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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

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