Yes I own a tripod. Yes I have blue laces. Deal with it.
A funny thing happened the other day. I was up north exploring, scouting, looking for images and suddenly I felt like I wanted to make good photographs again. This might sound strange. Why would I go out and not want to make good images? Well, for the past seven years I really haven’t cared whether what I shot was good, bad, indifferent. I was just going through the motions. I’d shoot things that caught my eye but I never looked at those images like I did prior to 2010 when my life was consumed by making the best images I could possibly make. From 1988 to 2010 photography ruled my life. I was consumed by it. Each day was a hunt, each period of good light was an opportunity to be exploited at the highest level. And then it stopped.
Post 2010 image making became a sidekick to the rest of my life, even how my brain was working. Sunset and sunrise became about hiking, biking, fishing, exploring or just experiencing without the hassle of looking through a little box. This was also the time that things like Instagram EXPLODED and the number of images I would encounter expanded exponentially. I was happily on the outside looking in when the need or desire arose.
Now, like a switch has been flipped, I found myself thinking “Hmm, I wonder if I can even do this anymore?” (This question is very real when you find yourself lifting your glasses to even see the camera in focus, and using the diopter when you actually shoot and you realize “I’m old and starting to break down like a sick Wildabeast.”) And the style of image I want to make is VERY different than what I was making before. I’m not sure I’ll ever have time to do a long-term project again. I’m not sure I even WANT to do a long term project again because I know what that entails and I know I’ll be in the middle of it thinking “You know, I’d rather be hiking right now.”
So my approach now will be different. Lone images, I guess. Random. But perhaps more technical than before. I’ve never been a nature photographer, not even close, but I kinda find myself thinking “Well, I’m out there all the time, in the wilds, why not make something good while I’m at it.” I have a camera that does 99% more than I’ve ever done with it. I wonder about time lapse. I wonder about shooting 4k motion. I wonder about having an 80-200 equivalent again and wondering how I would look at those style images differently than I did before. I wonder about still life images. I wonder about conceptual work. Just noodling, but it sure feels like the sickness has returned. God help us all.