Why being unable to lift my camera doesn’t mean I can’t take photos.

So last week the unthinkable happened. I got Calcific tendinitis in my shoulder. It is unthinkable for two reasons; A) You won’t think of something you have never heard of. B) It means complete loss of movement in my right arm. This was a real kick in the something sensitive as it also means I cannot hold my camera. I had to cancel photoshoots, personal projects and trips to destinations specifically to shoot street.

For those of you who care to know what Calcific tendinitis is, it is a build-up of calcium deposits that attach to the tendons. In my case it is on my rotator cuff, resulting is extreme pain and loss of mobility…how exciting. The frustrating part is the specialist was unable to tell me how long I would be like this for, only suggesting it could be weeks or months.

In result of this I went into little child mode and sulked at home. Then I went in to full adult mode and drank at home.

Once the debris of empty bottles of whiskey and take away boxes got too much, I decided that enough was enough and it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself. Whilst it was true I could not lift my camera, it did not mean I could not take photos.

My photographic energy has always leaned towards street and portrait. I love roaming with my camera and shooting what is around me, hoping I can get a shot that is both interesting and meaningful. I am just as happy having that interaction with someone, whether they are a model or just someone wanting a nice photo of themselves. These are the things within the craft that make me buzz. They give me that intense “oh god I love photographer” kind of feeling.

What I am less familiar with, in passion, experience and skill, is landscape photography. Sure I can appreciate a good landscape and when I have my camera I am happy to take the shot if I see it. I just haven’t taken the time to really grasp the art of what differentiates a snap shot to a creative image that sells both a story and aesthetic reward. With this in mind I realised this was the perfect opportunity to improve the craft of landscape photography and still ensure I was connected to photography in some form.

I can still use one arm, so I went out and bought a tripod, some ND filters and a shutter release. I didn’t want to go spending crazy, so I got a basic tripod and a Zomei 10 stop ND filter. 

One thing I am a stickler about is doing my best not to imitate other people’s work. Now, I live in London which has a wealth of wonderful landscape opportunities but how many people have shot Big Ben at river level right in front of the bridge? Too many, that’s how many. So I am going to be on the lookout for some not so popular destinations to practise the art of landscape photography. Please feel free to suggest some if you know of any. If not, get ready for my shots of Big Ben :P

So I may be temporarily one armed but it is not the end of the world. What first felt like I could no longer shoot quickly became about changing the perspective on how and what I shoot.

I will leave you with a couple of landscapes I have taken already, I hope you like them.

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