Chicago Cultural Center: Revisit the Past for Fresh Perspective
Finding new places to take photographs is perhaps one of the greatest struggles for any photographer. I know that I, personally, struggle with this because the desire is always there for new, new, new. Because of this, I have a long list of old haunts, places that, a decade ago, I spent all kinds of time exploring. But, as always happens, the luster wore off. I began to feel as if I’d been everywhere, seen everything and turned over every stone in search of photos. I’ve convinced myself that all photographs that I could possibly take at these places, I’d already done.
And this is a viewpoint that, I think, is problematic. You see, for most of us, we’re more or less stuck with where we happen to be. Sure, with unlimited time and money, I could travel the world and seek out all the exotic new locales that I could wish for. Unfortunately, time and money are both limited, so I am mostly left taking photographs closer to home, as are most people.
This is why I think it’s important to abandon this notion that there is nothing left to discover at our old photographic stomping grounds. It may be productive to revisit these places from time to time. The fact is, over the years, we learn and grow, we develop new skills. Our artistic styles change and so does our perspective on life. With all of these inner changes, the possibility is there for us to see our old favorite haunts in new ways — and with that, there is the possibility to create new photographs at locations that we’ve visited dozens of times before.