Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Despair. Keep Shooting. ~ Telephoto Tues.

"Steel & Steam"

You feel like packing it in. You feel like your passion is growing stale. Everyone seems to be doing it better, with better gear, in better locations, for better money. The dreamer in you feels suffocated. The enthusiast within is limp with worry. The practical personality in your head says, "lets just switch to scrapbooking and be done with it."

Scrapbooking? What? (No disrespect to scrappers everywhere. It's a very serious calling I know.)

If you're anything like me, you've been there. It's not easy finding your particular vein of photography, your style, what you'll bring to the table that hasn't already been done, and most importantly, why and when it'll come together for you. And you want it so badly too. But some days it's like fighting your way through a thick fog. On a roller coaster. After having too many chili dogs. Okay, forget that last part. If you can.

My point... all this really means is that it's time to make the process, or your journey on the roller coaster in the fog, count. Make "now" count for something. Something that will feed into your final destination when you finally decide on where you want to end up. Sounds simple. Sounds cliche. But I've seen it transform my own attitude towards my photography. Even just recently. So don't despair. Keep shooting.

The image above was the result of a desperate jaunt at the north end of the city. If it seems that I've been in an industrial type photo groove lately, you'd be right. I forgot how much I love it. Grit. Smokestacks filtering light on the street below. Odd colors. Rampant decay. Layers of steel. The incessant puffs of steam no matter where you look. I had been bemoaning the fact that I haven't had to work on a location recently. That I wasn't breaking any new ground with any new skills. I was doing a good job of talking myself right into the first seat on the roller coaster in the middle of a hail storm, never mind the fog. What brought the sun back out? What kept me from trading the Nikon for some scrapbooking lessons? I kept shooting. Enjoyed the process only. And this was one of the shots from what I thought would be an exercise in futility. It won't be every body's cup of tea, but that's not the point of the image. The point is realizing photography equals discovery. Now I have a little bit better idea of where I'm headed. And you will too.

I'm not sure who this post is for. I just felt like this was a good time for this benign ramble. That there might be others like me who need to know this happens to everyone. So don't despair. Until you know where you want to go with all of this, keep shooting. The act of taking photographs will propel you towards the right destination for you, whether it feels like it or not. Leave the scrapbooking to the pros.

Tomorrow, join me for Part II... "How To Enjoy the Process". I'm off to find me a decent chili dog.

Thanks, and have a good one gang!  


  1. Your right I do like this one. Love all the vertical lines and interesting colors and textures. I wish there was a bit more steam, but that is a bit out of your control..great post today too. I know at times I feel the same way. I have an idea for this photo and will send you an email on it.

  2. Awesome, thanks Dave! Yeah, the steam wasn't overly impressive that day ;) What can you do. I've gotten lots of emails about this post, many people who have struggled at some point or other... it's why the photography community at large is such a generous one, everyone relates somehow so matter what...