Tag Archives: 2018

Having Something to Work On

Baroque Figures, Study No. 4. Ottobeuren, Germany, 2018.

So, a couple of weeks back I picked up my camera (yes, still my trusty old Canon 5D Mark ii) for the first time in, literally, a year.  That’s right, one year without doing any photography.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.

That’s an eternity for me.  Since I became serious about photography back around 2012, it had been a fairly constant presence in my life.  Sure, there were dry spells here and there.  But nothing even close to a year.

I don’t know why I haven’t done any photography this last year.  All I can say is there was no drive, no excitement to do it.  And without that drive and excitement, it’s hard to motivate yourself to get out and photograph.  Making photographs really is a lot of work, you really have to want to be doing it.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really miss doing it either.  I didn’t miss it, but in retrospect, I feel like the quality of my life decreased.  Looking back at that period now, I think I felt like a bit of an automaton, just going through the everyday motions of sleeping, working, socializing, existing, but not much else.

Now, having new images to work on, it feels meaningful.  By meaningful, I feel like it makes my life more meaningful.  I write that, and it sounds pretentious and silly.  And it is – hardly anyone knows who I am as a photographer, nor cares whether I make photographs or not.  Photography is, objectively, probably the least meaningful thing I do.  And yet it feels just the other way around.

Anyway, it’s good to be back to making photographs.  Not the one in this post, of course, this capture was made back in 2018 and edited sometime thereafter.  It’s among a backlogged stock of more or less finished images on my hard drive that I draw on once a month or so to keep this blog going.  Hopefully, at some point in the not to distant future, I’ll be able to put up a few with a 2021 date.

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A Sense of Place

Longs Peak, Low Clouds. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 2018.

I’ve talked with some photographers of landscapes who have told me they need to travel away to distant places in order to be inspired to make photographs.  I’ve also heard it said that a real photographer should be able to stand in a random place and make an interesting photograph based solely on what’s available to see there.  It’s opposite ends of the spectrum.  One view says it’s preferable to be in a special place to make a good photograph, and one says a good photograph should be able to be made anywhere.

There’s merit to both positions, I think.  Myself, I think I lie somewhere in the middle.  My approach generally is to put myself in an interesting place at an interesting time, but to then, as much as possible, have no particular agenda and let the photographic opportunities fall where they may.

In general, though, I do try to imbue my landscape images with a sense of place.  But this is interpretative – the sense of place I’m seeking is what a place means to me personally.  It probably doesn’t take much imagination to connect the subject of this photograph, Longs Peak, to the sense of place of being in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  Sometimes, a sense of place lies with obvious things.  But other things that have connected with me as embodying a sense of place for Colorado include mundane things such as grain silos and railroad cars, both of which are well represented here on the Front Range of Colorado.  If I were to put together a “Colorado” portfolio, it would include mountain peaks, pine trees, railroad tracks, industrial agriculture, and modern architecture, all having nothing particularly in common with one another other than embodying what “Colorado” means to me.

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Like the Germans Do

Death Figure.  Ulmer Muenster, Ulm, Germany, 2018.

Death Figure
Ulmer Muenster, Ulm, Germany, 2018

I came across this cheery fellow in a small alcove of the Ulmer Muenster, a gothic church in Ulm, Germany.  Nobody does gothic like the Germans do.

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