Reflecting on 2014

Winter has finally arrived in southeastern Pennsylvania.  The cold weather coupled with turning the page to a new calendar year caused me to take pause and reflect on the previous twelve months.  That reflection has many dimensions, not the least of which has been embarking upon my journey to explore photography.  And, like all reflections about which I'm honest with myself, I recognize both positive and negative points.

I launched this web site as a vehicle to motivate me to attempt to critically review the images I made.  I surmised if I was going to publish a set of images, I wanted them, at minimum, to be somewhat interesting and draw the viewer to imagine the story behind the image.  As the weeks unfolded through the year, I realized I was becoming more critical and rejecting images I may not have rejected previously.  That was a good development for me, as it also spilled over to what I do when making images.

When making images, I realized early on that I was making a lot more images than I needed to make.  I justified doing so to learn my camera and practice basic technical things.  The only incremental cost was my time.  I didn't consider, though, that to really learn, I needed to be exceedingly more intentional about what I was doing.  I had read and heard the advice many, many times, but didn't internalize it until I stepped back and took stock of what I was doing.  I've concluded I will certainly make fewer images - I've seen that change a bit already - and will think a lot more about the components of the images I make.

I knew when I began this endeavor a bit more than a year ago that I wanted to explore different genres of photography.  My reflection on 2014 did not reveal anything surprising, as the images I most prefer from the year are widely dispersed across genres.  But I can also relate that diversity to my realization that I haven't been very intentional with respect to the images I've made.  I hope adopting the mindset to be more intentional will lead to discovering the genres in which I want to direct my time and energy.

I'm encouraged by the realizations I've had and look forward to the next leg of the journey.  I learned I really do like making images.  That's important, as if I were discouraged or disinterested in taking the next steps, I would undoubtedly abandon the quest and look for something I would find more fulfilling.  I want to discover if I can succeed at it - and need to define what succeed means for me.

The next leg of my journey will impact how I work with my blog and web site.  I'm working to define those changes and will have an update in the near future.  As I consider changes, I'm also reflecting on those of you spending your time to follow my journey and provide feedback.  I very much appreciate that you're there.

For this update, I decided to select a set of images from the many dozens I posted over the past year.  I looked to find those that made some special connection with me, and are, hopefully, interesting images.

I hope to make new discoveries on my journey this year - and that you'll be willing to step on board to join me for the next leg.

Although it wasn't early in a new year, this man at a café in Paris appears to be reflecting upon something, as well.

Although it wasn't early in a new year, this man at a café in Paris appears to be reflecting upon something, as well.