I've had a nagging injury to my shoulder for some time. Slinging around 20 pounds of camera gear certainly hasn't helped it any. So it finally became necessary to have surgery on it. The recovery time is significant, and I've been in and out of a sling for about 4 weeks now. While I wasn't panicked about the surgery itself, I did get a bit nervous about the recovery time, and that I wouldn't be able to go take photographs anytime soon. Now what do I do?
Well as it turns out, there's plenty of ways to keep your photography bug going, even when you can't go out and shoot for some reason!
There's always new techniques that can be learned by reading blogs (this one comes to mind), books, magazines and such. Just looking through books of photographs by artists you admire can provide you with inspiration for when you are able to get back out there. I personally read a ton of blogs and books on photography, though the purpose of my reading has changed over time. I think like most amateurs, I was trying to find that magic recipe to make my photos better. Boy, if I could write that book, I'd be rich! While I still look for ways to improve my photography and my processing, I now know there's no magic to it. You just have to take a lot of pictures to get better!
Speaking of processing, I'll bet like me you've got a lot of photos that haven't been processed; or that you passed over on your initial cull. Well I do like to go back through my images to look for "buried treasure," and now and again I'll find some. I also like to take a new look at previous processed photos, and make a new pass at it. Lightroom just keeps on getting better, and sometimes new processing tools and techniques I've learned along the way, can make a decent photograph better. You can always make a Virtual Copy of the original photo in Lightroom and play until your heart's content, and still have the previous photo to fall back on.
And of course, you can always plan and research your next photography outing; be that across town, or across the country. Many times, I'll stubble upon an image on the internet, and research where the location is. Once you find the name of a particular spot, you can look it up on Google Maps for example, and use an aerial view to refine the location. Sometimes even street view will let you see exactly where a shot might have originated from. I'm not one for copying someone else's work (though I'm sure I have), but use it to gain your own ideas about it. You can also research when the best time to visit is, as well as time of day to photograph given the angle of the sun and such.
So if you've been sidelined a bit, or the weather just doesn't allow, don't despair! You can still keep your hand in the game.
Until next time!