Every moment is a fresh beginning. – T.S Eliot
What we think, we become. – Buddha
To see a gallery of Ocean Lace please click here:
Photographing close to where you live: why do it?
I love do photography and travel. It is a joy to plan a trip, pack the car and go to beautiful venues where the scenery is awe-inspiring and soul invigorating. Few things fuel my passion for photography like a trip to the Grand Canyon or out-of-way-places on the Navajo Nation or Capitol Reef National Park.
So a few years ago I decided to try and bring that level of enthusiasm to where I live on the coast in California. I am the same as anyone, I became immune to the beauty I saw frequently, the ocean, sunsets, rocky coasts, surfers, the beach town where I live. Boy, was I missing out.
What I needed was a fresh beginning, a new way of thinking about where I live.
Being familiar and going to the same locations might lead to boredom for some. I find it makes me work more creatively and think differently about what I’ve seen numerous times before. I found that this has taught me to let go of expectations of what I had planned to photograph.
When I first attempted this way of looking at where I live as a photo trip, I had my beautiful moments. Colors that were unreal. Scenes that brought tears to my eyes. And sometimes there were disappointments when I was uninspired by anything. At times I came home without taking a photograph.
As I progressed in doing this I had significant shifts in how thought about photography and my approach to it.
Looking deeper into locations where I frequently photograph has has allowed me to explore less-than-obvious subject matter. One of my just-completed projects is called ocean lace. I used a technique which I never had done before, a time-lapse of ocean wave movement.
I wasn’t getting anything I found inspiring using my traditional 35 mm camera. So I pulled out my iPhone and started using different apps to photography the beach. By using a timelapse app I found a new ways to create my art.
Going back again and again to the same spots focuses my thinking to find interesting subjects in the landscape, take that raw material home and make my art from it.
I also use my time at home to practice different aspects of my craft. For example, I used a ‘one lens, one camera approach’ for a couple of months to learn what it was like to use minimal gear. This allowed me to concentrate on really seeing subject matter, rather than worrying about which lens I was going to use. Another challenge was how to use a tripod in different situations. I learned how to quickly adjust tripod height without really needing to think about it. That comes in handy during certain time sensitive situations.
Working like this at my own pace in a familiar environment allows me mastery of what I was pursing and has made me a better, consistent photographer.
Being familiar and going to the same locations might lead to boredom for some. I find it makes me work more creatively and think differently about what I’ve seen numerous times before. I found that this has taught me to let go of expectations of what I had planned to photograph
I now understand I don’t need a photo trip to pursue my photographic art. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you travel, a fresh perspective can give you an endless supply of subject matter.
There is a symbiotic relationship in this approach:s what I do at home benefits me when I travel and what I experience while traveling while enriches my local photography.
To see a gallery of Ocean Lace images, please click here: