Use Your Metadata And Find Growth Opportunities In Photography

Something's bugging me, and I'm quite sure what. I feel like I'm in a rut photographically. I'm still going out to shoot and I'm coming away with decent photos. Yet I don't feel creative. Something is missing. A spark is gone. I just have an overall "meh" feel after a shoot. Or maybe it's that the normal "high" I have after an outing isn't lasting as long.

I got to thinking.... what can I draw upon to maybe get insights into why I feel the way I feel? Thanks to asset management, I have a lot of data at my fingertips. I jumped into Lightroom and took a quick look at the "good" shots I've processed this year.

Scott's processed keepers for 2016 (to date)

Notice anything? I do. I am overwhelmingly shooting with two lenses, the 16-35mm and the 24-70mm. I drilled in a little deeper and even for the 24-70mm, I'm mostly at the low end, with a small spike racked out at 70mm. I'm all but ignoring the long lens.

I'm sorry, I've been ignoring you...

I'm sorry, I've been ignoring you...

That represents an opportunity. I need to break out the longer lens – a lot more often. I know my habits, and I know I'll feel uncomfortable because I'm not taking in the "whole" scene. And that's the point. I need to get nudged, pushed and prodded out of my comfort zone. It'll make me look for different compositions, different framings... heck, just look... different.

As I write this, it's the weekend before I host my next workshop. I'm reflecting on the last workshop, doing my final preparations for this coming weekend, checking the weather and tides, all that jazz. I'm also thinking about the locations, how I shot them the last time, how my students chose to frame their photographs... and how I might do things differently this weekend.

One thing I'll do Friday morning is mount the 70-200mm on my Sony A7R and put it in the bag. I'll start with the long lens. Since I shoot much less during the workshops (I'm focused on my students), I'm hoping that will be one more nudge to try something different.