In the spirit of nostalgia that usually comes with the year’s end, I’ve been doing a little bit of looking back on my photography. Among the countless photos I have yet to edit, I found the unfinished photos from my backpacking trip through the Enchanted Valley (yes, that’s what it’s really called) and decided to finish them off. In a previous post, back in July, I had expressed some disappointment in this set of photos. Now, half a year later, I found that I was actually satisfied with these images. It seems like the new editing skills I’ve picked up and the new way that I envision my work are finally allowing me to do now what I couldn’t do six months ago – connect the photos I take with my imagination.
I think revisiting these photos exemplifies the highlight of my photographic efforts in 2012 – a new relationship between my photos and my imagination. I’ve always been an extremely imaginative person and I feel like I’m constantly playing out in my mind some unwritten future, fantastical story, or resurrected memory that’s been triggered by the things I see around me. For some people, creative expression of that imagination comes naturally. But for someone like me, who’s imaginative on the inside but a logical perfectionist on the outside, it’s difficult to honestly and outwardly express my imagination in any formalized way. Now, I think the technical skills I’ve gained in visualizing, capturing, and processing photos have finally brought my photography to a point where I can use it to express pieces of my imagination. I’m going to try shifting my focus away from increasing my technical skill level and toward the clarifying that relationship between my imagination and my photographs. We’ll see where that leads in 2013. Happy New Year!