Well, Spring is about to reach its peak these days, but frankly I have not understood any change in weather or light color until now. African dust is everywhere giving a yellow color cast and foggy distant details and the world looks like I am living in a dirty glass jar. Where are the blue skies and the green fields with their vivid colors? I don't know!
I saw some purple tree buds blooming the other day, but the color was not vivid at all, it was more like a faded watercolor. I believe a strong rain will clean the atmosphere and bring the colors and contrast back to the fields and back to the sky, so I wait impatiently for this to happen. And when that happens, I will find myself rushing for my camera and searching google maps for new places to visit and new roads to travel.
I don't want to spend my weekends inside 4 walls (unless I really have to), but this is far beyond anything I had ever imagined and it has to change as soon as possible. I have to change it, so my next plans involve finding a way to combine exercise, nature and short distance trips and I am thinking seriously of repairing my old bike for this purpose. I mean, why not? In weekends the streets are empty, the air is cleaner and we are less tired because we have the chance to sleep more and better through the night. In weekends we tend to be lazy and feel we have earned the rest from what we did the past week, but that's not really the case.
I am not talking about climbing a mountain, but rather go on a small trip with your bike or get to somewhere nice and close with your car and have a walk around. You will find yourself unwilling to return to your car after a while, especially if you take the time to observe the surroundings and rest every now and then. At some point, you might find out that you have walked too far, farthest than you thought you had planned to go. And immediately you will consider you've had a full day, even if you had only spent a couple of hours away from your home.
I know this is a blog about photography, but unless photography is your day job, you know you have to strive for inspiration and perfection, as your weekends arrive because your mind is elsewhere the rest of the week. And what better chance to find inspiration than to observe the world and "see" the links to a story you want to freeze with your camera? After all, it's "ok" being good at landscape photography, but what good can that do if you want to photograph your kids in their concert or school play or even one in of their many sports activities while they are young, at their birthday parties, or while having fun, if you have not observed how children move, what light does to their expressions, when to freeze the moment and what not to say to make them unaware you were even shooting their best moments? In order to do that, you must be prepared and plan your shooting as much as you can, but you also need to have observed the world first. Concentrate in small details that make the difference and keep some distance between your subject and your camera, let them breathe and be themselves.
You will notice that the world tends to behave differently in front of a camera than when no "recording" is made and you'll see the brightest smiles, the most real emotions and you will know they are true and love it, because you had your time observing the people before and know how they behave. Don't just stay at home because the sky is full of clouds or because you feel you have to rest because you had a tiresome week. Start filling your life with short trips, start observing the world and that will help you take better photos and be better at noticing all the small details that make the difference between living and just existing.