The Sad Story of The Lazy Photographer

There once was this guy, who loved photographs and photography, and he began taking his own photos when he was 8 years old. Even at an early age, he seemed to have an eye for interesting subjects and content, and a talent for getting a well framed image in sharp focus.

As he got older, he continued to take photos, and as his cameras got better and more advanced, he got better at taking better quality photos, as he shot lots of frames and his skills improved with many hours of practice.

For an amateur, he was really doing quite well with his photography, and on the way to doing even better.

But then it happened… The amateur photographer met and fell in love with a wonderful woman, who was also a professional photographer, and working as a photo editor. Now you might think that after joining together with his much more experienced and skilled professional photographer lover, that the amateur photographer would learn a great deal from her, and he would become a much better photographer.

But instead, he got lazy… While it’s true that he loved her dearly and treated her like a Queen, he also got into the bad habit of letting her take all the photos when they went places together. He figured that since she was the pro, that she should take their photos, since she was clearly the better photographer. And… there was also this little voice in his head, which he should have never listened to, which said:

‘Photography is cool, but it’s also hard work, and concentrating on taking good photos takes some of the fun out of the overall experience of being in cool places and doing fun things – So let her do the work and take the photos, while you relax and enjoy being in the bigger picture of being there in person, and taking it all in without the distractions of taking pictures.’

So the promising amateur photographer let his professional photographer lover take most of the photos when they were together, and he ended up taking far fewer photos of his own. He let himself get lazy, and eventually he got lazy enough to become a former amateur photographer. And this was an unfortunate development.

There were times when his inspiration would return, and he would go on a binge of photographic activity. His photos were approaching the level of good quality work again, but then he’d lose his momentum and go back to being lazy, as he let the woman who was now his wife, take most of their photos.

His marriage thrived, since fortunately he wasn’t lazy in other ways, and he truly adored his wife. He held up his end of the bargain to maintain a loving and happy relationship, and he worked hard to give them a good life together.

But as the years passed, his own photography remained seldom practiced and sporadic. And this is where I stop writing in the third person and get to the point.

In an effort to no longer be a lazy and inactive amateur photographer, I want to post some of my own favorite photographs here, and maybe this will inspire me to get off my butt and take pictures again on a consistent and disciplined basis. Maybe I’ll become a good amateur photographer again, and I’ll create new and better photographs, the way that I used to do, before I turned lazy.

My photo selection here won’t be based only on images with the very best technical quality, but also on photos that have some genuine meaning for me, as a part of my life experience.

Sunset on the Florida Keys – 1987

This photo is a happy accident – rather than a demonstration of my photographic ability. I was trying to set up a photo of the bird perched on the piling, and my 50mm lens SLR film camera was set on manual. But before I could adjust any settings on my camera, the bird began to take off. So I just aimed, framed, and clicked the shutter without even focusing, and this was the end result. I got very lucky. Lol :-)

photo

Dry Tall Grass and Cattail Fire – Dedham, MA – 1983

Shot this with a very simple point and shoot 110 automatic. Technically not very good, but still dramatic, and to get close enough I had to take some risk because the fire was racing towards me. The guys from the fire dept were yelling at me to get the hell outta there, which I did, and fast – right after I clicked the shutter.

photo

Rock Climber – Cannon Cliffs, New Hampshire, 1983

Another 110 auto point and shoot, and like the previous photo, not technically very good. But I still like it, and it brings back memories of the dangerous and steep bushwhack climb I made to get up to where the rock climbers were. The view here is about 2,000 feet down.

Man, Woman, and Dachshund – Provincetown, MA – 2003 

Couple #2 – Provincetown, MA – 2003

Couple #3 – Provincetown, MA – 2003

The point to the three photos of couples here, is that these people were complete and total strangers that I approached on the street. To take their pictures, I had to ask for their permission and to gain their trust, enough so that they would look relaxed and happy. I think I succeeded, and this is not an easy thing to do. I promised them I wouldn’t use their photos commercially, but that I would post them online. I also e-mailed them their photos.

Hawaiian Sunset – 2002

I’ve taken a lot of photos of sunsets through the years, but this one is easily my best. It was not a hard shot to take because this was the scene before us, just as it looks here. I just checked my settings, focused and clicked the shutter. A digital shot, but no software photo editing at all. Definitely a good example of being in the right place at the right time…

View From Volcanic Sea Mount – Hawaii, 2002

Another example of being in the right place at the right time.

Approaching Rain Squall, Hawaii – 2002

The squall was moving towards me very fast. I had just enough time to shoot and bag my camera before getting drenched.

