"Take your camera with you at all times", they said.
So I decided I would take my camera with me on my daily walks with the dog. We walked along many places in the neighborhood, and I took pictures of what caught my eye.
Still at this time I was photographing what caught my eye. Since I did not know what I really liked, I was taking pictures of everything and delighting in everything. I was starting to explore what the camera could produce and what I liked.
It is vitally important to understand what you like. From there the rest falls into place. Now for some of us this may take some time and inner exploration as it did for me. Remember I was coming from a life of science and medicine. Not much emotional experience there...
This was a very important time, where I learned to shoot what I liked and to analyze it later. Analyzing it later is a pivotal aspect of digital photography. Unless you want the Joint Photographic Experts Group (jpeg) to decide the color and contrast of your work, you need to process your images from the camera.
As I was to learn later, that is where the art comes in.
What I did not know at the time was that there would come a need to focus my photography. That necessity was to be spoken to me by one person and not learned in anything I had read or listened to. (More of this to come in my thoughts about mentoring.)
The focus of my work came much later when I was pushed to focus on something personal. What was "personal" came with much struggle.
These are some images from the fall of 2006 when I began taking my camera with me on walks. Please do not interpret these images as "mistakes". I captured what caught my eye saw and what brought delight to me. I was unconsciously starting to explore the interpretation of what was seen from an artistic perception...(even dare I say) an emotional perception.
These images were the best I could do at that time without any training in art or personal mentoring. These are also the best I could capture with the visual language that I knew at that time. Language skills of all varieties improve with use and cultivation. Sincere efforts are never a mistake.
Here I was seeing a dying tree in juxtaposition to a bridge of human construction. It was the contrast I was seeing. Much farther down the road, I see many more metaphors in this image than I appreciated at the time.
Here is an abstract of the creek bottom along the trail where I walked. Was I focusing on abstracts or urban photography or what? At the time I did not know.
Ahh...many vertical lines. It was years before I was to come to understand the importance of lines in my work. And oops...I forgot to think about what was in the background.
More beautiful lines with backlit lighting.
The contrast between the rock and the green grasses and the fallen millet caught my eye here. The understanding of the importance of contrasts was to come much later, but here there was something instinctual in my seeing.
Again more backlit forms without the comprehension at the time of the need to pay attention to the background elements...oops...
Another image of contrasts...the curled ends of the grasses with the straight stems. Again not much awareness of the surrounding elements, but it was a start.
For me these are delightful recollections of a journey that I share to show that my artistic journey is like any other journey in life. There is a beginning and a progression. Hopefully there will be no end.