The image in this post, “Black Trees, Series 2, No. 2,” was captured on a stormy fall evening just outside of Breckenridge, Colorado. That’s a little over two hours’ drive from my home in Fort Collins, Colorado. After informally surveying my catalog of images, I would say that the vast majority of them were captured within a day’s drive of where I live. Even most of those were taken here in Northern Colorado, probably within only two or three hours of my home.
I’ve observed that a number of photographers have catalogs that don’t really reflect the place where they reside. It seems they must travel to photograph. One photographer friend told me as much, saying essentially that it was hard to stay inspired by the areas around his home – they just were too familiar. Interestingly, if I were to have made a prediction about myself before I really got into photography, I probably would have placed myself into this group. I love to travel, and I frequently see things that capture my photographic interests when I do. So, it’s come as a bit of a surprise to me that most of my images were made so close to home.
Granted, I live in a beautiful place – Colorado, with access to the stunning landscapes both here and in neighboring states. It’s easy to stay inspired. Still, I think there’s more to it than that. Part of it stems from the commitment I made to incorporate photography into my daily life, and not reserve it for special “photography outings” or “photography trips.” When you make photography part of your everyday routine – even if it’s just to keep it actively on your mind and engaged in your thinking – then I think you necessarily end up photographing the environment around where you live, since that’s where most of us spend most of our time. It’s a great way to practice your skills, expand the number of images in your portfolio, and to both explore and be informed by the area where you live.