I had a lot of topics I wanted to write about the past few days. It’s my favorite time of year for photography, the rains have returned to my hometown, and there’s a bunch of cool new things I want to buy. But it was a conversation I had with a friend a few days back that gave me pause to reflect; we were talking about the things we really love about photography. You know, the history, the iconic images, the technology, digital cameras, that sort of thing. Then she asked me, where’s my favorite place to go to take pictures? Hmm. Had to take a long pull on my beer and think about that one. Good question.
I mean, after all, I am a wanderer. I love to travel, I love to pick up and go. I had some great trips this year — the midwest, southern California, the mountains, the ocean — and plans for more. It’s hard to sit still. But I don’t think that I ever travel for the express purpose of taking pictures, rather, it’s a happy by-product of enjoying the newness of a good escape. I wander and I take pictures. It’s a subtle distinction, granted, but totally the point.
It’s not the dramatic I seek. Sure, I love the Grand Tetons, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canal. They’re beautiful, and I’ll happily wait for some good light and look for some good angles. But what compels me to make a photograph is not that. I’m drawn to the small, the intimate, the quiet voice, the magic light, the music, the whisper. That may well be a thousand miles away, but it may also be in my back yard.