Editing has always been my favorite thing to do, whether in writing, film, or currently photography. Even the simplest of changes can make a dramatic difference. Recently I've been working with pictures which were blemished by a dirty lens, overexposed, or because my finger was in the way (I'm such a professional). I love watching them transform into something I thought was unusable into a photo you'd never know was "damaged". To show you the difference I've included a few below to see the before and after. There's beauty in flaws, it only takes a different perspective.
Don't get excited, this has nothing to do with Christian Gray. To be honest, I haven't read the books or seen the movies, though I've tried on more than one occasion. Instead, this is about a photo challenge a friend tagged me in on Facebook. I know, not nearly as enticing, but please keep reading. For seven days you'd post a black and white photo with the only stipulations it contained no humans, and came without explanation. Of course I naturally accepted, as I never turn down a challenge. Well, except this one time but I was tired and not feeling flexible, but that's a whole other story entirely. I was thrilled at the chance to be creative, and glad it didn't require me to throw a bucket of ice cold water on my head (Remember that one?). Ideas immediately came to mind, and I couldn't wait to get started.
When I was younger I LOVED black and white photography, and was mildly obsessed with Ansel Adams. The various shades of gray struck me as emotional and moving. By the way, his autobiography is great, I highly recommend reading it. He inspired me on a multitude of levels, and this was revived once I began the task. Since I work down town I figured this was the best place to start. The older buildings serve as a prime backdrop not to mention the various murals near my office. While those were interesting enough I was disappointed after the first few. Remove color and a photo changes its mood. My office isn't exactly photogenic, and I'm inside most of the day. It's hard to find creativity in the mundane. Challenge indeed. Once I stopped over thinking it, and the weekend arrived, I found more inspiration. I also encouraged my eye to become broader, as a narrow viewpoint closes off options. I'm mostly happy with the results, but my favorite is day seven, and the only landscape, because it has the most feeling. Check out all of them below.
I get asked who I normally go hiking with, and the answer is usually nobody. It's not for lack of friends, or because I want to be alone, it ends up being a simple matter of timing. But I've never had a problem doing things on my own, whether it's going out to eat, to the movies, or traveling. I enjoy my own company, and more importantly I'm not afraid of it. Would I like an adventure partner? Absolutely. However, I'm not in need of it. There's also a lot to be learned in solitude. I've figured out more about myself being alone on those trails than I could have gained with someone with me. Occasionally we require these moments to recharge, reflect, and come back refreshed. We can be a better companion when we know who we are without the assistance of another person.
I'm sure I worry my family by going on these stag jaunts. A girl alone in the woods sounds like the beginning of a horror movie. I vow to them I'm cognisant of my surroundings, never without supplies, and promise to not accept candy from strangers. To be honest, I'm more scared being down town late at night than I am alone in the forest. People are far more dangerous than wild animals these days. I'm more concerned about the weather and how it'll effect my photos, silly but true.
Can it get lonely? Sure, there are times it'd be nice to share experiences with company. However, I've never regretted going someplace alone, because if I want to go I'm not going to wait for someone to join me. More often than not I make new friends along the way, so I never quite feel solo. It's cliche, but life really is too short to wait for the right person, the right moment, the right circumstance, when nothing should hold you back from doing what you want now. There's an endless list of places I plan to see, and I'll keep checking them off alone or not. I hope you do, too.