Photo Essay

Pushing Personal Envelopes

Amusement Park

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.

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13 responses

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray   gave props (13 Oct 2012):

    Well done, nicely presented and written. It is always good to be inspired, although you always seem to be without any theme!!!

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (14 Oct 2012):

    great story and narration... lot of

  • Tomma Henckel

    Tomma Henckel   said (14 Oct 2012):

    Great story and lovely pictures. I always think it is a wonderful challenge to oneself to conquer one's fears and dare to step outside of one's comfort zone. Good on you, Michele.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (15 Oct 2012):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Davide Simone

    Davide Simone (Deleted) said (15 Oct 2012):

    Beautiful story. extraordinary images. compliments. vote

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett   said (15 Oct 2012):

    VOTED! Great results from your stepping forward.

  • Geoff Plant

    Geoff Plant   gave props (16 Oct 2012):


  • Andrew Dutton

    Andrew Dutton   gave props (22 Oct 2012):

    Great story that I can relate to!

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt   gave props (23 Oct 2012):

    well said Michele and voted!

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi said (24 Oct 2012):

    Excellent! Voted!

  • Lynn E. Harvey

    Lynn E. Harvey   gave props (28 Oct 2012):

    I love this mostly because as creative people, we need and thrive on change. We are all so easily led to a comfort zone and the freedom and creativity, that arises when out, is extraordinary!

  • Evelyne Schulte

    Evelyne Schulte   gave props (2 Nov 2012):

    My vote !

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever   gave props (14 Nov 2012):

    Wonderful images, and I totally agree with you. Voted!

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