Landscape photo of fall foliage trees colored orange, red and yellow, mixed with green pines.

Color the Season

Landscape photo of fall foliage trees colored orange, red and yellow, mixed with green pines.
Color the Season — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/40

The calendar flips, it’s getting short on pages. The daylight wanes and I take stock of my photography. Judged on quantity alone this will be my least productive year yet. Fewest number of posts since starting this site in January 2014, and the fewest number of photographs since I began shooting in January 2012. Such a surface level analysis falls short, leaving the scene unfinished. When assessing the quality of my work I take more solace in my production. My photography continues to improve, and that’s the metric that counts. Though I’d be lying if I said my reduced output hasn’t gnawed at me. Yet the story doesn’t stop here.

The best, and most surprising development in 2017 has come by way of writing. My photography has always been the feature on this site, and that will not change. Even so, writing has assumed new prominence and personal joy. I would go so far to say I experience more intrinsic reward writing when compared to shooting and processing. I’m not going to contend I am great—or even good—at writing. But I will contend it stretches my mind and creativity in unexpected ways. The reality that writing does not come as natural to me as photography is a factor here as well. There is reward in the effort.

In previous years I’d make a photo, post it here and write a paragraph or two about the shot itself. If not that I’d discuss the motions I was going through in making said shot. It was little more than a narrative recounting of the scene I was capturing. Of course, a well made photo can do a far better job of conveying a scene. Lately I have been poring more energy in telling stories. I let the photograph trigger a thought, idea, or suggestion and I run with it, even if it has next to nothing to do with the photo itself. This freeform flow follows a similar trajectory to how I have always settled on my photo titles. I most always let the first thought or phrase that comes to my mind stick. And now so it goes with my writing exercise. It creates a nice companion piece to stand aside my photo work. While it may not be for everyone it helps me grow as a person and as a creator. It also makes me more excited about my own photography.

There’s no reason to expect this trend will not continue as November turns to December, and as the calendar reloads with a fresh stack of pages come 2018. I will continue to take more risks with my writing, letting my mind stroll where it is wont to go. My hope beyond this is that I can work more creative risk taking into my photography. To take new steps, take more risks and infuse more creative to my work. A lot can happen in a year, and not all of it expected.

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