J MacDonald Photography
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A Season of Discontent?

And so it arrives. This season of grey skies and cold rains, a season of cold winds and bare branches. A season here in Michigan that finds many nature photographers, myself included, struggling to find an inspiring scene to capture. This time of year in Mid-Michigan there is no snow on the ground, the light is flat, the clouds low, grey and without definition or features. How does one find the inspiration to look beyond these overwhelming obstacles to photography and capture something amazing, something inspiring and beautiful? The gloom makes me not want to even pick up my camera. It hurts and it isn't easy.

I sit here typing this after having shot very little outdoors in the last few weeks. But I am here to tell you there is hope! I have actually been using this time of hibernation and dormancy to familiarize myself with a facet of photography I have very little experience with....Indoor sports. Funny right? Me, a guy who pines for the outdoors with the scuttle of little creatures across the landscape and the overwhelming power of weather systems and star filled night skies. And here I find myself in school gyms, with camera settings in places I've not used them...Super high ISO, endless bursts at 9 frames per second, auto focus tracking, and custom white balancing the effects of metal halide lighting. I forgo the smell of pine and earth, sand and the great lakes of my state. I replace them with the smell of popcorn and recirculated conditioned air.

Captured w/ the Olympus OM-D and 75mm f/1.8

Captured w/ the Olympus OM-D and 75mm f/1.8

But you know what? It isn't all bad. No, it really isn't.  I am forcing myself to learn new things, to push myself beyond comfort level and at the same time see what exactly my equipment can do and push it to its limits. And as I am doing this I am finding myself enjoying it, forgetting that I am missing out on chasing storms or stalking animals to capture them in their surroundings.

So I ask you this question, are YOU going to let the short days of winter hold you back from doing what you love? Are you going to let winter cover you and stifle your passion for photography? I don't think so! I think you are going to find SOMETHING to photograph, something new to you and something that will push you to new levels of creativity. I figure if I can go shoot some indoor sports then YOU can find a way to keep your shutter active in dark winter months right?

Jamie MacDonaldComment