There are widely publicized notions of what photographers are like at various stages during their careers. Some liken the transition to how they look at light; others, at how they think of their equipment. I’d argue that another analogy is that some of the most interesting photographers are always able to find subjects — whether they’re on vacation, on location, or just wandering about, they’re able to find things to shoot. By this definition, I’m on the very beginning end of this continuum. When it comes to finding shots, I can do it if I know what and where it is that I’m shooting. Planning the sunrise shots around Grand Teton National Park, for instance, is natural to me, as is thinking about what to shoot when doing a flyover of Champaign-Urbana. And don’t get me started on Mt. Rainier; that’s natural, too.
When it comes to a new location, however, I don’t always find the urge to discover completely new locations. Michigan actually has really beautiful spots, but some of the ones I really want to see are in the Upper Peninsula (I’m by Detroit, currently). There are, without doubt, things to photograph here, but I simply haven’t been on the lookout for them — and, importantly, nor have I made the effort to really seek them out. Maybe this is an indication of something larger than photography, but regardless, I haven’t made an emotional connection to subjects around here for the most part.
This one day, though, I was watching TV and decided randomly to walk outside because it had been nice all day. What greeted me astounded me — the sky was simply incredible. I didn’t have the time to go find a vista with a grand overview of the sunset, unfortunately, but still, the colors were unreal and the texture in the clouds even more otherworldly. I tried a few weeks later to make it to the coast to grab shots of lighthouses, but I ran out of time and headed home instead. Soon, though, I’ll start venturing out more often — the foliage is already starting to pique my interest — but suffice to say, I have a long way to go before I get anything of merit here in Michigan!