Retrospective: Colored Bottles Transposed ~ 6.14.08
There's no doubt about it...
I miss my gear.
I went out last weekend without my D300 and the 35mm 1.8 lens that's pretty much always affixed to it and I felt naked... I felt like I was missing something... it was an odd feeling really.
It'll be a while before I can go on 'Soul-Patrol' and bring back some shots to share with you.
I gotta feeling that everything's gonna work out just fine.
Being a 'cameraless person' has kind of led me to do some deep thinking about what photography means to me... 'my' photography... what it's meant to me in the past... maybe what it's always meant to me...
Photography has been nothing short of a journey for me... I've done it for so many reasons... I've thought about it in different ways... but it's one thing that's always been a part of my life.
In college I shot medium format film... all black and white... using a Mamiya 645 and a Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex camera... the finest film camera I've ever owned.
I picked up a 35mm Minolta 7700 in Japan when I was a student there.
I've loaded my own 35mm film and developed it and printed it in my own darkroom, a bathroom with a towel shoved under the door... my first digital camera was a Sony Mavica... a 2 megapixel deal where you used 3.5" floppy disks to store your images.
I've taken some cool shots with it and a range of point and shoot cameras.
The Nikon D70 was my first DSLR... and it was kind of a dog... I didn't like the color rendition... the tiny screen on the back sucked... and sometimes it just wouldn't shoot a frame if it didn't think it was right.
I hated that.
The camera and I fought really... it said 'no' and I said 'go.'
It always won.
But when I got my hands on a Nikon D300... that's when everything caught fire.
Nothing before could ever come close to comparing to what that camera and I could do together.
Like everyone I've used photography to document the moments in my life that I thought were worth documenting.
I rarely share those pictures.
If my photography had a theme in the beginning... it was that there was beauty everywhere.
I tried to take pictures that showed that.
Just having the camera in my hand made me look for beautiful things to shoot.
Color and light caught my eye.
This picture was one of the first shots I took with my D300 and it's color rendition was spot on.
It's my favorite color picture I've ever taken I think... at least in my top five.
The D300 is the first camera I've ever shot with that saw color like I did... SOOC even.
And it captured the intricacies of the light that attracted me to photograph things.
That excited me... to have a camera that saw it the way I did, without any adjustment or processing.
It gave me images that were to me much more real than anything I'd ever produced with any other camera, film or digital.
I fell in love with that D300.
I wanted every piece of glass that Nikon made.
I shot something like 1.4 million frames with that camera.
Most of them not even noteworthy.
But every once in a while... every thousand shots or so things would line up just right.
I'd be staring at a shot that took my breath away.
Color and light were the focus of my personal photographic drive.
2010 was a terrible and painful year in my life.
My world was shattered and my soul took a grave hit.
Sometimes I'm suprised that I survived it.
My photographs from that time were introsepective and they got darker.
Those images helped me to deal with what turned out to be the greatest crisis in my life.
I made it through that crisis and towards the end of 2010 I was looking forward to living a new life.
The future was looking good.
I was much more open to the world.
I began to explore it and myself... looking for my place in it all I suppose.
My excitement for life and living returned and you can see it in the images that I posted... there was this 'transition' where I went from documenting the beauty of the world as I saw it, to examining myself and my place in it.
I shot some self portraits... and though they were of little artistic merit, they had a pretty profound effect on me.
It was like I was looking at a stranger when I looked at those pictures... only a 'stranger that I knew intimately' if you can understand that.
Something deep inside of me was bubbling to the surface because of it.
By April of 2011 I'd seen much of myself, my life and my surroundings portrayed in images that I shot.
Then something made me turn the camera on other people.
I began to shoot strangers.
I started shooting people on the street.
The effect on my soul was immediate, it was deep and it was broad.
It was real.
I witnessed this 'revolution in my soul' and I couldn't begin to detail it here... but it was nothing short of a revolution.
It changed me as a human being.
It opened my eyes to a world of reality that either I'd never seen before or that I just didn't notice.
I connected powerfully and meaningfully with that world through the lens.
The future is a book unwritten I'm sure.
But in my personal journey through life with a camera... I was certain that in the 'now', on my own photographic journey, that I'd found my destination.
This was where it all came together.
This was where I belonged.
It's a place where the world, the camera and I exist in this perfect harmony.
As if it was everything that was ever supposed to be.
I am certain that I'll have another camera in my hands soon.
But in the meantime, I've really enjoyed, and profited immensely from examining what it all means, what it's all meant to me.
I have no doubt at all that when the time is right and I've got a new camera to shoot with that I will take some incredible and meaningful pictures.
The time I've had to abstain from capturing those moments...
That time has only made me appreciate everything about 'my' photography more...
On such a deeper level.
I so look forward to hearing the sound of that shutter again.
I will savor the moment, the light, the reality around me and my ability to capture it like never before.
The moment will never be taken for granted by me again.
Every moment will mean something.
Looking back, I can see from the images that I've created how my life has changed.