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Candle Rainbow – Harpswell, Maine – 2005

I like this one, because although a digital photo, there is no Photo Shop involved. The sun was shining through a prism hanging in our cabin window, to create the spectrum rainbow in the corner of the room. I added the lit candle and centered it beneath the rainbow.

Fenway Park – Boston, MA – 1999

This is only a fair to good photo of Fenway, and I’ve seen so many others that are so much better. The only credit I’ll take, is that it was taken with a 50mm lens, and no zoom, so I had to get in an area that was off limits to the public and get the shot before Fenway Park security made me leave. This is also the only photograph that I’ve ever been paid for to be used commercially. It’s in an online travel guide called Schmap Boston Guide. Here’s the link: http://boston.schmap.com/stadiums/fenway_park?pn=161

They found it on my Flickr page and offered me $50.00 for it. I honestly was surprised that they wanted it, but I wasn’t going to argue with them about it. Lol

Rock ‘n Roll – Boston, MA – 1986

Taken at a club called “The Channel” of the heavy metal band “Mass”. Their long ago claim to fame was one song that got some airplay on Boston Rock FM radio. The girlfriend of the bass player worked in the same office I did, and since she knew I was into photography, she asked me to take photos of the band’s next gig. They were hoping to make an album and might have wanted to use some of my photos for the album cover. But the album never got made, and end of story…

My Wife’s Flower Garden – 2002

First digital photo I ever took. I fell in love with digital photography at first sight – literally.

Black Stockings – 1985

I was between my former and current marriages, and a single guy at the time – No further comment, except to say this is not my current wife, because I love her, and I am not suicidal.

Black Stockings Two – 1985

You can all relax now, because there won’t be any more photos like this, in this post.

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Hawaiian Waterfall of Near Fatal Fall – Hawaii, 2002

Not an exceptional photo – which is why it would have been all the more ridiculous if it became the last photo I ever took. I was trying to work a difficult camera angle for the next shot after this one, when I slipped and started to fall. The only thing that stopped me from falling to certain death below, was grabbing onto some small bush roots, and fighting for my life to pull my way back up onto a rock where I was finally safe again. Before that, I really thought I was going to die.

The Boys in P-Town, Provincetown, MA – 1997

Taken during the Provincetown Halloween parade.

Halibut Point Quarry – Gloucester, MA – 2008

Very subtle, but I like it a lot, and I’ve gotten some compliments on it from other Flickr photographers.

photo

A Mighty Fine Moose – North Conway, New Hampshire, 2006

He let me get quite close. I hope he survived hunting season.

Doing What He Loves to Do the Most – Dedham, MA, 2007

Our dog Bo – Ultimate water dog and stick retriever. When he was in his prime, he’d do this until either we or he dropped from exhaustion, if we let him keep going.

Barnacles – Halibut Point, Gloucester, MA – 2008

Digital macro shot that I like.

 

Matching Billboards – Boston, MA – 1999

Looks like a snag from the internet, but it’s mine. I was driving a busy Boston street when I saw these two billboards together, and I immediately pulled over ASAP so I could take this photo.

 

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun! – Dedham, MA – 2005

Our dog Bo and a buddy cavorting with joy on a snowy trail.

Fall in Wilson Mountain Reservation, Dedham, MA – 2010

Wilson Mountain Reservation is this great wooded area with lots of glacial rock falls, ledges, streams, and ponds. It has a network of trails, it’s a great place to take our dog, and my wife and I love it. It’s only a 20 minute drive away from where we live, and when we hike there, it feels like being in a smaller scaled version of the wilds of Northern New Hampshire.

My Love – Cambridge, MA – 1992

Taken when we’d been married less than a year. We were on a park bench, and she was lying down with her head and shoulders resting on my lap. I thought my 50mm lens SLR film camera was too close to get this shot in focus, but it worked, and became one of my all time favorite photographs that I’ve taken of my wife.

Jean and Bo Go Sailing – Casco Bay, Maine – 2007

My wife and our dog Bo enjoying the summer sea breeze from a sailboat.

Oheo Lehua Flower in Kilauea Iki Crater – Hawaii, 2002

The crater was almost a complete dark grey/black volcanic wasteland, but this was one of the few plants that could still grow there.

Spooked Cat and Spiked Grass – Provincetown, MA – 2003

I’ve just always really liked this one.

Storefront Window Reflection Shot – Cambridge, MA – 1983

So many photographers take these, that it’s almost a photography cliche’, but I think this one came out very well, because there is a lot going on in there, and many years later I still think it looks very surreal.

