Whenever I go out and explore new areas, sometimes the scenery is stunning and other times there is nothing to photograph. Obviously I always hope that a new area piques my creativity and I end up capturing a scene that is breathtaking, but when all the planning comes to fruition, more often than not the scene does not warrant pressing the shutter. It can be irksome spending all that time developing plans to discover new places and then getting there and realizing it isn’t that special. But hey, it’s part of the job! Sometimes it could simply be a creativity block that inhibits your mind’s eye from seeing a fabulous image.
I couldn’t find a single image this weekend while camping at the Queen Elizabeth Wildlands II wilderness area. My camping partner Roberto and I hiked all over the Northern part of the park. We walked past rivers and rapids, rock cliffs and lakes, bogs and many beaver dams, but nothing seemed to spark an interest in taking an image. The weather conditions were great too, with slow moving banks of fog surrounding several lakes and rivers. But I couldn’t see anything wonderful.
After the trip ended Sunday afternoon, I began questioning why I couldn’t find any images even though the conditions were pretty good. Although the quintessential big landscape images did not exist from what I saw, sometimes something else is a hindrance too. And there was no denying the other reason why I walked away with no images – I was distracted! Even though my buddy and I have been on many trips before, I couldn’t meditate and focus on my surroundings. I was constantly being distracted by discussion. Not that I don’t enjoy talking, but there’s a time and a place for loquaciousness. My creativity was sapped, and I knew I couldn’t get my mind back in the game without going down the trail solo, which I wasn’t about to do! No man left behind!
It was an interesting revelation. I’ve never been able to pinpoint this dynamic before. I still want to continue our adventures together, but maybe some quiet time or free time to reflect on my surroundings is important. Most of my favorite pieces I’ve created have occurred when I was alone and one with nature. I believe concentrating on the now helps create better images and is something I learned about myself and my process of capturing fabulous photos.