It’s not just about gear or photos. Make it about the subject or the experience of just going out. I recently met some interesting and friendly people during my outdoor photo sessions.
A couple who had just moved to the area were paying their first visit to the local nature reserve. We were talking about the lack of dragonflies around the haunt amongst other things. Funnily enough, at another reserve a few miles away the dragonflies were quite active.
Another couple were enjoying a day out. They were on holiday.
One chap was talking to me about how the local wildlife had changed over the years. He also showed me a book he had some photos published in. Interestingly he didn’t shoot digital.
You can pick up a lot of information from people who know the local area and wildlife better than you do.
These conversations had a couple of things in common. It was obvious that people were more passionate being out and about than stuck behind a computer screen. Discussing different aspects of photography ‘out in the wild’ is always more enjoyable. Especially when it’s a gloriously warm and sunny day. There was a free and welcome exchange of ideas and information. No one upmanship here, being helpful was the order of the day.
Gear didn’t really come into it. Apart from a ‘see your shooting digital, im shooting film’. How refreshing!
Sometimes as photographers we forget that cameras are just tools to enable the taking of pictures. Without the knowledge of where to take photos, the tools become less useful.
Talking to people when out is part and parcel of the photographic journey. Sometimes I help people out, sometimes I’m learning from people with more specific knowledge on a locale or subject.
Most of the time though it not just about the gear…