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Time for a change.

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Driving all over and searching for wildlife is getting frustrating and expensive. I believe it's time to head a different direction with my photography. I've driven thousands of miles and it's really tough finding something new. I got lucky a few weeks ago when I found an otter one day and the battling roosters the next. However, that kind of luck doesn't happen that often. There are still a handful of shots I'd like to add to my portfolio, but I'm going to sit tight and hope one of my confidential informants sees something and alerts me. The nice thing about photography is, there are many avenues a person can take. I need to start saving gas money for retirement, which is still 10 years away, but it's coming.

This is the result of my last couple hundred miles. Not really worth it. frown




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Nice looking shots Mike. Long ago when I started into photography wildlife was my only focus ( grin), sorry. I found that in order to hold my interest I needed to continue exploring different subjects and avenues with photo taking.

My suggestions are the following;

1. Stay at home!!! I live in the city, yet I have numerous parks, downtown buildings, and events within 20 miles that I can explore. I go for a walk and throw in the camera. If something happens great! If not, don't worry. This is supposed to be fun, not a chore.

2. Explore other avenues of photography. I shoot primarily sports now but also shoot portraits, landscapes, wildlife, night photography, exploring lighting with strobes and flashes, high speed photography, time lapse, and on and on. I get excited about learning a new technique, a new way to shoot something I've photographed many times before.

3. Try doing a photo a day for a specified time period. Challenge yourself to find a good photo, not necessarily a bird or animal. Don't have such high expectations of getting a killer shot every time out. You do realize that in the course of a year you may only get a handful of shots that are what you are looking for.

4. Above all enjoy photography. If you can't find a way to get out of your rut set down the camera for a bit and give yourself a break. You will quickly find new ways of looking at things. It may provide some inspiration!

Enjoy photography!

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I can go along with all your suggestions Dan, except #1. You have nice parks in your area. I spent early morning at one a couple years ago and came away with some nice pics, including my first good wood duck photo. However, we don't have those kinds of parks around here. Our parks are basically play grounds. We have one just a few blocks away that has a couple ponds, but with the tons of people that walk their dogs there, all there is to see is black birds. frown

That is what I meant by a change. I'll still be creating photos, but concentrating on a different subject altogether. I've already started down that path and it could be an interesting journey.

Thanks for the input.

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What youre talking about comes up often in school. We call it creative burn out. Basically speaking, you've run out of gas.

for one of our classes, we watched a video where a world redound photographer talked about how everything he did sucked. For therapy, he took out his film camera and developed his shots. It kind of took his mind off things.

You've been shooting a long time so I'm probably not going to offer a fresh perspective. But I would recommend looking at flickr at themes and do a theme shoot. Perhaps focus on macro for a while. I find for me shooting macro is relaxing and an adventure in my own back yard.

One night, I was feeling the semester blues, so I walked around a park downtown. I found a guitar player jamming and spent about a half hour shooting him. As I was shooting him, I noticed a girl in the background looking really sad. I walked over to her and shot a few of her as well. two great subjects in 30 seconds of each other.

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I know what you mean. I already spend enough on gas for the hunting and fishing I do let alone the events my kids have us involved in so that leaves little for putting into designated photo trips. So, what I do is try to make use of the time I spend doing those things I'm already doing to get some type of photography mixed in. I find myself taking time out of the hunting and fishing to look for a cool shot. It gives me a dual purpose when I do something.

Besides hunting/fishing I now bring my camera with to basketball games, track meets, horse shows, concerts etc. and look for the unique opportunity to get a cool shot. It is forcing me to be more versitile than when I used to do just wildlife when I was younger. That is one of the reasons I wanted to get a fast enough lens to be versitile and waited a good number of years to get back into it to afford it.

My other thought is to buy an old enduro motorcycle and putz around the back roads and trails looking for opportunities.


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Mike, have you spent any time at Blue Mounds State Park? Specifically during peak migration periods? It appears it is about a 1 hours drive from your location, so not horrible in terms of distance. I have read many excellent reports from this location in regards to bird species diversity and other photographic opportunities. One of the only places in the state, if not the only place, to photograph bison. It is also one of the most consistent places in the state to find otherwise out of range species like Blue Grosbeak. The landscape itself is quite unique and potentially inspirational from a photographic perspective. If I lived in your area, this would definitely become my "sax zim bog" so to speak...I know you will understand what I mean by that.

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