unMonday: photography as recreation

As much as I enjoy photography, it is more often a source of stress than relaxation – stressed about getting/missing a shot, what I don’t like about my shots, how to edit photos, how many thousands of photos are still unedited, deadlines, people asking why I haven’t posted photos from an event or a trip, etc., etc., etc.  It’s not a “bad” kind of stress; it’s the same type of stress that comes from needing to perform well in any art form or occupation.  But every once in awhile, I get to go out for a photo session and just enjoy capturing whatever catches my eye.  There are no deadlines for editing and posting because I’m the only one interested in seeing what they look like.  And they may not be the greatest photos I’ve ever taken, but I’m pleased by them because I was able to capture what my mind’s eye found interesting in what I was seeing.

Some photographers whom I follow recommend that you should never post photos that aren’t your best, whether you’re shooting high fashion portraits or street photography.  Some other photographers have said that your photography should be project-based, rather than sporadic shooting.  This advice comes from some extremely talented and successful photographers, and I know I really need to work on these two areas in my photography.  But since this blog is more about the learning experience than about displaying only my greatest works, I wanted to show you what it looks like when I take photos just because – no agenda, no pressure.

One such occasion was way back in May of this year.  My wife and I decided to take a walk around Seattle’s Green Lake to reset and recover after several overwhelming months of busyness.  I brought my camera along without any specific intentions, other than to shoot if I saw anything interesting.  The path that encircles Green Lake is a great place to go for a walk on a beautiful spring evening.  And as a side note, there are few more fulfilling things than slowly strolling down the path while stuffing your face with chocolate desserts and mochas from Chocolati in front of all the beleaguered joggers eternally orbiting Green Lake.   The photos from this walk caught my eye as I was trying to decide what to do for unMonday, and just reviewing them reminded me of how relaxing that little excursion was.

Even though this was a casual, aimless photo shoot, I still want to make it a habit to practice good editing technique. I eliminated several versions of this and other photos during my selection process because they didn’t meet my standards of quality, “interestingness”, or conveying my idea behind the photo.

Since these photos weren’t for any purpose in particular, it gave me a chance to mess around with different editing techniques. Still not sure what my “style” is. There really isn’t anything (that I can see) in my photos that distinguishes them as uniquely my photos.

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One comment

  1. p.Keith

    alive with promise, a distinct hint of flight, more than a dash of adventure, satisfying/unsettling, joyous

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