Like many people, I have a pretty tight schedule which means I don't get to drop off the radar and go shooting in interesting or unusual locales all that often. I have a few moments each day for my photography if I'm lucky, and some days I've got no time at all. In order to combat this, I've set up a process and acquired the sort of gear I can use in my day to day.
During the week my schedule looks mostly the same, with me going to work, to the gym, to spend time with my son, eating, sleeping, and then getting up to do some combination of those things again. I’ve learned to keep my eyes open, and to keep a camera with me most of the time. I live in an ‘ok’ neighborhood in the city, and I work in a bit of a dangerous one, so my EDC is a Sony NEX6. It’s not high end, but it has a reasonably good sensor and with inexpensive adapters I can throw my Nikon lenses on the body. Currently I’m shooting it with a 50mm Nikon series e manual lens, which has been crisp and fun to shoot. The two images at the top of this post were captured with that camera/lens combo.
I try to take a few minutes each day to step outside the pawnshop and take some photos of folks passing by. We’re located on a major street near to public transportation hubs, so I get alot of nice foot traffic. I stand out like a sore thumb there, and the camera doesn’t help, so I take advantage of the articulating screen to shoot low quite a bit. I feel better framing in the EVF, so I do take chances bringing the camera up to my eye to get comfortable, but I know that action makes me conspicuous.
The weekends offer me other opportunities, and I take them when I can. There is a reasonably large flea market close to my place on Sunday mornings, so many of my images come from early walks I take there. For this I usually bring my x100f. It too is not as conspicuous as my Nikon dslr, and with a fixed lens it makes me think about images differently than if I had access to a zoom. With no articulating screen, shooting from the hip is more of a challenge, but it’s a skill worth learning and practicing as some of my favorite images have been captured that way.
I love my Nikon, but unless I’m heading to a destination unusual, unfamiliar, and worth the effort, I don’t often get to use it. Sure, I could take it to the flea market, but it’s so big and obvious that I wouldn’t be able to walk the place in relative obscurity and many opportunities would be missed, not to mention I’m much more likely to be both spotted (ruining the photo) or worse yet, accosted (which I can handle, but don’t enjoy).
There are moments of free time where I just step outside behind my apartment and can find several interesting subjects, like these odd buds on the tree/bush/weed thing growing madly out of control in the patch of green behind my place.
Bottom line, you may have the same boring schedule each day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make good photos each week. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in your passion even during the daily grind...even if your only convenient camera is your phone (which has sometimes been my situation as well). It’s like they told me in the Boyscouts...Be Prepared.
I made some of my most interesting images this week, and I didn’t roam anywhere unusual at all. There’s wonder and magic just outside your door, on your walk to the bus, while you take your lunch break, and everywhere in-between.