There’s an old saying that goes, “If you’re not prepared to take risks, you can’t expect to get results.” More than once, this came true for me in 2012. In February, I volunteered to help moderate Get Pushed. Since then, I have participated in several challenges and rolling “pushes.” I’ve discovered that I have done several things because of the group that otherwise I wouldn’t have done.
Many photographers look at freelensing as something questionable in itself. Let’s not even mention going the “poor man’s” way and turning the lens around for a macro shot! I was challenged back in August to shoot a silhouette. That seems simple, right? Wanting to do something creative, I wasn’t sure what to come up with. At the time, I was reading a book by Bryan Peterson, and came across the technique of making any light source a perfect circle. Basically, you throw the aperture wide open and focus on something close up. Distant light sources are transformed to circles. So I grabbed some wild grass (weeds) and took the shade off of a lamp about 7 feet away. Reversing my lens, I was able to focus on the grass in front, and the light was rendered as a perfect circle, which was just the result I wanted. I’m not recommending that you go out and try freelensing. Each to his own. But I was happy with the result, and I wouldn’t have tried it if not for the push that got me thinking.
Okay, maybe that is a little bit of a stretch. I won’t say that I wouldn’t have ventured into self portraits, but the group certainly made me overcome my doubts about being on camera. I’m much more comfortable with it now. In January, I was challenged to shoot a landscape with the possibility of myself being included. Liking the challenge, I ventured out one cold winter morning to a railroad. That is where the shot you see to the right was taken. It was freezing cold out, but I did it anyway. That photo became the most popular one I’ve ever taken. It was featured here on Shutter Photo, and also shown in a local art competition. I wouldn’t have ever made the photo without the group pushing me to do something harder.
It it wasn’t for Get Pushed, I wouldn’t have developed the mindset of challenging myself.
Most people like a bit of a challenge. It helps them to do new things and try something different. Before I joined the group, I was the same. But I didn’t take the idea of a challenge and use it in my photography. Now I do. I’ll look at a scene, and try to bring something more into it to add to the unspoken story. I’ve gotten up at 3AM to get the shot I know I want, rather than sleeping in till normal hours and settling for an average day shot. I’ve sat in cornfields at midnight to try new techniques, and as a result, I’ve become a better photographer for it. I’m no professional. I’m just an amateur photographer with a growing love for my hobby. But Get Pushed has become a huge part of that hobby, and I couldn’t be more glad that I joined.
In Get Pushed, your level of experience doesn’t matter. Your camera type doesn’t matter. It is truly all about the people behind the camera. We have photographers of all ages and experience in “Get Pushed.” Don’t feel like you can’t join because you’re not good enough, or even that you shouldn’t join because you’re too good. Maybe you think you have everything down in photography already! Believe me, you probably don’t. And even if you do, a refresher course can’t hurt. The push types range widely; anything from candid street shots, to macros, to asking a perfect stranger for a portrait, to interpretations of literature, songs and poetry. There’s a place for everyone. I couldn’t think of a better way to get the year going. Join us here!