This winter, we have been making a more concerted effort to get out for some photography day-trips. We realized that we needed a project to focus our efforts. To that end, we assigned ourselves a project to create a photo book about hiking the Spring Mountains, with particular focus on Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area, which is a 30 minute drive from Las Vegas. I don’t know if the book will ever come to fruition, but it has been a good motivator to get us out hiking.
Finding the motivation to get out for some photography on the weekends can be a little difficult. We have always enjoyed hiking on the weekends. It helps clear our brains and the fresh air and exercise feel great. However, the extra challenge of planning some photography and getting out early for sunrise (or staying out late for sunset) can be a bit of a psychological and logistical hurdle. By the time we finish a five day work week at our “paying” jobs, we often find it difficult to scrape up the energy and brain-power to concentrate on our creative hobby. Weekends can also mean accomplishing a few of the chores that don’t get done during the week. A big part of the challenge is thinking up new places to hike that have attractive photo opportunities. Selecting a long-term project, like the Red Rock Book, creates focus for our hiking and photography, so it takes a lot less mental energy to get us out there with the cameras.
We recently changed the knapsacks that we use to carry our photography gear. We switched to Mindshift Rotational-180 Horizon backpacks. Most of the gear that we need for a day trip is all packed in the bags. We can literally grab our packs and a couple of bottles of water and go. Of course it still requires that we charge the batteries and make sure that we have memory cards ready and in the cameras. However, we make a habit of doing that after we return from each day of photography.
Having a specific set of photographic goals and photo kit that is ready to grab-and-go helps us to overcoming the psychological and logistical hurdles. We have found that we have a better attitude about getting out to capture great images.