One of the benefits that I have received from being on ClickASnap has been the ClickASnap community itself. In viewing of the photos of other ClickASnap photographers I have learned, been inspired to try new techniques, and have been challenged in ways that improve my photography.
When I say that I get inspired and learn, I mean that I discover new ways of seeing familiar things and learning to look for things that I had not noticed before. Viewing the styles, compositions, and ways of viewing a scene that others present in their photos leads to an expansion of our photographic horizons. And, for me it has provided new challenges that I feel keep me from getting creatively stale.
For instance, I had never tried seriously shooting macro photos. Then I started to see the macro posts of some of the photographers I follow. Some were using macro lenses, some used extension tubes to shoot macros, and some were using a close-up lens filter on a bridge camera to shoot macros. As I viewed their photos I was impressed by the fact they were seeing something I had not paid attention to in the past. Once their photos had my attention I started taking a hard look at what was involved in macro photography. I started to experiment using a set of old cheap close-up lens I had laying around. As I strained my patience to get a good macro photo with my close-up lenses the photographers who could shoot macros became my heroes. I realised the level of effort they go thru to make a decent macro photo. I found macro photography took a lot of patience, required strong camera setting (exposure) skills, a more concentrated effort when composing, and getting a good manual focus. Getting a good photo was tough because a breeze was like a hurricane, snails and caterpillars took on the speed of gazelles, and depth of field was shallow in the extreme. As I began to look into the area of macro photography I found something else — there was a world of opportunity around me that I was not seeing with a photographer’s eye. Also, I began to realise that each of these challenges met in macro photography would work improve my photography in other areas. I bought a macro lens and have had a great time including shooting macros into my outings.
Now the purpose of this blog article is not to discuss the ins and outs of macro photography (I don’t have the knowledge to do that if I wanted) rather it is to simply tell a story of how each of us, regardless where we land on the skill level path as photographers, inspire and challenge one another through our photography. I have had accounts on several different photography related websites over the past 5 or 6 years and none of them has had the inspirational effect on me like the photographers here on ClickASnap.
What I have said here about macro photography I could say the same about landscape, sunrise/sunset photography, animal photography, bird photography and all other genres of photography. Because of this I think ClickASnap is more than a site where you post a photo and then check back to see if you got a sale or a like. ClickASnap for me is a place where we can learn from one another, improve our photography skills, increase our joy of photography, and maybe inspire others.
Courtesy of Marvin Reinhart