Last week, I walked from Jay Street in Brooklyn, to Grand Central Station, Manhattan, an estimated 4.5 miles of New York City street walking.
My day was a great walking day, cool temperatures, bright blue skies and a desire to capture, make some art using as my main light stealing (borrowing) device the L16 (#capturedbylight). The problem was by the end of the walk, I had taken no photographs. Am I disappointed, no, annoyed, no, it seems to be a day when my desires did not match my creative, visual expectations?
I viewed many possible images, but nothing activated my mind to connect to my index finger and click the shutter. I had planned to walk up-town via Chinatown and did by zig and zagging on the east side of the greatest city in the world until I reach Grand Central Terminal to take the train home.
Little excited me, the hordes of people, the crazy traffic patterns of the city, a fire department racing to and then setting up to fight a fire from the street on Broadway, and of course more – New York City always offers more. But this day was not my day.
Why, I really don’t know (I actually do) and in many ways I don’t care, since my regular NYC walks have provided me with a life time of potential images to work with. From reflections, to puddles, to the subway, street trash, museums, parks, streets etc., and etc.
My photographic walk was a walk, why, well there seems to be some reasoning for this lack of creative expression.
First, I was not at peace with myself, I seemed to be distracted and unfocused on my prime objective – to create images, visually this just did not happen for me. I was far from being hyper-focused, a violation of one of my 3 personal rules of photography.
Secondly, New York City felt different to me, the city that does not sleep seemed to be to be asleep. Even, one of my most favorite walks EVER, my walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, was mundane, pedantic and in some ways offensive. The people, mostly tourists, seem to be not part of the scenery but disruptive to this iconic image of the “city”. Normally the people are part of the image, this time they intruded, invaded my vision and due to my own issues contributed to me not creating images!
Lastly, my goal was to “do” Chinatown and I was so excited to get to the destination, I may have alienated my creative vision with the anticipation to arrive in the area of choice. I was so caught up in the destination, that I forgot or ignored the journey. I also was expecting (unrealistic) a different Chinatown, a Chinatown that no longer exists.
What does this have to do with you, little I guess, but I never have only perfect photographic days, do you? I once thought I did but in the end, those images, taken on a day when I was out of the balance with light, are not attractive, hold no interest, I now find them boring and are overall disappointing.
Light to me is on a basic level ROGBIV, B&W, plus T, yesterday the “T” was missing.
So, what did I learn for this non-day of photography, well life is a learning experience, I should not limit myself (I should have had my Monochrom with me, for I did see many B&W images)? I need to be free as the wind in my creative desires and allow the light to guide me to the subject that will allow me to press the shutter at the correct moment in time. That moment when light and subject are in perfect harmony. A perfect triad of light, subject and me.
Borrowing light, for future memories,
PS: This gets weird, when I left my house, my Monochrom called out to me and said, take me, take me and I did not, when I returned home my Monochrom said, you should have taken me and yes I answered I should have.