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?
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.
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.
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.
My journey as a photographer has endured its share of bumps and bruises along the way. Though I had had a few images published and had my first paid gigs a few years before. I had very little knowledge of putting a cohesive portfolio together. I was a hobbyist and an enthusiast. One that had become passionate of the art, but had little grasp of how to get from A to B. Somewhere in my twenties, I picked up a second job working nights at an East Village record store. The owner, himself a published stock photographer became somewhat of a mentor, giving me the green light to build a portfolio from the continuous flow of interesting characters who came in the place. Good, bad or ugly, I was photographing and documenting much of my city life. Many, if not most of the people who took me up on my offer to use them as my instruments of creativity would meet me at a certain time and near place. I was more than happy to share prints with those who agreed to meet up. At the time, I was working with a very basic Nikon film SLR film camera that another boss gave me a few years before. While revisiting some old image files. I found a folder marked “slides”. I recall shooting almost exclusively with slide film at the time. While I don’t remember this particular woman’s name. I recall the session taking place within the lower east side’s Tompkins Square Park. In indulging myself in looking through old files. I’m surprised to find so many keepers.
I’ve been going through some old picture folders (Something I’ve been doing as I have come to realize some aspects of my photography are coming, or have come to an end.) and deciding what to delete and what to save. During this process I’ve found a number of photos that were never edited or just needed a bit of TLC. Going back about ten years. I found some images from a Municipal Waste V.F.W. show. At the time, I knew nothing, other than the name, about the band. Something I grew to love, considering all the times I became a devotee to a band I was seeing and hearing for the first time. Upon coming across images from that particular show. I took a few minutes to make a few adjustments and do a little cropping. Thanks to my newly acquired Lightroom knowledge, I was pretty happy with the results.
Following up on last night’s post “When in Doubt…” I’m coming to the realization that my days as a studio photographer might be over. Being that I spent more than four hours going through old sessions and even considering reacquiring studio lights. I whole heartedly admit to missing experimenting with studio lights, settings, modes and above all, interpreting beauty. Looking back, the road was full of mistakes, anxiety, impatience and an overabundance of caffeine. Still, when I was clicking with a subject, it was magic. Going forward, mainly due to my issues with balance and speech, I will have to find peace and balance. In the end, I hope to learn more about landscape photography and long exposure. Enough so, that I can prove myself to me.
As we returned home from Baltimore, I asked my wife to stop the car just a few feet before entering the garage. If I wasn’t going to ask that she indulge me in another photography detour. I might convince her to stop for just a moment for me to try to capture a moment that I’ve been talking about more and more over the last couple of weeks. Knowing that we were just a few feet from our destination and being somewhat overcome by an enthusiasm equal to that of a just adopted dog on a ride back to his/her new home. She agreed and even left the car to see what all the hub bub was all about. As someone who has become obsessed with night photography and long shutter releases. The walkway that takes you from the front of our condo to the back was all the inspiration I would need.
When thinking of photography and whatever approach I might decide to take in the near future. Much like life itself, I can’t help but think of minimalism. What that actually means? I’m not sure, but living out of a suitcase over the past months with a single camera body and a 50 millimeter lens has been difficult yet educating. Moving to Arlington, I’ve found a renewed interest in photography and documenting my new surroundings. With my newfound interest has come a desire to approach each picture with a new sense of purpose and focus. Asking myself, what attracted me to this image and what message, if any, do I wish to convey? As much as I’ve alway been to telephone lines and cell phone towers. I can’t help but think, with all these connections and gigabytes, we seem to be communicating less. Sure, we talk a lot. But, are we listening?