I always like to think of growth as a spiral. I may come back to revisit topics and lessons, but each time from a slightly different point of view. Each trip around the spiral, I’m a step higher or to the left or the right, and everything looks a little bit different.
With my recent trip to Singapore, I had the opportunity to revisit my Sense of Place from a new point of view. After the dramatic shift in my photography over the last few months, using the iPhone 5 and exploring creative edits, mainly of trees, I wondered what would catch my eye. I took my regular dSLR travel kit along with the iPhone. Which camera would I use most? What would I want to capture – silhouettes of trees or bicycles and scooters? Would my Sense of Place be the same?
The answer: Yes, and No.
I discovered that what caught my eye in visiting this new-to-me international destination was much the same as what captured me across much of Europe. The textures of history, signs of cultural differences and interesting two-wheeled transportation. The same Sense of Place I’ve come to rely on in my exploration of the world and my photography. It’s what grounds me, no matter where I find myself.
But I also discovered that I saw something new… the interesting textures and shapes of the trees against the sky. Different trees… palms and mangroves and rain trees. Trees with leaves instead of bare branches. The natural beauty of the place captured me as much as the interesting urban environment.
My Sense of Place has expanded. What a powerful and joyous thing to realize.
I recognize now that I had been worried that my Sense of Place would diminish, without traveling as much as I used to. But the opposite has turned out to be true. Not doing as much international travel over the last couple of years has pushed me in new ways. I’ve expanded what I see. This has in turn affected my photography as I travel. I see differently. I see more. My style has expanded to encompass more than one point of view. Growth, artistic or otherwise, only happens when we are pushed outside of our comfort zone.
This experience was a humbling reminder of the spiral of growth I can embrace as I walk through life. I can fear the changes and try (ineffectively) to stay in the same place on the spiral, or I can rejoice in the change that comes from new experiences.
How wonderful to realize I can revisit “place” with an ever-expanding point of view.
The timing for this revelation couldn’t be more perfect, with my upcoming A Sense of Place workshop and online course offerings in April. Would you like to discover your Sense of Place? There are two great opportunities available:
- Join me April 13 in Las Vegas at Selah for the one-day A Sense of Place workshop. Great news! Spaces are still available and the registration fee has been reduced. In addition, if you join us for this one-day workshop you can take the 8-week online course for 50% off, a perfect companion course. Details will be provided after you register through Selah.
Reduced hotel rates have also been negotiated at El Cortez Hotel, right near Selah. Tower Rooms (either one king or two queen beds) are $77+tax/night with code SEL41213 and Cabana Suites (one king) are $88+tax/night with code SELCS41213. Call 800-634-6703 to make reservations.
- Join the 8-week online course, A Sense of Place, starting April 7. This course dives into the Photography of Place, helping you to discover your own approach to photographing places, whether close to home or far away. Exploring “place” is fundamental to my photography practice and I love to help others explore this topic too.