I'm sitting here on my front deck looking through the palm trees to the blue ocean and thinking to myself, 'why am I not out taking photos today?' I mean, its a beautiful day, skies are blue, the water is calm, almost no wind... perfect conditions for some lovely shots of my island! And yet, here I am, at home...
It got me thinking about my motivation for actually getting outside and spending time taking photos. Why do I do it? Aside from the fact that I love this island & want to share it with the world!
It takes a fairly big commitment to head out for a day of photography. A lot of forward planning & weather watching goes into where I might decide to spend a few hours, or the entire day. I like to have a bit of plan in my head of what I'm hoping to capture before I go out - it saves me just wandering aimlessly around the island with no real intention. I've found that I come back with many more 'keeper shots' when I plan, than when I just head out without one. I don't actually get out that often - between working 4 days a week and running around after our 3 kids (or 4, if you count my husband!) - it doesn't leave a lot of time for photography. So when I am able to get out, I don't want to waste the opportunity!
Firstly, I need to decide what type of photos I'm hoping to take - landscapes or birds...or both? There's nothing worse than being out and about and having a perfect moment to capture, only to realise that you've left that particular lens at home...because you didn't think you'd need it! (It happens to me a lot!) So then I'm thinking, I may as well just take them all, but then its a matter of space in my backpack...and weight... those cameras & lenses weigh a tonne! I usually err on the side of caution and always take my 16-35mm landscape lens and my 400mm bird lens and then any smaller lenses if they can fit, or if I'm going for a particular shot.
So where should I go? There's so many fabulous spots on this island, how do I decide? If it's a beautiful, sunny day (like today), I love to go anywhere along the coastline! As long as I can see the gorgeous blue of the ocean, I'm happy! The sunny days are also perfect for bird photography - they like to spread their wings in the sun too! If it's more overcast & cloudy, then I'll usually head into the forest to find some waterfalls & streams. I like to have a good idea of the weather, wind, tides & sunset times etc, so I spend a bit of time finding out what's happening at a particular spot before I go there, using a few apps on my phone. If its going to be high tide at Merrial Beach, then there's not much point going there if I'm trying to get a shot from inside the cave! But then, if its high tide at the Blowholes there's a good chance of getting some shots of the water spraying high into the air! There's nothing more deflating than spending a good hour or so traipsing through the jungle to Anderson's Dale, only to get there and find out that it's high tide and you can't get down there! Planning - its a good idea!
Then, once I've decided where to go & what to capture, it's just a matter of packing the essentials! Water! I go through so much water when out & about! I have one large bottle in my backpack and another in the car for the way home. Snacks...usually a couple of muesli bars. Then its all about the gear. Packing the right lenses and making sure they're clean. Checking the camera battery is full and making sure the memory card is actually in the camera. I can't tell you the amount of times I've gone out and left the card plugged into my computer - Very frustrating!! Then its the hat, suncream, lens filters, spare battery, tripod - Check!
And then, finally, I'm off!
So you see, it's a lot more than just picking up my camera & taking a random shot that I think people might enjoy! It takes planning and a fair bit of motivation just to get out the door! Once I'm out there though, that's when my creative juices start flowing & I'm hopefully able to share my love of Christmas Island through my photographs! Also, I think a large part of my motivation comes from you - my Followers, Likers & Sharers! Without you all behind me, encouraging me, it might just be a little harder to get out there & do what I do - so, Thankyou!
But personally, it's my time. My time, to be by myself, the only one in my head - just me & nature! I think we all enjoy those quiet moments... I just enjoy mine with a camera in my hand!