I’m feeling optimistic. A more casual approach has worked its way into my photography over the past year. Early on I committed to always having a camera within arms reach. Initially I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to capture a breathtaking sunset, but I found lots of new opportunities presenting themselves. For example, we went on a walk after dinner through a wooded park and my daughter spotted that lone lightning bug.
I’ve started searching for a secondary body, something compact but also different in its rendering style. Fuji looks interesting, and might just fit in a jacket pocket, but for now I bring my Nikon with me whenever I leave the house. I found interesting photos in not so interesting places, even in a poorly lit storefront display.
Or in a supermarket parking lot for that matter. I’m not sure if this logic is sound, but if you consider a photo simply light and color then you can divorce yourself from the “quality” of the subject. You still need a subject, but it doesn’t have to be Everest at sunset to create pleasing results.
I still made plenty of intentional outings, but learned that a single visit doesn’t reap a scene’s full potential. I stumbled across this construction site which I visited a number of times throughout the year. At some point the construction will render the scene too chaotic, but for now it has an otherworldly quality.
On these slightly more intentional outing, triggered when the weather looks promising, I decided to look for both wide and tight scenes. I’ve spent long enough focusing solely on 16mm. Breaking down a subject to its component parts can reveal texture and tonality that the greater scene lacks.
On the more deliberate end of things, I took some household events and turned them into studio shoots. Shooting with soft boxes and multiple flashes is a little daunting; not the technical side, but the almost limitless control over light provides a pandora’s box of obsessive compulsive adjustments. I’ll put this style on the back burner for now.
I also found that light can create subjects all by itself. I think this is my favorite of the year and a good place to end. Smiling bowls on a shelf in a department store. Who would have thought. I think I like this more casual approach to things, it puts the fun back into photography. I’m feeling optimistic.