over thinking

Things Change

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I think if I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, it would be that everything changes (at least that’s what I’d go back and tell myself now; it’ll probably change). Life changes, you change, your friends change, the people you love change (in both senses), how you view the world changes, how the world views you changes. Everything and everyone grows, and evolves, and changes and is changed.

I can be quite proud and stubborn about things. If I say I will do something, or not doing something, then I will, or will not, do it, regardless of evidence that doing things differently would be to everyone’s benefit (especially my own). I guess this comes from fear. A fear of being wrong. A fear of looking foolish.
stairs leading down to the door of an underground club
There is another way to look at this though because there is a fine line between stubbornness and determination, between pride and self belief. And I guess where the lines fall is very much subjective, so it’s anyone’s guess where those lines might be.
What has any of this got to do with photography? Well, I’ve been having doubts recently as to whether photography is a viable way for me to earn an income. There are areas of photography that are a lot more lucrative than others, they take a lot of hard work and talent to do properly, but the financial rewards are greater and a lot easier to work as a ‘business model’. The things I want to do with my photography do not fall into this category. I knew this from the outset, but I was determined to do things my way, and I guess I’m beginning to wonder if my determination has changed into stubbornness.
empty bottles in a club, people dancing in the background

So, do I stick to my guns and do things my way, producing the work I want to? Or do I change my approach to things and go where the money is? For now I’m going to back myself, but I’m open to change in the future.silhouette of a band & the audience

Watching Birds Makes Me (Over)Think.

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Am I a bird watcher?

I don’t think I am a bird watcher, but I might be becoming one. Or perhaps I became a watcher of birds a while ago and I’ve only just noticed I like watching birds.

A coot landing on water

Recently I’ve been adding my work to various sites to try and give myself some exposure (pun very much intended) and, if I’m honest, to give my sometimes fragile confidence a boost. Anyway, on one of these site you have to put your work into specific categories and it tells you how may you have in a category and it surprised me to see how many I had in the ‘birds’ classification (22 at last count). Maybe that doesn’t seem a lot, but given that I was only uploading a small selection of my images, for that to be the category with the most photos in was a bit of an eye-opener. It was also a shock to someone who doesn’t consider themselves to be a wildlife photographer let alone a photographer of birds. I hadn’t realised I was watching birds so much
A purple headed mallard duck

Is there a point to this other than sharing with you my surprise and letting you know I take photos of birds?

Yes, there is a point. A point that I sort of knew about but I perhaps didn’t understand properly. And that is that you learn by doing. You learn about yourself by doing. I learnt that I take lots of photos of birds by doing something with my images. The fact that you learn by doing probably isn’t much of a revelation to anyone else but me, but that’s because I’m a self confessed overthinker. My name is Bert (or Andrew or Andy or any of the other names people in this world call me, you know who you are) and I’m an Overthinker. Thinking is what I do. Thinking happens unbidden, and it snowballs and becomes overthinking. I need to think less. Which sounds wrong and counter-intuitive. Thinking is a good thing, but I seem to think instead of doing, I think myself to a standstill. I spend so much time thinking, that I run out of time to actually do the thing I’m thinking about.

I think (or perhaps overthink) my overthinking might be having an impact on another area of my photography, and that’s when it comes to selecting which of my images from a shoot to present to the world. I need to rely on my instinct, which is what I do when I’m taking the photo, that’s all instinctive. I need to take the instinctive approach from the start of the process of image making all the way through to the end. So that’s what I’m going to do from now one, maybe, I think. I’ll have to give it some thought… I think….

African penguins in South Africa

Bashful Penguin