"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I’ve written in the past about experimenting and expanding your photographic style(s), either as a self-discovery process or simply for the fun of it (Where Does Your Brain Go? 8-9-2016). Well, I recently put my money where my mouth is with a submission to an exhibition of an image completely different from my usual — and even my not so usual — imagery.
I strayed away from Nature to experiment with the mechanical/industrial side of life. I was walking around Old Town Alexandria, VA — founded 300-ish years ago — where many of the old buildings have elaborate stonework and intricate wrought iron fence and gate details. There is a marina there, too, rife with ropes and riggings and fabrics and peeling paint. And, of course, among all this city stuff, there were also modern mechanical/industrial elements; bicycle racks, street lights, modern architecture, and cars with shiny bumpers and space age-looking headlights. This is where I found my image.
In looking closely at the detail of all the reflective surfaces within a headlight fixture, I saw my reflection. I wondered which of the many different points of view I saw was the “right” one? If each one represented a separate interpretation of me, then which one was most correct? Were they all correct in their own ways? Was any one of them really correct; or were they all skewed to some degree?
Introspection was born.
The rest of the images I shot that day were also interesting. Some showing a way of life long past. Some showing newer technologies. But to me, compared to Introspection, they were all just catalog shots. Just recordings of what I had seen. They didn’t really have much to say. No “reason for being”. No “hook”.
So I learned a little something that day. By stepping outside of my box and leaving my comfort zone, I got a glimpse of me reflected in a subject I would have said I had zero affinity for. A glimpse both literal and metaphorical…
Thank You for visiting,
P.s. What have you tried lately that pushed your boundaries? Either photographic or otherwise. Try a new ethnic food? Go see a “weird” movie? Jump out of a plane? Let’s hear about it!