Summer 2011 Update
Since the beginning of the year I’ve been shooting and posting to my portfolio fairly regularly, but recently there’s been a bit of a slowdown in that action. The reason for this is that I’m taking these summer months to focus on three key things: Playing outside, shooting personal projects, and furthering my photographic knowledge.
Somewhere along the line I stopped spending as much time out in the wilderness as I once preferred. Living in the city keeps me closer to art galleries, playhouses, restaurants and comfortable cafés, but between that and the necessary computer time I’ve needed for writing and photo editing, it became more and more difficult to point myself in the direction of the trees and mountains. The last month has been largely about putting myself back into nature and remembering how great it is to sleep in a tent or sit around a campfire on a more regular basis. From exploring pockets of nature tucked away in the city, to crawling out of a tent pitched next to pristine backcountry lakes, to surfing on the Oregon coast; these are the activities that help define my character and inform my creative vision.
In all of that I haven’t forgotten my camera. My photo bag comes with me to the beach and a point and shoot always rides in my bag when I want to travel a little lighter. I’m working on some new portfolio sections and part of that is assembling a collection that I feel best reflects the direction I want to proceed in as a photographer. Much of my new direction is tied into that outdoor lifestyle I’ve already mentioned, but there’s another side that remains true to my love of portraiture. Unfortunately I’m not letting a lot of information slip about some of the personal projects I’m working on at the moment, but I will say that there is a strong element of community and humanity in what I hope to be showing in the coming year.
Between photo sessions and jaunts into the wild, there’s still a lot of learning to do. I occasionally make the mistake of thinking that I’ve become quite reasonably proficient in the more technical aspects of lighting theory or Photoshop manipulation, but then I have a conversation with someone whose seemingly intuitive knowledge of these things sends me back to the vast amount of resources available to both emerging and established creatives. Just when I think my brain can’t handle another keyboard shortcut, I realize that there’s room for one or two more that will make my processing life so much easier. When I feel I have the best method for using text as a transparency mask, I watch a video and learn that there’s a better way… even it if is buried in a menu almost no one ever notices. The point is that if we want to excel in any area of our lives we need to remain aware that we can never stop learning and improving upon what we already know. With the Photoshop World conference coming up in September, I want to bulk my skills up as much as possible so that I can really take advantage of all the amazing talent running seminars.