Continued creative inspiration in my field is illusive. It comes and goes. I was thinking about what the dictates of that rise and fall are and have come up with a few ideas. I am fortunate to earn a living doing what I am passionate about, however, there are times when “passion” might not be the correct descriptive. High volume catalog photography is something I like to do. It brings dependable income, repetitious workflow, lending itself to meditative stress free work days, unless there is a hard and fast deadline associated with the project involving photography and extensive post production. I welcome the challenge of high volume “shopping cart” product photography for web sites. The required consistency in lighting and background treatments as well as post production digital work is basic photographic competence that I have learned early on.
Suddenly a project may come along that rattles me out the the rhythm of the work described above. It may be an architectural shoot of a commercial property or something for the Fox Cities Convention & Visitor’s Bureau involving candid street photography, and my creative battery is recharged again. It’s the variety of work that I like most about what I do.
Work within this semi unpredictable framework is comfortable, but every so often, I discover potent creative excitement that I thought was dormant. Often it is not directly related to photography. Getting out of my comfort zone is something I don’t always embrace. Traveling out of my city, simply to have a day or two to observe, eat in a local restaurant and talk to other people, while carrying my camera and shooting only what visually strikes me at the moment, without thought of how it might aid my marketing needs or pocketbook, reminds me of why I am drawn to this occupation.
So, to rekindle my photographic passions, the occasional , unbridled pleasures of an open ended informal photography outing is an effective practice for me.
I am presently thinking about obtaining a low profile, high quality mirrorless camera for this purpose. Either that, or using one of my fixed focus, small lenses on one of my professional DSLR’s to shoot simply and quickly in a non threatening manner out in the street, (a 28mm or 35 mm lens). For me, candid, street shooting requires simplicity. For the occasional, documentation snapshot, my iPhone works, but not for a concentrated photographic outing.
Painting, sculpture, live music, poetry, museums and travel all indirectly fuel my passion for photography, reigniting new excitement when I involve myself in them.
A quick trip down to Chicago this week provided a flood of visual surprises. I’m embarrassed to say, I only had my iPhone 6 to capture a few of the images.
Next time I travel down to this great city, I am going to be prepared with a decent camera and more time. Here are a few more scenes that visually bombarded my sense of drama, symmetry, design and color, all shot with my iPhone.
None of these images will make me a dime.
I don’t care.