the diversity it offers.

My point is that as a photographer learn to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome (a quote from the Clint Eastwood film 'Heartbreak Ridge') wherever you are to create great photographs that your audience will appreciate and enjoy. It will keep your edge sharp and your creative spirit nourished.

You may just discover an entirely new niche of photography you may want to even specialize in as a result.