So… I forgot how little time and energy you have for photography on an international business trip. Combine jet lag and long working days and commute and eating and there is not too much left over! I’m glad I have a weekend here to really explore. In the meantime, you can enjoy a few images of my commute home. It’s great to ride a subway again, especially with the iPhone. No one even gives you a second glance.
What is your idea of “travel?”
Maybe it’s fun, seeking experiences that help you enjoy the moment.
Maybe it’s relaxation, sitting with your feet up looking at a beautiful view.
Maybe it’s exploration, experiencing something new and different.
For me, “travel” is learning. There is something about being out of my usual environment and in different places that opens me to new things. I’m more aware and observant of my surroundings and of myself. Travel brings moments of fun, relaxation and exploration, but it also brings moments of insight and clarity. Especially travelling alone, where you don’t have someone to turn to every moment of the day. I had to become comfortable with myself.
I’m always seeking to understand new things, to grow and expand my point of view. Maybe that’s why travel has become so important to me — the learning. Maybe that’s why this trip was so important to me… It wasn’t just about teaching the on location workshops and connecting with friends. It was about connecting with myself, my art and exploring what comes next. I didn’t expect or seek those things, but they came along the way.
Some of the shifts will take a while to make themselves known. But there were some shifts that were more obvious, because they were visible in my photographs. Instead of always seeking the empty view within the frame, I started to capture people. Not very many of my images included people, but more of them did than ever before. And, funny thing, these images are the ones that stuck in my mind the most. I had to go through my photographs and find them first. Share them first.
Part of me wonders why and part of me knows to just go with it. It will all become clear with time.
Every once in a while, you get to try something completely, totally new. While in Colorado, I had the opportunity to take photos of a band my brother is in, Cedar Avenue Blues Band or CABB for short. (My brother is the drummer, the tall one on the left, in the blue shirt.)
We didn’t have much time together, and I didn’t have time to scout a location, so I asked them to pick one. They worked it out with the Yellow Cab company to use their lot. We could wander around and take photos anywhere, but nothing would be moved for us. We met in the early evening, as the sun was lowering in the sky. It was hotter than heck and they were wearing these nice clothes.
Can we talk about uncomfortable? I’m usually not a people photographer. Now I had four adults I had to make simultaneously look good. I had a location with lots of distracting background, and light that was changing rapidly. Thank goodness, they were a great group to work with. As we moved around the lot, everyone made suggestions and worked together on ideas. The best idea of all was to have them pull out their instruments and play. Everyone relaxed and started having fun. You can see they are a band, and you can tell they have fun together. Don’t you want to hear them play now, after seeing this image?
What started out as really uncomfortable and nerve-wracking yielded something great. My skills with street scenes and varying light situations worked here as well, but I needed to use them quickly. It was worthwhile to get out of my comfort zone and experiment with a new situation and new subject. As I tell the participants of my Find Your Eye classes, each time you step outside of your comfort zone you expand it a little further. I doubt I’ll head in the direction of taking band promo shots on a regular basis, but at least I know I can get something useful. I’ve learned a little bit more, and my confidence has grown because of it.
In honor of our Process of Elimination exploration going on now, I’m going to share the straight out of camera shot too. When comparing with the image above you’ll note that I did some cropping and exposure adjustments in post processing. In this case, I was trying to get everything in the shot with a “clean” background, with room to adjust and crop later. I was taking a lot of shots as they sang, several frames per second, to get different expressions. It’s amazing how hard it is to get four people looking natural all at the same time!
I also played around with some post-processing, to see what they might like. Their favorite is the color boost. Mine’s the black and white. What’s yours?
|Black and White|
- The current Exploring with a Camera theme is Process of Elimination. Check out the post here and explore with me.
- Do you want to deepen the connection between your heart and soul and your photography? Registration for the fall series of the Find Your Eye e-course is open! Visit here for more info.
- The Kat Eye Newsletter comes out tomorrow. New subscribers this week will receive a catch up mailing with the Night Photography Camera Companion. You are not too late if you sign up before Sunday.