End of show – Now I’ve got to go out there with my camera and get back into this photography thing again, and come back with some new work.

About Chris Sheridan

I’m a 56 year old guy who is young (and immature) at heart, and I love humor and laughter. Married for 22 years, but still enjoy all the glories of womanhood everywhere, even while dedicated to one woman only - and I hope my wife never finds out about her!
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11 Responses to The Sad Story of The Lazy Photographer

  1. Elyse says:

    Those were terrific Chris! I enjoyed the tour.

  2. Elliot says:

    Nice tour Chris, I’m not an expert photographer myself but I like to take pictures, and much like this, from time to time, some good ones come out. I would say with the digital cameras these days, it is much easier to get a better shot, but for the most part, takes real talent to get great ones. Well consistently anyway.

    • Thanks for taking the tour Elliot, and I appreciate it. Digital photography is much easier in ways and harder in others. The thing I love the most about digital, is being able to see your image immediately on your camera, even if in a smaller size, rather than shooting blind with film and not knowing what you’ve got until you get it developed. With digital, you often know if a shot is no good right away, and you can just take it again, unless your subject is quickly moving and changing.

      On the other hand, with the more advanced digital cameras, they can be very complex and complicated, and it can be difficult to get a good working knowledge of all the camera’s capabilities. Especially if you are trying to learn how to shoot the digital version of manual, so you have more control over the image as it’s taken, rather than using an auto-setting, that while easy to use, sometimes won’t allow you to create the type of image you want. Of course with digital, there’s many ways to edit and change an image after it’s taken, with photo-editing software.

      Thanks again, and good luck with your own photography!

  3. GOF says:

    I don’t know where to start….so many good photographs. You sound a little like me…I was interested in photography as a youngster, but these days it is Mrs GOF who is the avid photographer and I just take an occasional snapshot for my blog.

    I especially liked the two photographs of Hawaii……oh and I know you will want me to like the stocking photographs too. I do appreciate the artistic endeavour which you and model put into those pictures.

    • Thanks for liking my photographs, GOF. Hey, that’s funny! You went ahead and let the Mrs. do the heavy photographic lifting too? Lol – We’re confirming some of the ladies’ long held suspicions about us guys, and the way we operate, GOF. But I’m not gonna sweat it, cause I know that they won’t be surprised, cause they already knew our M.O. anyway. But sometimes they do get mad when we get too obvious about it, so maybe we should still employ some subtlety with regard to certain tactics and strategies… ;-)

      Oh, and yes, of course I want you to like and appreciate the stocking photos… You’re a most generous host in this particular regard when I visit your blog, so I want to reciprocate when you visit here. That’s just good manners for our mutual enjoyment of bad behavior! LOL ;-)

  4. Wonderful post! Love the photography – and looking forward to seeing more. I know what you mean about digital. At first, about a decade ago, I didn’t like it so much. Probably because the affordable cameras were not that great. But now… OMG! I never stop clicking away!

    And I almost ALWAYS include a reflection of myself in all my photo “journey’s.” Kind of like a personal signature or touch since I am not in any of the other photos.

    • Thank you Michelle! :-) Coming from you, it really means a lot to me, because I really admire your photography. Yeah, the capabilities of the affordable digital SLR cameras available today really are amazing. I really appreciate you viewing my work, and also your comments and compliments. I want to get back to the point where you are now, so I’m also out there “clicking away!” Thanks again for your input and inspiration! :-)

      • Oh, pish-tosh… I’m an amateur. Cameras have just made it easier… and I’m a whiz in Photoshop! ;)

        • Yeah? Well then I say “double pish-tosh!” to your single pish-tosh! Cause no matter what you say, I know what I see, and I really like it! (still talkin’ photography here… although you’re easy on my eyes too, and how do you feel about wearing black stockings? kidding! ;-) lol)

          Even if today’s cameras may have made photography easier, no one consistently gets high quality images without talent, skill, and an artistic eye.

          I think that you qualify, and you can’t convince me otherwise, so just save your keystrokes, cause your words will only fall on deaf eyes! (think I just mangled my metaphor here, but I know you can still hear my point, and maybe you’ll see it too! lol)

          Photoshop? Great tool that I know almost nothing about. It would probably help if I actually go out and buy the latest version, since my original photoshop program no longer works, and hasn’t for some time now.

          It would probably help much more, if I get out my camera, recharge the battery, and then actually take some photos!

          Once again, it’s that all important action step! Lol ;-)

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