Pushing Personal Envelopes
13 Oct 2012
In less than one year's membership time in JPG, I have found much to inspire me! Number one are all of the supportive, talented other members and second are the JPG themes/assignments. These twin inspirations help rattle and boost me out of personal ruts. When a person has been practicing photography for a couple decades, it is so easy to get into certain comfortable ways of looking, shooting & editing. And now I don't believe that is the way to grow or improve one's portfolio.
As a woman, I have been afraid to shoot at night in my city. For several years, I've been taking at least one male partner along on my night shoots and have never been threatened. But there are still some seedy areas I was doubtful about, such as traveling amusement parks. The pull of colorful whirling lights and joyful children ended my fears. There was simply too much to see and shoot to let such an opportunity pass.
Once I decided to shoot itinerate amusement parks, I had to decide on how and what I wanted to portray. Often I'd arrive long after sunset when the parks were sparsely populated. The dark feeling of almost abandonment was surreal and I have always appreciated surrealism. So I focused on that plus bazaar colors and twinkling lights. This pushed me out of another comfort zone where I love to photograph people, especially close up. But why not let the long views with few people say something new? It's a journey I'm on and I love every new twist in the path.