Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge. They say there are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence and intensity. Activation is something gets us started. Persistence is the continued effort required. Intensity is staying focused through its completion.
Monthly Archives: February 2012
I apologize for the quality of this image but it was taken at 300 mm, hand held and cropped. How’s that for excuses? I just pulled off to the side of the road and shot from the car window, across traffic. It’s not very often I see two hawks sharing the same tree or branch, so I had to stop. They alway seem to be a solitary creature. The other reason for posting this image is to demonstrate the affect a telephoto lens has on distant objects, bringing them closer. The mountains in the distance are several miles away. Below is the same group of trees taken from the approximate same location and at 24 mm. Just a bit of difference. Continue reading
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge
One of the other suggested components of motivation is persistence. So, I decided to look at that for a bit. Persistence is defined as the firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Once we’ve started our task is to continue to its completion. My persistence is always in flux, depending on how committed I am. I don’t think persistence needs to take on the form of insanity where we repeat the same steps and get the same results, but trying something else or approaching our subject with a different perspective to attain what we need or to discover something new. It can be as simple as walking the same paths with newer eyes or walking in the opposite direction. Who knows what we will see that we missed the previous times. Example: I’ve walked this street before but never seen this door. Wonder when they put it there.
There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in. and enjoy it for what it is! – DeGriff
I’m not sure if there is a sunset that is not glorious. I can’t remember when I was unable to drink one in and and enjoy it. They are all glorious. I admit some sunsets may show more color or rays of light than others but they all move us to some degree.
I’m beginning to know all the country roads east of the airport by name, where to park my car, how long it takes to get there and the best times to be there. If this keeps up I may get to know all the farmers and their dogs.
Examine the lives of people who have truly excelled in any of the arts – music, theater, dance, sculpture – and they have one characteristic in common: the capacity to commit themselves wholeheartedly to their chosen disciplines. They do it every day. No excuses. A dancer, for example, cannot compete at even the lowest level without years of daily exercising; a pianist cannot perform at a concert after having taken a nine-month break; actors are not given roles in a Shakespeare play because they fell they should be. So why should photographers expect to reseive one-person exhibitions or publications without similar dedication? Are the standards in photography so low that success can be archieved with so little effort? Of course not. - David Hurn
I mentioned in a previous post that one of the components of motivation is getting “active.” None of us will succeed at attaining a goal unless we get in gear and become active. For someone like me who considers himself a dreamer, it requires a major effort to take steps and get active on those dreams. Don’t get me wrong as I’m not a couch potato and do get active on many fronts of my life. It seems I falter when the dreams are about my creative side.
I can find a hundred excuses for not taking action on inspirations and not one of them holds much weight. It is easier for me to just dream about ideas or projects. That way they are a success but only in my imagination. Taking action requires effort and time plus the possibility it may not turn out the way I dreamed: failure. And I am aware that those failures are vital steps to improving. After a period of little action, I finally spent almost two full days shooting. My simple action accomplished more than one objective. The thought of failure was gone. My creative juices were flowing. I felt good inside. I also put a few miles on the car, testing it in the snow and mud, which it did pretty good. So, I guess this post is about getting off my tush and taking action otherwise my dreams and inspirations are only unfulfilled fantasies. Now, to clean the car and the bathroom.
This is the same fence as the one with the meadowlark images I posted yesterday. I was drawn to the leading line and repeating pattern as well as the late afternoon light. I took three images. After loading them in Lightroom and adding keywords I pretty much just left them alone. I revisited the images a couple days later to determine if I wanted to keep them or not. Their color was off, looks like I may have had it set on AWB rather than daylight. In Lightroom I changed the white balance to daylight and liked it much better. However, I found a surprise I hadn’t seen before. At the top of the hill you will see a hawk perched on the fence post. I totally missed it when I took the image as I was focused on the fence and the meadowlarks. The photos of the fence was a last minute thing. Ya, just never know.
One afternoon as I drove east on 120th I found three meadowlarks perched on a fence. Since they have one of the most pleasing songs to me, I pulled the car over and rolled down the window to listen to the that wonderful song they gladly share with us. I just happen to have my camera with me so I also made a few images. The bright sunny day allowed their beautiful color to show. Just before I left I happen to catch one of them at liftoff. Continue reading
Every coffee shop will have its regulars. They make up an important part of them. Along with the quality of the coffee, the personalities of the baristas,and the decor, they help develop the ambiance of the coffee shop. The baristas and customers know them by name and they know the baristas and customers. If they do not show up in their regular chairs, people will worry. Here are a couple of regulars at a local coffee shop with their thinking caps on. Not sure if they are all talked out or they decided they’ve finally solved all the world problems.
Most artist will tell you that their ability to inspire themselves was the key to their success. Well I have plenty of inspiration but I’m lacking in “motivation”, which is preventing me from moving forward with those inspirations. I’ve little motivation lately. I hardly take the camera out for walks and when I do it’s for short walks. I could blame the cold but that will not suffice. Just not motivated.
Motivation can be activated in several ways. It can be caused by the influence of others, such as a shooting session with another photographer. Making a list of projects. Searching for new places for images. Shoot a different venue such as portraits rather than macros, or macro rather than portraits. Work on storytelling. Being invited to try a project such as Earl’s calendar. Or working new software for creating books such as Paul.
Something had to be done to get me moving. So, I decided to take a cold walk without my camera. I bundled up against he cold and took the treacherous walk as the melted snow was now turning to black ice. Without my camera I was seeing a lot of potential images. There was a lone Canadian goose just sitting on the ice, no other birds around him. It was so out of the ordinary I suspect the bird may be ill or wounded. The next thing to catch my attention were the cattails along the edge of the lake. The stalks are standing tall while in stark contrast their snow laden flat bladed leaves bend heavily downward. And then there were the rabbit tracks in the snow. They were telling of scampering feet looking for cover. Between the edge of the lake and sidewalk I discovered feathers that told of the demise of a bird. I wondered if death came from the powerful claws of a hawk or owl. This exercise was new to me, and it seemed to do the trick. What steps do you take for motivation?
We have a different hotel for our overnight in Kansas City. It’s not too far from the previous hotel and is just across the street from the Zona Rosa Mall, which has a pretty good BBQ place. On the back side of every hotel is an enclosed trash dumpster. Here is the gate for that enclosure. I knew you would want to see it. It looks used as the paint is wearing off.