Sunday, November 6, 2016

Scene & Story - October 2016


2016 has been a creative wasteland for me. 2015 was a fertile wonderland.

Those of you who have been with me for a while may say "but Sarah you have had three magazine articles published this year, you have blogged more regularly than ever, and your photography is rock solid". And you would be right, all those things have happened. But 2016 has also been filled with constant ground shifting change. The only thing that has carried me though this year is what was in the storehouse from last year's bounty.

2015 was filled with self-portraiture work, adventures across the land to meet other bloggers and photographers, and the fertilizer of true growth for me - projects.

In the last month two things have revived my barren creative soul. The first is Lenswork magazine and podcasts. The editor, Brooks Jensen, is a huge proponent of photography projects. Lenswork has a new photography book out - Seeing in Sixes, six image projects from Lenswork Readers. I promptly ordered the book and have been devouring the pages since it arrived two weeks ago. Seeing the vast variety of photography projects/stories told in just six images started tilling the soil in my creative mind and heart. I have considered some ideas for my own project: a 12 X 12 project, one theme each month for a year, but eventually discarded that one, too dull. A 52 week self-portraiture project, I am still on the fence about that one, if it happens it will start January 1st and I am considering reviving my old blog, Becoming A Finisher, if I decide to undertake that project. Then THE project came into being - 52 weeks of retail excursions.

I am not much of a shopper, but I do have to go to the grocery store every week. I probably would have been content to photograph all 52 weeks at the grocery store. But as I sat down at my desk to compile a list of 52 photo prompts to use for motivation and inspiration, other seeds were sown. I wrote the word metal and thought of the 1970's era hardware store in my town that I have always wanted to photograph. I wrote high heels and thought of my friend's clothing boutique, knowing that she would be only too eager to help with my project. With each prompt I wrote, the location ideas continued to blossom.

Week One is complete. I will admit I felt a little weird taking my big dSLR out at the grocery store, but since I have 52 weeks to get comfortable, I am sure I will get there. This shot turned out pretty much the way I envisioned it, always a good feeling for the start of a project. I am exploring Adobe Spark to use for this project.

The second thing that is providing nourishment for my creative soul is David duChemin's newest version of the book Within The Frame - The Journey of Photographic Vision. His words always fill me with hope and inspiration.
"As you experience life, your vision changes. The stories you want to tell, the things that resonate with you -- they change and so does your vision. Finding it and expressing your vision is a journey, not a destination."
Words spoken directly to my heart. I feel the soil growing rich and fertile once again.

My friend Lee of Sea Blue Lens and I are sharing our favorite photo from the previous month in this new monthly practice Scene & Story.

18 comments:

  1. I agree with David's words, they also speak for me and the way that I have changed my perception of photography. My blog needs to change and the way I want to write and capture moments, but like you, there are many books, magazines and blogs that need to be read and digested before I choose the right path for me. Love the retail idea! However, Christmas? Crowds? How will you manage that one :D Take care. Chel

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  2. I think you underestimate yourself. The above photo demonstrates that you have photographic talent. Most of us would have taken the same photo standing up with camera at eye level. Instead you had different ideas with the angle and took a everyday scene and turned it into something interesting. Keep on clicking.

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  3. This is a delight to read. It's honest, real, and heartfelt. I'm sad to absorb your struggles, but equally understanding of the plight. Being a creative soul myself, your photography experiences touch my heart. You are inspiring others, and I'm honoring your journey. Thanks for sharing! xo

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  4. One of the things I admire most about you is the disciplined way you go about discovering, developing, and nurturing your creative expression. You inspire me, too. I love this photo, the first in your new project that I'm excited to see play out over the next 52 weeks!

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  5. This sounds like a great project! I'm going to have so much fun watching it develop. I don't think you have to be a big shopper to capture the essence of retail excursions. Your grocery store shot is perfect - and I love the negative space on the bottom and that you did it in black and white! I think creative slumps are normal, but I really do love projects - both for myself and watching others. There's a purpose and progression makes me start to see and think more creatively.

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  6. I think you've found the perfect project for you! This first photo is a great beginning. You are much braver than I am. I sneak around with a little point and shoot when I'm in a retail store!!

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  7. I love it when you find a new journey or project, because you take us along with you. And we are never disappointed.

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  8. What a great challenge. My Wegman's is so busy my camera would have gotten run over. We have to chat soon?

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  9. Funny how I never associate creative drought with your work. It always seems to be flowing and engaging - even if borrowed from last year's coffers. I am excited to follow where this new project takes you and love the perspective of the image.

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  10. You put up a good front...I would have never thought you were in a 'creative wasteland' this year. I admire how you sit down and work your way through things. I tend to keep my creative thoughts in the back periphery of my mind and never take the time to go through them thoroughly, letting other things take priority.... I loved the quote, it is nice to know we are all on a ever changing journey, and that is ok. And...good for you taking your big camera to the grocery store. :) Great shot!

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  11. Our vision changes...so true. The quote you shared really resonates with me. And creative wasteland is a place I have been stuck in for a while myself. Your organized way of doing new projects inspires me, and I will look forward to watching this new one unfold.

    This image in the grocery store is excellent! Next time I have to go get groceries I know for a fact that I will be looking around and thinking about the photo and the perspective you chose.

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  12. I am with the commenter above, I never think of you not being creative. It is so hard to keep motivated isn't it? I love your idea for 52 weeks and look forward to watching what you come up with.

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  13. My ever changing vision makes for a most interesting life . . .
    I often find a "new seed" when I read you . . .
    Filling me with inspiration . . .

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  14. This is such a wonderfully unique idea, Sarah, and one that I'll bet you could have a lot of fun with.
    I look so forward to seeing what you will see.

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  15. I LOVE that photo. Something so ordinary is made unique.

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  16. Love this image. And I love reading your process of finding new projects. I am never this methodical - and as you know I've been in a (much more obvious!) creative wasteland of my own. You've inspired me to be more intentional about project searching. Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. x

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  17. Such a lovely post Sarah and you really have accomplished so much this year...Impressive really...but you do always seem to have a hunger for more. You read about your craft and you work it in so many different ways...I love the grocery store shot with the camera on the floor...I might try that someday just to see if anything comes out in focus..
    I look forward to see what project you choose and how it will evolve..

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  18. His book, Photographically Speaking, is one of my favorite photography books. Staying motivated has been tough for me this year, in spite of a lot of time on the road to take pictures. I've been trying to come up with something "regular" to keep me grounded week by week, and look forward to hearing what you decide to do in 2017.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)