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Thread: Mental Block...trying to find a suitable picture or subject to photograph

  1. #1

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    Oct 2010
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    Aziz Kadhi

    Mental Block...trying to find a suitable picture or subject to photograph

    I am in Mauritius on holiday... And if you can imagine this, of all the times and places I get a mental block, and hard as I try can not find a suitable picture or subject to photograph and share with you.
    Well, I will be here another four weeks and in that time will probably 'jump out of my shy skin' and get a picture.
    Right now I need all the help I can get.
    Regards.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    John

    Re: Mental Block...

    Start with your hotel room or wherever you are staying and work your way out into the city. It really depends on what you want to express in your photos. Are you interested in new people, new architecture?
    Last edited by McQ; 25th November 2010 at 06:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Hansm's Avatar
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    Re: Mental Block...

    Don't be shy. No one knows you over there so ne reason to hide yourself.
    Ok it's easy said, but you can start taking pictures out of the window of your room or join a tour and take pictures during it.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Mental Block...

    Answer the question:-

    Why did I come here on holiday? What was it I wanted to see?

  5. #5
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Mental Block...

    Hi Aziz,

    I do quite a lot of travel and when I get to a location the first thing I do is have a look at the postcards to see what others shoot and also what the locals think is important or notable in their location.

    I often find I need to spend time to feel a place to reflect it in a way I want but I also know I will not get this feeling by just looking - I need to start shooting. After 30 minutes or so you will start to see images the reflect the essence of the place you are in. So just shoot and shoot and shoot and your vision will come to you.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: Mental Block...

    I research any area to which I plan to travel and make a mental (or times a written) list of some of the things/people that I want to photograph. I don't mean that I want to copy specific shots but, I do know that I want to cover certain aspects of my trip or the location/people that I am visiting.

    As an example, I knew that I wanted to photograph the pre American Civil War mansions in Natchez, Mississippi. A also wanted to shoot the notorious "Under The Hill" area of that city, located along the Mississippi River.

    Visiting China, some of my "must shots" were covering a "night market" and shooting the Chinese Army Sentry in front of the Forbidden City with the city as a background.

    I am not always able to get all the shots I plan and I don't beat myself up because I missed them. I never got to the "traditional" Chinese night market such as the Muslim Market in Xi'an and I found out that the present "Under the Hill" area of Natchez, Mississippi consists of land that was reclaimed by the Army Corps of Engineers and bears no relation to the historic and bawdy Under the Hill area which existed in the Pre-Civil War period.

    I love to shoot people and if the people whom I am visiting are quite different from the people I live around, that makes photographing them more interesting. As an example, when I visited Natchez, Mississippi, I had no real interest in shooting a supermarket or a Walmart discount store because these were not much different from the supermarkets and Walmart stores in California where I live. But, I really enjoyed shooting a market in Hong Kong.

  7. #7

    Re: Mental Block...

    Aziz

    If you are there for 4 weeks, take a week off, leave your camera somewhere safe and enjoy some 'you' time. I must admit I always feel the need to shoot on holiday...but it is not the way I work. I dream up concepts in my head and then find the material to go for. I get so fed up when I hunt for images. You will find without the camera and the self imposed pressure is off you will see the images before you are confronted with the scene. When you have a good stock in you head revisit the locations at the 'right' time of day and shoot away.

    Richard has a very good point about people. If you really must shoot from the hip people are a safe bet and the variety is endless. If you were a snapper you would not be having a block so I have every confidence that your block will clear with a little relaxation. Whilst you are relaxing take a look at local art galleries, craft wares, posters, clothing and anything that the indigenous populations put their own unique stamp on. This can help to capture the place in an authentic and unusual way when you pick up the camera again.

    Very best of luck. I spent 2 weeks looking for the ideal photograph in Kent until i realised I was standing in it...then it was too late

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Re: Mental Block...trying to find a suitable picture or subject to photograph

    A few thoughts

    Do not try to find a photograph that will impress others, what does it matter what "we" think

    Look for good light... take a few pics and see what you get... early morning is often an interesting time of day

    Try to take a picture that is different from your first inclination. Most peictures taken are very much the same as any other person taking that picture... so force yourself to find a different perspective.

    Try taking picture/portraits of random locals.... you can pay them a little to just stand there and let you practice... Maybe you can get them to hold something and tell them that you are really interested in this other object.... maybe let them also take a picture of you

    Set some challenge for your self.... to use an unusual setting, or lens, or subject

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