Photographic habits - good or bad?

Based upon the weather this weekend, the summer is over, so I have packed away my infrared camera for another year. This got me thinking, I do have some regular patterns to my photography year on year. I wouldn't describe it as a rut, as my photographs are different every year - but there are definite themes to my images each year. Let me give you some examples. 

 My first ever visit to a sunflower field - August 2017

My first ever visit to a sunflower field - August 2017

Winter

Let's start at the beginning. January. I might have a new piece of kit that I got for Christmas that is keeping my enthusiasm for this hobby going, but generally the first few months of the year I brave the freezing cold weather and shoot some landscapes. This year was no exception. 

 A frozen bubble - also a first for 2017. 

A frozen bubble - also a first for 2017. 

 Brighton seafront on my commute to work

Brighton seafront on my commute to work

 Ditchling Beacon - south downs

Ditchling Beacon - south downs

Spring

Then spring starts to kick in. The light starts to get a bit harsher, but life starts to spring in my garden, excellent, I don't even have to leave my house to get some photos - out comes the macro lens. I create the light with flash, so my macro images are not dependent upon the light. This is a great genre to fall back on if you cannot travel far or the light is too harsh for whatever else you want to shoot. 

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Summer

This year I went to town on the portraits of my daughter - I essentially collected the whole set, being bluebells, poppies, lavender and sunflowers! Who can resist photographing their children in these amazing locations. 

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Summer is upon us, the sun rises far too early for me to contemplate a sunrise photo shoot, and it is way too late by the time the sun sets - so I typically reserve landscapes for spring and autumn. However,  my infrared camera always comes out when the sun is melting everything in its path. The sunnier the better. 

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New arrivals

This summer was different to most, with the arrival of my identical twin girls, so there was a lot of newborn photography going on this year. I am happy to say that this year's images were significantly better than when I shot my first daughter's 5 years ago. But photographing two babies at once was challenging!

 My identical twin girls

My identical twin girls

 My friend's daughter

My friend's daughter

Throw in a few unexpected landscapes, some drone photography, a few architectural commissions, a supercar for the day and here we are, it is the beginning of October. By the time I get home from work it is dark, and the weekends have less light for me to photograph my family - so that flash comes out of hibernation and is now a necessity for indoor snaps and portraits. Another signal that winter is on it's way. 

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So far so good

Not a bad year for photography so far, and I am not complaining - as I have been given some amazing photographic opportunities. I guess I am writing this out of frustration a little, as in the back of my mind I am thinking, how am I going to shoot autumn different this year? Can I photograph Christmas any better than I did last year? Is my photography getting stale....how do I constantly keep things fresh? 

The secret to creativity...

I once watched a programme about creative people, how their minds work and what to do to stay creative. One of the key things that came out of this hour of staring at the TV was that you need to expose yourself to change. As often as possible. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. So with that in mind, this autumn, I will not be revisiting places that I have been before to shoot landscapes - I will be forcing myself to seek out new locations. This is just one thing, but I have been doing a lot of 'firsts' this year - but that is for another blog. 

To keep me on my toes

Here are some of the images I took last year over October/November/December, so if you see me posting anything similar you will have to call me out on them!

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Thanks for reading & I hope that this has given you a few ideas for your photography.

Ben