Exploring Motifs in Your Work

Motif (n); a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.

Color, light and form. What do you subconsciously see in most of your work?

As an outdoor photographer it goes without saying, but common themes tend to be natural organisms and various subjects.

Birds, insects, trees, water, weather, habitats, geology, so much to see. The mutual understanding of ecosystem and the relationships between them.

I choose these subjects because they envelop the pure elation and joy I have of hiking out in nature. They are things I enjoy searching for and finding with my eyes and camera.

Birds can be a symbol of freedom, with their bursts of color in the lake water or woodland greenery. They are always on the move and pose a challenge to your patience.

Trees to me have personality, and I seek those out every time when out in the field. The more characteristic trees make for more powerful shots!

Water is a powerful force from a trickle down a stream or a roaring waterfall. These smooth flowing subjects become a key asset to many landscapes I photograph.

These ‘motifs’ are ones that developed over years. Almost every budding photographer begins by shooting a little bit of everything. From this all-encompassing mode of seeing, their eyes are trained and developed to round out to certain qualities they most enjoy photographing.

As much as I could to be an everyman, jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none photographer. This overinflated notion is simply too far flung. I have never wanted that, and so choosing a niche, namely nature, is still large enough to diversify my work from peers. Some choose to specialize while some choose to diversify. You decide.

Consider what your work means to you and what it may mean to others, I share pictures of nature because I love being in it, learning about it and sharing it with others. This cycle is like fuel for my creativity and motivation.

I can only speak for myself and my experiences, and this journey of self-discovery is yours to take in finding what drives you to create.

One last sobering thought is to follow your intuition as it is never wrong, it will guide you to the things in life you want in front of your camera lens.

If you’re ever in doubt, remember this..

You are very well likely one shutter press away from your best photo yet.

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Published by Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a 25 year old photographer located in Beavercreek Ohio, United States. Specializing in wildlife and landscapes both big and small, Ryan has sought to capture many different natural locations throughout the Buckeye State and beyond.

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