On My Way Home


Golden light everywhere.

Golden light. My favorite light.

As you might remember, I very rarely photograph sunsets. Instead, I make pictures of the sky right before and after sunset. I also turn around a look at where the light is falling. Sometimes that’s much better than a predictable sunset.

It’s a little risky.

You might come home with something wonderful. Or, you might return with nothing. If this stuff was easy what would be the fun in that?

However.

I believe that I was made to make pictures. I think that I’m a natural. Or, I’m just whistling through my hat. There are all kinds of naturals. Athletes. Musicians. Artists. Doctors. Nurses. The list goes on forever. They are the ones in class that never seemed to be trying and yet did very well. An old friend of mine used to call me “the zen photographer.” He said it never looked like I was trying and yet I came back with good pictures.

It annoyed him.

He worked really hard. He made great pictures. But, each one was like giving birth to twins. Very painful. Well, I really don’t know what kind of pain giving birth is like. I’m not equipped that way. But, you get the point.

Comments like his were common over the length of my career. Even now, when I think I’m barely working. When I’m making fake nature pictures. A lot of you like them. I’m grateful for that. But, I just see stuff and make a picture. Maybe it’s easy because I’ve done this for 40 some years, but it doesn’t feel right to me.

This looking back in review is great. Or, it’s miserable.

Along with the understanding of 40 years of image making comes the realization of many, many failures. We’ll get to that later. Much later. It’s enough to ask, how many of you have awakened in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and think, “my God, why did I do that?” You try to write it off to being young until you realize that you did something similarly stupid about a month ago.

It’s human.

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