Last week, I didn’t feel well enough to write a blogpost or to edit photos. Fortunately, I am feeling a lot better now.
I love to follow other photographers. It is the perfect way to learn new things. Some of them can really inspire you.
Photo festivals offer a perfect learning opportunity. There are two major photo festivals in the area: PhotoFair and Lowlands Photo Festival.
PhotoFair is a Dutch festival in Hilvarenbeek. The most recent edition took place at the of May. It’s a whole weekend dedicated to photography. Actually, it is more than a festival, it’s an experience. There are a lot of workshops and talks to choose from; you can get feedback on your photos; you can encounter actors and models dressed up in all kinds of costumes; there were opportunities for action photography,… These are just a few of the activities.
I chose to go to five talks given by wildlife, nature and travel photographers. I am not going to repeat everything I learned from them. That would be a 10-page blog.
I realized I had a lot in common with the speakers. I always thought that taking time to explore a scene, try out different focal lengths, different F-numbers and shutter speeds is something professional photographers don’t need to do any more.. It turns out I was very wrong.
Other things I learned are to pay more attention to detail, experiment with zoomblur, structure,… The photos illustrating this blogpost are some of my experiments from the last months.
But the most important topic for me dealt with creativity. Both Bob Luijks and Bas Meelker talked about their vision on creativity. After their talks, I felt kind of liberated. I was a member of a camera club for a year and a half. I quit because my photos were never good enough and I thought I was a lousy photographer. Now I know that the opinion of others is not important. Every photo I am happy with is a good photo. A photo should show my vision on a subject. Other people may like it or not, but that shouldn’t bother me.
(Coincidentally, today I learned a trick to avoid the reflections in the photo above. Again something I will try very soon.)
In a nutshell, I went to sleep that night feeling much more confident about my photography and with a lot of new ideas to experiment with.
I will definitely return next year.
What is your opinion about photo festivals? Are there any photo festivals near you?
Where does your inspiration come from?
Disclaimer: I own the copyright on all the photos in this blogpost.