In a recent exchange with a long time friend. The words “I just want to be happy.”impacted me more than anything they had said during our long, often embattled, friendship. Those five words summed up the ultimate goal we should all reach for. For me personally, creativity and, to be more specific, photography are integral in being, and remaining happy. As photography has gone from a hobby to a job, and back to a hobby. I still hope to learn and grow. While I no longer think of things in terms of competition or being the best. (Believe me. I never came remotely close.) I hope to achieve things that never seemed possible. In the end, photography is one of the most important keys to my happiness.
Every night around 10:00 I retreat to what is essentially, the record room. Basically, it’s my office where I have my work desk and the forever growing record and CD collection. As of late, I’ve been listening to more jazz. With a rather small amount of Jazz amongst my vinyl collection. The idea of revisiting what I do have is one of the more attainable goals on my list. So there I was with my Chet Baker record practicing some tai-chi just hours before putting a rather trying day behind me. Looking back to my early twenties where I worked for a small Jazz label and floating Jazz sponsor. Chet was the artist whose horn playing really put the hooks in me. With my first Jazz album being Baker’s ‘My Funny Valentine.’ With all the records I have. I’m pretty sure I will never be able to listen to them all. For the time being, though, sitting down and listening to an album in its entirety is beyond rewarding.
When I came across this picture of my Mom and me earlier today, it brought back a flood of memories. Many of what a tight unit my Mother and I made. As we get older, we often forget the impact our Mothers have had on the people we are today. How, through kindness and unconditional love, they made us strong. Preparing us for the long road ahead. As we grow, it’s important to remember the sacrifices and selflessness they exercised. Though my Mom could be tough. She always made an effort to shield me from any pain that would come from learning the hard way. Thanks Mom. Your sacrifices have never gone unnoticed.
Since moving to Virginia, we’ve surprisingly made more trips and visits to Baltimore than D.C. or anywhere else. Yesterday we spent the day in an area called Fells Point. It’s a beautiful area on the Inner Harbor. We enjoyed delicious food, charming shops while avoiding a number of atrocious cover acts. It’s where I took this image and learned that my current walker is no match to the surrounding cobblestone streets.
For me personally, there is nothing quite as inspiring as photographing a dawn or dusk. I also love heading out with my gear during the dead of night. It’s a time where the air smells fresh and solitude often makes an appearance. While it’s never easy to leave without a curious, yet demanding, “Where are you going?” from your better half. It’s always rewarding.
Heading out, I reminded myself that I din’t want to set up in the same spot or take the same photographs I did the day before. Although I was happy with the results. I had no intention of repeating my actions, whether it be by documenting the same subject matter or staying safe by depending on the same settings. With little or no traffic passing. I looked toward the street lights and that coming from the buildings lobby to capture this image. By day two of my little experiment, I can’t help but be happy with the results of getting up early, experimenting with long exposures and enjoying the little moments of solitude.
As the weather gets warmer I hope to further explore my love for night photography, long exposure and the endless search for light. The image below was taken on Dolly Madison Blvd. at around 8:30 pm. There wasn’t nearly enough back and fourth traffic, but I really enjoyed the moment and the lights coming from the buildings across the blvd. I’m quickly learning that I enjoy things when I’m not worried about mistakes.
I feel very lucky to have had the privilege to work with so many incredible muses. Ones who brought out the best in me. Often helping me to develop and visualize my artistic goals. No matter how awful or uneducated my ideas may have, and may still be. These people nourished whatever artistic or photographic ideas I might have had. Even comforting me when they didn’t produce the best results. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize that this kind of chemistry and artistic vision will, most likely, never happen again. Still, I remain forever grateful to have had the opportunity to explore my creative ideas and and quench the thirst that often comes with them.
Below is an image I took outside our condo. As a born and bred New Yorker, I immediately thought of the cities countless bike racks. Having never seen a bike locked to it. I’ll assume it’s a sculpture. With some serious down time, I feel my immediate surroundings are providing little inspiration. With time on my hands and an itch to get out there and shoot. I’ve decided to take some steps to get back to the basics of focusing and composing. Here’s to the weekend.
I was digging through some old folders with the intention of deleting images and sessions that either have’t held up over the years or never served their original purpose. When I came upon this image, I paused and thinking the old me would’ve immediately deleted it, and how the current me was grateful that I didn’t. Though, in all likelihood, the blur and silhouette were caused by my studio lights not firing correctly. As I found myself revisiting this shoot, I was reminded how some of my mistakes, or hat of my gear, have turned out to be favorites.