November Photography – Wonderful Motivating Weather & Learning New Things

1 December 2020Rebecca Bradley

“November’s sky is chill and drear, November’s leaf is red and sear.” – Sir Walter Scott

We say goodbye to another month and hello to another lockdown! Yes, in Scotland everyone is to stay at home yet again. It’s painful. This year has been both the slowest and fastest of my life. As much as I agree with looking after people, I don’t think my mental health can take being at home 24/7. I wake up, I work, I sleep. Well, sometimes I sleep. I’ve been suffering from insomnia since June and it’s not been getting any better. I’m also dealing with another bout of depression and anxiety. Every day I could feel okay for about half an hour. Then immediately feel like the world is collapsing around me for the rest of the night.

With the way I’m feeling it also means I’m struggling with motivation to get outside to work on my photography. In the chance I talk myself in to getting out and taking some photos, a half an hour later I’ve still not moved. I’d rather sit, read my Kindle and stuff my face with crisps. There’s no motivation to do anything these days. With work being a constant for me – this year I’ve worked more than I ever have. I work for a charity supporting people. And they are feeling lockdown the most. And you want to make sure they are okay and coping. But that means you’re giving yourself even more responsibility. It’s taking its toll on your mental health. As soon as I finish up for the day, I’m in my pyjamas and ready to have dinner. Then I snuggle in bed to read or watch a Christmas film.

I don’t have much to share in this recap, unfortunately. Because I haven’t been outdoors or had any motivation! But I did manage to find a small flurry of inspiration on a very foggy day in Glasgow. I love winter and getting to see that familiar-looking weather put a smile on my face. The fog stayed put the whole day and didn’t lift until the next morning. I wrapped up warm, got my camera and went out a walk. I’ve never been one for taking pictures of my local area. I live in a suburban part of Glasgow with no nature trails or picturesque scenes. But the fog showed its unique beauty to me. Our small parks were hazy and the distance was cloaked in fog. Each time we walked past a pylon you could see it peeking through the fog. Almost like Silent Hill. And you could hear the crackling of the pylon as the wires had frost on them.

 

If you’re like me and struggling with photography right now, look at the weather. See what beauty it may bring to your local area. Even if it’s raindrops on your window. Or autumn-coloured leaves on your path. It may give you the little oomph of motivation that you need to pick yourself up.

I’m not getting out to take photos of what I want to. I have found that I could use this downtime to level up (I know, I play too many games). Learning is one of the most beautiful things for keeping your motivation alive.

For over a year now I’ve been enjoying the photographer Tabitha Park’s SkillShare courses. The only reason I signed up to Skillshare! I can say that ever since I started watching the tutorials, I’ve seen a difference in my photography. She puts so much effort into her courses and doesn’t miss anything out. Not to mention she has the cutest cat ever in her videos with her. Tabitha is a brilliant teacher who gives real-time examples. She explains everything I need to know and gives me the motivation I need. 

My favourite tutorial is ‘Find Your Photography Style: Create Consistent Photos’. I learned that my style of photography was dark and moody and learned tips for editing. It was taking me a while to find someone who I could learn from and I was becoming frustrated at my lack of development. But after I watched Tabitha’s courses it clicked with me. She’s a fantastic teacher and I recommend her classes. 

I’ve also been catching up on The Melia’s Lost in the Light e-book. I got it a few months back when I wanted to spend a bit of my money to learn more about photography. I love the different take to learning that The Melia’s do with their message of finding the light. I often find the light is not my friend when I try to take photos. And sometimes when I come home and start to edit there is too much exposure in my images. Or some information I wanted to capture hasn’t translated because it was too dark.

The e-book is a self-guided programme. It has activities and inspiration to help you take your photography further. I also love that they’re big fans of creating inspiration boards on Pinterest. I’ve become a fan myself of taking inspiration from Pinterest to help me with everyday life. I’ve been taking the course slow and sitting with my iPad each night doodling ideas. I’ve also been enjoying their blog that offers some helpful advice and tips.

Motivation is difficult to keep. We can have it one minute then lose it the next. Enjoy your downtime. Take well-needed breaks (don’t label them as being lazy). Enjoy listening to music, reading a book or whatever it is that make you rest and smile. I was going to start beating myself up about not taking any photos throughout November. But I stopped myself. It doesn’t make sense to talk yourself down right now. Talk yourself up and take baby steps.

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