Steeling Myself For A Challenge
As I try to grow my photography business, education and professional growth are key. In addition to shooting literally every day, I try to participate in workshops and online learning as much as I can. As I struggle growing my business and honing my craft it’s nice to be inspired and to have some help when I am feeling lazy or feeling stuck with a technique that isn’t working for me.
One of the ways that I continue to challenge myself and push myself to be creative is through Facebook groups and online courses that allow me to get feedback and learn from other photographers and enthusiast. One of my favorite Facebook groups is The Vision Driven by David DuChemin. David is an incredible online educator, and the online community around his courses reflect his passion for learning and creativity. Each month the group completes a challenge, and this month the challenge is “Get Closer.”
After I gave myself a thousand reasons why this wasn’t the right challenge for me, literally telling myself “I just sold my micro lens, so I don’t even have the right lenses for this challenge,” I decided to kick my self-doubt to the curb for the evening and take some shots using macro tubes of one of my favorite old cameras, my Voigtlander Bessa. After 20–30 minutes, I wasn’t feeling it. It just seemed too cliché and blah. So, I decided to escape to my favorite place to reboot, the Reina Sofia museum, which is near my son’s school so it’s an easy trip before pick-up time.
There is a museum installation at the Museo Reina Sofia, that I love: “Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi” by Richard Serra. It’s made of hot rolled steel, and the pieces fill an entire room. It’s a massive installation, but I am always drawn to the texture and oxidation of the steel. A lightbulb went off in my creative brain, and I decided to use this assignment as an excuse to get “up close” and look at some of the design patterns in the steel pieces. There was a lot to love, but these are my favorite images from the shoot.
I love the texture of steel and in some of the instances, they resemble wood and feel almost organic like trees, despite being made of steel. Even the more intense colors share a lot of color and pattern with the fall leaves this time of year.
Overall, I felt saved by a last minute bolt of inspiration and I am reminded of the importance of pushing through when we feel frustrated or in a creative rut, I would have never been struck with the similarity between wood and steel had I rolled over and let the challenge slip away…as I have done before.
Looking for the light, one day at a time.