On this photography journey there will be ups and downs. There will be times where you look at your camera and think to yourself that it is just a machine. You will look at your work and shrug your shoulders. You might even look at the images that you have taken and become to accustom to the feeling of excitement that you don't feel that excitement anymore. In those times you have to get back to basics and look why you started this photography journey.
In this journey my first step was to get out of the house, go somewhere, setup, hit the shutter and capture something incredible. I wanted that thing, that image to be on my wall and for all the world to see. I wanted it to be special. I wanted it to be inspiring. Every time I walked past my camera, looked at my tripod or saw a commercial about some new piece of gear, I thought about that image might look like. Would it be a simple red rose against a black and white background? That would take some time to plan, configure, light properly or the like, but that could be special. Would it be an image of some exotic animal? Some lizard or bird that is rare, in its natural habitat? Something that was colorfully realistic, easy to identify and eye catching, that would surely be the image I might capture.
On and on I would go, thinking of images I might capture. Things that would happen to be happening without actually being planned. I would be out there in the world with my gear and something would fall in to my lap. This or that might happen became more of a hinderance than anything else. I wasn't taking photos because nothing really inspired me. Nothing was interesting. Nothing looked inspiring. That is until my wife urged me to get out and just start shooting. I cant remember the conversation verbatim but I do remember that she urged me to get out of the house and start shooting.
It was a warm fall evening. Nothing particularly interesting was happening on the street. Cars were driving up and down with various levels of occupancy. The street lights illuminated a depressing tungsten orange. The few store fronts that were visible had all but closed up their shops. The street was lifeless, the paint that the city had used to section off the road was dull and cracked. Had this been a movie it would surely had been used to illustrate sadness. There was not anything happening that would really get me excited about hitting the shutter and capturing this image, and that was when I had the idea of leaving the shutter open longer. I know that anything moving while the shutter was open would be seen as a blur in the final image. So I decided to mount the camera and see what I could capture from a moving car. I didn't see it as inspiring or jaw dropping. This was not a technique that I was inventing, or a subject that would never be seen again. This was something present in plain sight. All I had to do was to try it. So I did.
It wasn't the perfect image. It wasn't what I was expecting. It didn't seem inspiring, jaw dropping, or anything that I thought would be great. It was interesting. First and foremost, it looked like rays of light that hovered above the ground. We all know that light doesn't work like that. It needs to have a source and a target or direction. This didn't seem to have that at all. It was just a ray of light. The more I tried to capture this image the more interested I became in getting it perfect. I wanted to get the right consistency, the right color the right angle, the right height. My thinking was that if I could get it just right, it would be the image that I wanted. I thought that if I could get it just right, it would be the image that I wanted to share.
Night after night I went out looking for that single image. A place where I could capture the nicest light trails and get that perfect image. I would sit at parks and intersection, watching cars and buses alike make turn after turn, like an endless stream of water that flowed in and out with the tide. That lead be to make this collection of images that I have been taking. No the images are not perfect. But they are interesting. Something that is infront of us all but we never take the time to see and appreciate.
It was after capturing these images that became again engrossed in depression. I wasn't sad per-se but I was not engrossed in collecting the best image that I could. That is until my wife pushed me to get one of my images printed. It wasn't until I say the image with my name on it, printed that I gained a new perspective on the images I was collecting. Seeing the image in a frame, hanging on the wall was something thrilling. This was my work. The work that I had put in, had culminated in to this rewarding piece of art that was before me. Everyone that came in to the house would now see it and appreciate it for what it was. It was inspiring. It was eye catching. It was......perfect.