The last two months have been incredibly busy. Along with a personal life change, we began a garage conversion to provide me with a dedicated working space. I completed work on a new book, which is going to be released very soon. And as usual, I spent many hours securing interviews and preparing for each conversation to ensure a great episode for The Candid Frame.
What was sacrificed was time for making photographs. I was so busy, that I began forgetting to tote my camera with me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely am without a camera, but I had so much on my mind that it was easy to forget to sling it over my shoulder as I walked out the door. Days turned into weeks and I soon realized that I had gone through two months without making any significant personal work.
I’ve been tracking my productivity using a culling system I’ve developed using Adobe Lightroom and a quick scan of my collection for two months revealed all that I needed to know. Yet, seeing those low numbers for two months in a row did not automatically result in me grabbing the camera and heading out to make photographs. There was so much to do and so little time that I couldn’t convince myself to make just a little time for something that I love to do.
Thankfully, we had this trip to Paris booked months ago. So, now I can leave the demands of life and work behind me. I can enjoy absently walking down a street with no particular destination in mind. I can wander and get lost with a camera, one of the greatest pleasures that I’ve had in life.
I have to admit a degree of nervousness after such a dry spell. It may have only been a couple of months, but it felt like years. I automatically began to doubt myself and my ability to return to a space where I was seeing with careful and thoughtful attention. Today began just like that as I walked down busy Parisian streets, I wondered whether I would be able to return to that zen-like zone I so enjoy being in when making photographs.
I made a few images during the day until we visited Le Gran Palais. The beautiful venue was being used for a showcase of various art galleries. They each displayed the work of the various artists that they represented. I saw some beautiful work and made a note of a few artists whose work piqued my interest.
But it was a little break to drink some water that revealed a scene that inspired me to make a photograph. While seated near a small food court, I caught sight of this play of light and shadow. It was drawn to it like a magnet. As I evaluated the scene, I recognized the graphics quality of the table, chair, and shadows. I framed the scene making careful refinements to the edge of the frame until I settled on this one photograph.
Though it isn’t a typical “street photograph”, I love it not so much for how it looks, but because it affirmed a special way of seeing that I have been trying to develop in myself over the past year. I appreciate that I could see something beautiful and wonderful in the most ordinary of scenes, especially a space that was surrounded by exceptional art.
Though it might not demand the price of some of those expensive paintings that I had been observing just moments before, I still found this image to be priceless.