Monday, November 02, 2015

“Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.” 
― Pablo Picasso

Before I was a photographer, I was a painter. Photography changed everything. The joy I felt within the creative processes of planning and executing a painting, I've also found in photography. I still compose my images as though they were to be painted.

I still find that beautiful, creative satisfaction as I explore in and out of my own photographic comfort zones. I love experimenting with different genres and with light, color, lenses and post process. Anything that brings me closer to communicating the mood of a landscape. I want to always be excited and motivated to experiment in finding that connection.
This past summer, I'd set out to document a canyoneering spot (slot canyon) in a fairly remote part of the Coconino National Forest and was preparing an article for a backpacking magazine. I brought a set of the Lensbaby lenses to experiment with. I had some ideas on how to make the images that would accompany my writing, a bit different . You know, the best laid plans of mice and men.
While I came back with some beautiful images from that backpacking trip, I left "early" dangling from a helicopter rope with some broken body parts. Needless to say, I didn't accomplish what I'd set out to do. Comforting though, in hindsight, I accomplished more than I ever expected in a lifetime. Funny how things work out.
I'm fascinated by the dichotomy of areas of sharpness and blur within an image. An essential element in a well-executed watercolor as well. I'm finding as I grow in my photography I'm letting go of striving for photographic perfection. C'mon, it was a great goal to shoot for!
Perfectly sharp, perfectly composed, perfect setting now seems a bit boring. Perfect for editors and I see the usefulness of it, but deep down inside, I want more. I want different. I want to change, grow and evolve. I want deep, serious mistakes (not the kind that hurt though) I want starting over, I want troubleshooting and problem solving and I want to figure it all out on my own. I want the final sentiment to be undoubtedly mine.
Months later as I head out to find the Autumn color, I grabbed hold of the same lenses and mind-set and returned to the things I love. Heaven.
Here, the Lensbaby Edge Optic 80 deliciously aids in defining a mood, a time and a place. The Autumn color is far from over in my little part of the world and I'm happy to just be out in it all unsharp and everything!