Living Out Loud

A Once and Future Love

2015-04-25 - carnival woman

Getting Started

Most of the photographs I share online were taken during a single manic year stretching from the spring of 2014 into the spring of 2015. During this time, my wife and I spent several thousand dollars on prosumer and then pro full frame cameras and lenses (and tripods, and SD cards, and lens filters and camera bags etc.) Whenever there was "good light", and we weren't at work we were somewhere with our cameras looking for the next shot. We took a great class at the community college taught by our town's preeminent photojournalist. Wonder Woman entered a photo contest, winning first place and $400.

Going a Little Crazy

We both published album after album on Facebook, 500 Pixels, Flickr and other photo sharing sites. Our favorite site was Pixoto, where every shot you submit gets voted on by the members of the community. We got a paid membership there and would race each other to see who could get pictures uploaded the fastest after a session. I ended up gravitating towards street photography so for my birthday we went to New York where I was able to take a class from a man who literally wrote a book on the subject. He took us to some awesome places in Manhattan where we could get just the right views in just the right light to get photos.

We took a photo vacation to Charleston, SC, a town made for cameras and there hired a professional photographer to serve as a guide. We walked through the old churches and cemeteries, the historical battery where the opening shots of the civil war were fired and among the vibrant working-class communities that are full of friendly people. We traveled to Charlotte and Myrtle Beach with our cameras.

We visited every spot in our own home multiple times to take pictures. We traveled to zoos in three states. Wonder Woman went to a raptor rehab center and spent a morning taking amazing shots of eagles and owls. We carried a camera with us everywhere and constantly scoured the fields in rural areas for white tailed deer, common in our area.

We both had access to a MacBook Pro with the latest edition of Adobe Lightroom installed. We bought and experimented with other post-processing software. I had to get external hard drives to hold all the files. We opened cloud storage accounts for offsite storage. 

Making Adjustments

I got increasingly uncomfortable with street photography and switched to taking street portraits, Humans of New York style, where I'd as permission before taking pictures instead pf just snapping away. It worked for me, and people readily agreed to let me take their photos. I started my own 100 Strangers Project. collecting portraits at every opportunity.

The End?

And then one day, right after a trip to the state fairgrounds, I put my camera down and didn't even remove the SD-card to export the photos. Just as suddenly as it started, the manic phase I was in ended. I lost the energy and the interest to leave home in search of anything really. I had nothing to submit to photo sites and by then I was sick of them. I put my cameras in my bag and that's where they've stayed over most of the past 10 years. When I cycled out of the depression following my photographer stage, I moved on to using that manic energy for weightlifting and working out. I occasionally take pictures while on vacation but there isn't the old crackle in the effort. 

I'm still proud of the pictures I took, and I enjoy looking at them and sharing them from time to time. I look at all my gear and the spare time I have coupled with a desire to express myself in some creative fashion and I know that I could jump right back into it. Will I? I don't know. Wonder Woman would be 100% supportive. She still takes pictures, not like before but she's the family photographer for all of our grand babies and for the older ones as they age and move towards high school graduation. I could do the same.