I think these photos of the flowers out front of my apartment are proof. And I felt the need to post something because I haven’t posted anything in a while and I need a creative spark. Maybe spring will be just that.
This blog/website was supposed to kick start my creativity. It hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped, but I haven’t completely failed. Basically, other than work and the occasional blog post, creativity has been photography. And that has been a battle of fits and starts.
Lately, other things have demanded my attention. For one, running, which I’m starting to do on a more regular basis. Then there’s work and family and friends. It’s all good, so I’m not going to fret that I’m not necessarily being as creative as I want.
I have managed to maintain my 365 photo project, though that has totally taken a backseat to everything lately. Most of my photos this week have been quick shots taken on my iPhone for some lame social media post or another. Still, I’m 94 days into this latest project. The last time I tried, in 2016, I made it 128 days. Like this time, there are some good photos and some bad photos. I think I’ve done a better job this time around, but still, sometimes I’ve been lazy about it.
Hopefully, I’ll keep this going and I’ll continue to step out of my comfort zone. That’s the whole point of this, after all.
When I’m looking for motivation and consuming content, rather than creating it, I spend a lot of time searching the internet for street photography. I have watched countless videos where photographers give a point of view look at how they shoot street. My google search history is full of terms like, “Portland, Maine & street photography.”
The thing I haven’t done is go out make some street photography.
A few times I’ve left the house with the intention of walking the streets of Portland to shoot and back out because I feel self conscious about walking around the city taking pictures. I’m worried about people looking at the guy with the camera, wondering why he is taking pictures and he better not be taking pictures of me. Social anxiety and fear hold me back a lot, I’m working on it with varying degrees of success.
I usually head out to take photos of landscapes or sunsets or cityscapes. I did spend a little time a couple months ago shooting in Portland, but that was more of a night photography trip than it was a street photography trip.
Today, I forced myself out to take some street photos. I wasn’t out there long, maybe 30 minutes, and I felt really self conscious the entire time. But I did get a few photos and I learned a few things along the way. Mostly I learned to pay more attention to my composition, especially the lines in the photos, and not to rush so much.
Hopefully, today will also be a motivator to get out and shoot my street. Other than sports, I think street photography is my favorite type of photography. It’s such a great way to tell the story of a city and the people in that city. And more than anything, my goal in creativity is to tell stories.
I don’t know that I told any stories today, but hopefully it was just a start. Today was about getting out the door to shoot and to try to learn a little bit. In that regard, I think it was a success.
When work slows down after a busy season, everyone tries to take a little time off. When work slowed down just in time for my birthday, I was ready for a little time off.
I didn’t make any plans for this vacation, a nice stretch of nine days off, I just wanted to have some time to take it easy, and maybe catch up with family and friends. In that sense, vacation has been a success.
I also made a point to try to get out of the house with my camera and shoot some photos. I’ve met that goal with varying degrees of success. At least twice this week I have hopped in the car with the express purpose of taking pictures.
At the start of my time off, I took a trip to Hadlock Field and Loring Memorial Park to shoot the stadium and the sunset. Sunday, I took my camera to lunch with my family and snapped a couple shots, and Tuesday I went on a lighthouse tour. Well, I only went to two lighthouses – Portland Head Light and Bug Light Park.
Turns out, the sunset turned the Portland skyline this amazing red, orange, blue mix. I spent 30-45 minutes, if not an hour, trying to capture it. I can’t wait to go back, when I’m better prepared (I need a tripod and a longer lens to start) and try to capture it again.
For the most part, this vacation has been a success. I’ve had some fun and created some images I’m happy with. I think I’ve learned a few things as well, which is really the most important thing about this “create every day” journey.
Earlier this week, I ran past Hadlock Field in Portland. I stopped jogging and paused my Garmin, spending a second to look at the stadium and dream of warm summer nights of baseball.
The statue of the team’s mascot, Slugger, in front of the stadium holds a sign. On that day it read, “Think Spring. Opening day is 32 days away.”
We got 18 inches of snow over the next two days.
I drove over to Hadlock Field today because I thought it would be a fun image to make of that sign in front of the stadium surrounded by snow. Plus, I love baseball stadiums (I have a blog about that, too).
There wasn’t a ton of snow in front of the stadium, so I didn’t exactly nail the image I wanted. Still, it was fun to be at the stadium, dreaming of those warm summer nights, and making images.
On the walk back to my car, the sky started to turn to a glorious mixture of blue and pink and red. I decided then to find a spot to try to capture those colors. The sky was impressive, my ability to capture it was a mixed bag.
When I interviewed for my first journalism job after I graduated from college, this spot was the home of a newspaper that was first published in 1825. Now, 20 years after my first full-time job in the business, it is home to a bank, a Target, a Five Guys and all kinds of other bullshit.
Also, I need to work harder on my 365 photo project and my “create every day project.” Work and life has gotten into the way, but I need to do better than this.