Imagine yourself sitting at a bar with nothing to drink, no bartender to serve you, and no alcohol to serve. That was me today at Baltimore’s Cross Street Market. Kind of cool. Don’t you think?
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.
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’ve made a lot of positive changes to my life. Starting my day by watching the sun rise before I start my first of two daily workouts is one. Though we haven’t had many sunny mornings in recent weeks, my will to get out and start my day with some fresh air is strong. Here’s to starting the day on a good note.
Before returning home the other night, we stopped about a block from Dolly Madison Blvd. to capture the light coming off the buildings across the way. Throughout the freezing winter, I’ve collected countless ideas and places where I’d like to experiment with night photography and long exposures. With the warmth of Spring upon us and my wife’s willingness to stand idle, I was left to my own devices.
Now that the temperature is rising. I’m looking forward to visiting the many places I’ve mapped out to take pictures. For now, though. I’m staying close and shooting what I can. In my prior post, I went out a bit too late to catch the rush hour traffic that passes our building each night. It’s been a while since I’ve delved into long exposures and night scapes. I’m looking forward to the days, weeks, and months to put those ideas to work.
Last night was the first in recent memory when snow didn’t blanket the earth and, the temperatures raised above freezing. Not that I don’t care for an arctic climate. It’s just that long exposures require a bit of waiting. Something I find difficult when every inch of my body is trembling and my fingertips are giving the rest of me dirty looks. Though I might have picked a bad time and place to capture the lights of passing vehicles, it felt good to step out and capture some long exposures.
As of late, I’ve been doing my best to reach out to long-time friends and loved ones. With the advent of social media, many of us, myself included, have overlooked the importance and joy of hearing a friend’s voice over the telephone or opening a handwritten note or card from someone you once shared frequent exchanges with. Just imagine if one of your hundreds of friends on Facebook ever got a call from you. Don’t worry. You’ll be struck by lightning while accepting your lottery win before that ever happens.
No matter how much time has passed, there will always be a place in our hearts for friends, family and loved ones — sharing memories and getting updates on their current or recent doings. In contrast, exploring a new way to see one another. Although, those first words, “Hey …, this is …” might take a little courage. There is almost always a reward on the other end of the line.
It’s become quite evident that art is quite conducive to the mental health of others. Whether you’re creating art or witnessing it. The overall benefits are overwhelmingly positive. After stopping and taking in the creativity of Baltimore’a Graffiti Alley. I thanked my wife for always nourishing my soul by supporting and fueling my love of creativity.
Looking back, it all started as a young child and my Mom. She was a secretary at a rather large advertising company. Though she never made much money. She was always bringing home art and movie posters. Some of which I still have today. On the days I visited her at work. I’d find myself in the art room watching illustrators bring new characters and ideas to life.
I often look back at those times and my Mother’s influence as the gateway drug that inspired my long love affair with art, photography and the people who create it. Over the years, it’s help me process, heal and strive to create. Let art be your muse, the shoulder to lean on and that big blue pill that cures all.