Getting out of your photographic comfort zone.
I think it's important to get out of your photographic comfort zone once in a while. Most amateur photographers, myself included, start out shooting absolutely everything they see. After a while they focus a bit more on a few subjects, take the occasional foray in unknown territory and find a niche they are comfortable with. For me that's nature and birds.
Recently I decided, together with a friend, to go to a motor cross event in a nearby village. Loads of people, noise, action, quite the opposite of what I usually do.
It took me a few minutes to get used to it all but then all the practice I put into shooting birds in flights started to pay off. I got an almost 90% keeper rate on most of the action.
But then the composition challenge started to hit me. How on earth do you shoot something that will interest other people? Get any sort of emotional reaction?
So I started to look for patterns.
But it's hard! Everything moves all the time.
In the end I decided to put it off as a learning experience. Technical proficiency doesn't mean interesting pictures. It takes some creativity and a good eye for what's going on around you. It also made me realize that I enjoy my niches much more. When I see this:
I get a sense of, well, fulfilment, joy, no matter what you want to call it. This is the kind of photography I want to do and excel at. And, since it's a hobby and not a profession I can do it and I can continue trying to improve myself.