It seems you hear this everywhere: "Get out of your comfort zone". Do you really get something out of such kind of experiences or is it just a cliche everybody talks about? As a member and moderator in the friendly and amazing swiss photography forum Digital-Fotoforum.ch I visited a special meeting which imitated a photo-marathon. See how this worked out for me.
The rules where pretty simple. First of all every participant had to randomly choose one main-topic from a pot. If liked you could have chosen a second or third topic, most of us took two. After that, every participant had 100 minutes time to create at least one picture for the maintopic and if so desired some for the other topics chosen. After that, the unedited pictures where presented. Sounds easy....
My main-topic was "after-work-hours". As the event started around 6pm that should be another easy topic to find something, don't you think? Well, my second topic was a similar one: "leisure time". Both are relatively close together, so luck seems to be on my side.
With my nearly whole camera-gear - literally, from the ultra-wide-angle lens to the super-tele-lens, flash and filters, I packed everything - the journey started. The pictures should be taken in a place called "Glatttalpark" which features a array of new multy-family-houses, a artificial lake and some kind of park. A pretty nice und lively setting. Unfortunately it was around 36° Celsius at that time. A bit too warm for my liking.
Anway, I had a task and to fulfill that. I started out pretty slowly and decided on a longer lens as I wanted to capture some people without disturbing them. The next thing I had to solve, was how I can capture them in a way there not recognizable. I found the solution in a longer shutter speed and blur out the people.
So, those where the two pictures I selected for the representative themes:
Theme: Leisure Time
Overall it was a real challenge to capture this pictures as I am absolutely not used to capture neither people in the public nor fast moving objects. I struggled for a moment to find my way into this and also wasn't sure how the outcome will be. As you have close to no experience in those fields you have to adapt pretty quickly and find something that at least fit a little bit in the fields you know. After those 100 minutes I was a bit exhausted but happy to have this two pictures.
It was indeed pretty hard to get out of your comfort-zone. To good thing in this case was, there where no (nearly no as you will see) chances to avoid it, I had to take two pictures. It makes you think, it makes you go new ways and it makes you trying something you haven't done (often) before. The same rules of exposure, composition and all that apply to, at the end it is photography, but you have to find a new way to fit that in. I don't need that every other day, but from time to time its fun and salutary. I would recommend doing something similar to everybody from time to time. Although it seems like a steep mountain at the beginning you will be happy if you accomplished the goal.
Long story short: It seems to be true, going out of your comfort-zone from time to time really brings you forward.
On the way back a couldn't resist and had to take a picture of something that fits the theme and my fields. So this next picture is some kind of bonus-material für the "After-Work-Hours"-theme combined with architectural photography:
I like this picture the most of all three. It shows you - beneath all the new stuff learnt in this few minutes before - that you can achieve better results when you practice in your field a lot.
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