Sea Blue Lens

in·spi·ra·tion

10 Comments

Shhh…photographer at work. I’m thinking.

I’m very glad the weekend is finally here. It seems like it’s been a long week, and I’ve been feeling very tired. Last night I slept for ten hours straight, something that’s almost unheard of for me. I’m looking forward to catching up with my lessons and photojournal posts.

Lesson 5 in the Find Your Eye: Journey of Recognition course asked me to consider which part(s) of the photographic process I’m most inspired by. Intending, seeing, taking, editing, sharing, getting feedback, and so on. I’ve never even considered before that there were steps to the photographic process, never mind breaking down which parts inspire me the most.

I’ve been thinking about this for almost a week now. I’ve realized that what excites and inspires me most about photography is discovery. And capture. I am most excited about photography when I go to a new location, or when returning to a favorite place that I don’t visit often. I’m stimulated by new things I see and feel, and I want to explore and capture them with my camera – both the “thing,” whether it be a single object or an entire landscape, and the feeling it gives me. It’s a way of holding on to “there” even though I have to return to reality here.

Here is an example. These photos were taken on two separate trips to the same place in downeast Maine. On my first visit to this spot, I took dozens of photos of this old smokehouse from all angles, inside and out, in various weathers and times of day. (It’s where I found the spiderweb shown here.)

I also loved this old shed in its field of wildflowers.

A year later, a new discovery: winter storms had further decimated the shed, and I could frame the old smokehouse through what was left of the shed roof.

After a photo shoot, I typically download the photos and take a quick look at them. Then they become a slideshow screensaver on my computer, where I enjoy seeing them every day, and that’s the end of it. However, in this class, I’ve become interested in the other aspects of the photographic process. The  assignments make me photograph with deliberate intention. I’m then reviewing, considering, choosing, and editing. I have to think. And try to express what I’m thinking in writing. All of that is much harder than just snapping away as the mood strikes me. But I’m learning to enjoy those parts, too, more so as I practice and become more skilled at them.

Through this photojournal, I am also sharing my photos publicly for the first time. The response to these posts and my photographs has been encouraging and confidence-building, and has made me think and helped me grow. Receiving feedback is not the reason I take photographs, but I’ve discovered it can be a very rewarding part of the process, and for that I thank all of you!

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10 thoughts on “in·spi·ra·tion

  1. I remember these places! Great shots!

    I think feedback is very important, because art, being about self-expression, doesn’t really become art until somebody else looks at it and reacts. Only then have you expressed yourself.

    It’s like having a thought but not saying it out loud, I suppose. And you should definitely be saying this stuff out loud. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading your post, especially your comment, “It’s a way of holding on to “there” even though I have to return to reality here.” That really resonates with me.

    My favorite photo here is the first one, complete with caption!

  3. Some really good thoughts here, and i do think that it is good to “think”.

  4. It adds a new level of depth to your photography, doesn’t it, when you stop and think about what is going on. I love Jennifer’s comment above “because art, being about self-expression, doesn’t really become art until somebody else looks at it and reacts. Only then have you expressed yourself.” Without you sharing your images and thoughts here, there wouldn’t be this fabulous conversation going on that deepens everyone’s experience who touches it. Thank you for capturing these images, for thinking and considering, and for sharing. It helps us all!

  5. I will second Kat´s comment, it´s very interesting to read other participants entries. I enjoyed reading yours.

  6. Oh what a gorgeous location! I love the last shot where you were able to frame the smokehouse with the dilapidated roof of the shed.

  7. Yes, that first photo made me smile – to imagine you there “thinking hard”!

    I didn’t realize that you are sharing your photos for the first time via your photojournal. Kudos to you on making that leap!

    I agree that it is through the process of sharing that we make new connections, broaden our horizons and learn so much from each other.

  8. Great shots…I especially like the original smokehouse photo. You did great job of analyzing what appeals to you in the photo process.

  9. Such a great point about this class being encouraging and confidence building. I hadn’t thought of that. Love the images you selected to illustrate this photojournal. I love how things change over time, inside and out.

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