Making it personal
Sometimes I'll go shooting with a fairly specific goal in mind, I have expectations with respect to the place, the light, the weather, etc., More often though I just go out hoping to add to an ongoing series but otherwise with an open mind. I've given this process some thought and here's what I've noticed.
When I come across a spot that seems to have potential, I try to identify what caught my eye. What is there about that place that I find appealing? I ask myself that question over and over until I feel like I've really gotten to the core of the attraction. Then I work on making it my own. How can I take what feels special to me and share that in my photographs. I would hope that if someone else came along after me and were somehow inclined to take pictures, that they would look very different. This all sounds like I stand around for a long time thinking about what to shoot, but it's really just what happens while I'm looking through the camera and exploring the place visually. My test for whether I've succeeded is if, over time, the image reminds as much about how I felt as about where I was.
Andi and I went to Monhegan Island this past October and as impressive as the coastline is, we were just as taken with the interior woodland trails. This one spot in particular caught us both and the image will forever carry us back.
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