Last weekend I went on a photo walk with my friend Susan. We visited the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, a historic saltwater farm on the coast of southern Maine. It’s a beautiful property that, shortly after sunrise on a Sunday morning, we had all to ourselves. Light frost covered the ground and lingered in the shade, but soon vanished wherever the sun touched.
At first, I found myself so caught up in just being there that I kept forgetting to take photographs. I just walked around, looking, breathing, occasionally snapping the shutter.
We “worked” the old farmhouse and barn, a field full of weeds, and a frost-covered rail fence.
We followed a path that skirted a marsh and led to the beach.
On the way back, we detoured along a boardwalk that passed through a wood, trees winter-bare against the sky.
It was fun to be out with a friend on a beautiful day, companionably each doing our own thing. I think we both learned things about our own photography. It was interesting to observe how we could stand practically side-by-side yet be photographing very different subjects. Or be photographing the same subject, but in very different ways. Susan was captivated by things I didn’t even notice, and vice versa.
It was a great day! Then…I went home and downloaded my pictures. And I didn’t like them. Any of them. At all. I had a sense of “been there, done that” too many times before. It might have been a new place, but they felt like the same old images.
Several days later, the immediacy of the experience having passed, I was able to review them again, weed out the obvious mistakes, pick out a few favorites, and edit them to some satisfaction. The lesson learned from that is to cut myself some slack, wait a bit, and don’t make too-hasty judgements.
Still . . . I really do want to figure out a fresh approach to my old familiar subjects. I love grasses, trees, flowers, vistas, water. I will continue to photograph them, but I want to seek out new angles and perspectives, something to make them special. Something that better captures what I felt that drew me to the subject in the first place.
To do that, I need to get out more. Shoot more. Get more comfortable with my camera. Practice, practice, practice! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to it.