When driving around without a specific goal for photographs, sometimes it’s difficult to get enthused and it’s best to pick something to concentrate on. Bridges was a theme for me on a recent road trip.
For instance, my husband and I can be driving somewhere and he’ll point something along the way that I missed. I’ve heard the phrase "How could you not see that?" more times than I could count.
Sometimes I’ll just be focused on something totally different. He’ll be commenting on a car that went by, when I was busy ogling a beautiful home. Or sometimes I’ll be thinking about something and I just don’t see the world around me any more.
If you see me at the grocery store and I walk right by you, please don’t think I’m ignoring you. I really just didn’t see you. I’m probably thinking about what’s for dinner, or what’s on my grocery list that I left sitting on the kitchen counter. Or I could be thinking about my next project, or planning something totally off the wall and unrelated to shopping.
|A road trip that follows a river provides lots of opportunities for photographing bridges.
If I am focused and trying to work through something on my computer, I can’t have music or sound of any kind distracting me. It used to drive me crazy when I worked in an office and had to listen to radios on other people’s desks. Silence is golden in my world.
It also drives me to distraction when someone is making a speech and gets interrupted by someone who thinks they are offering a witty comment. People talking in the audience when someone is trying to make a presentation, hecklers, and whisperers alike, all get my goat. And don’t get me started about political "debates", where everyone is trying to talk over the next person.
Super concentration could be a blessing, or a curse, depending on how you look at things.
I tend to be a generalist when it comes to photography, not a specialist in any one area. However, when I do latch on to a new passion, I do become quite obsessed about trying to achieve my goals. Earlier this year, we made trip after trip down the south shore to try to capture snowy owl photos. My husband laments the fact that we probably won’t do that next year, because I’ve "been there, done that" and once I have satisfied my obsession, I tend to move on to something new. I may just surprise him. After all, marching around for hours on the cold windy barrens lugging heavy camera equipment in sub zero weather is a dream for most people, right?
When we are driving around without a specific goal for photographs, sometimes it’s difficult for me to get enthused. Once I take my first photo, though, I generally get into my zone and find something to concentrate on. The theme on our recent trip to New Brunswick, other than the flooded river, seemed to become bridges. I’m not sure why, because bridges have never interested me before, but I came back with enough photos of them to create a small series.
With no access to the decommissioned bridge, my hopes of photographing the flooded river from above were dashed, so I contented myself with exploring below the bridge.
My thoughts of beautiful monochromatic images of trees and water from high above morphed into exploring rot and decay from underneath the huge cement pillars. A dumping ground for garbage, mattresses, spray paint cans, graffiti and fires, the area was far from beautiful but it was quite interesting to explore. A single minded person could have spent hours just in that one location.
But single minded photographers traveling with worried husbands have to make allowances, and my new found bridge obsession would have to be a focus for another day.
published in the South Shore Breaker - June 7, 2017