I’ve now been laid up for four solid days. No working, no shooting, no chores, no play. It’s easy to slip into a funk, especially since I can’t get in my car and clear my head on the open road. Instead, I’ve gotten lost in good TV and terrible movies, the view out my bedroom window, and finally, the creativeLIVE Vision-Driven Photography workshop with David duChemin.
I woke up from a restless nap just as David was answering a question which I had asked often asked myself, and I wish I’d taken notes now that I want to revisit these ideas here. The question, in a nutshell, was how one finds their vision and inspiration if they live in a visually uninteresting place. He said – and I’m paraphrasing poorly here – the low-hanging fruit, the pretty picture, hangs much lower in exotic places. But once you’ve lived there a while it becomes just as hard to see everything with new eyes. His simple advice was to stop being lazy, get out there, and find what we’re passionate about. If you want to photograph textures, gritty industrial stuff, colours, people, whatever… you can find that anywhere. Just find your focus first.
For years, I bemoaned the fact I lived in Southern Ontario rather than British Columbia, or even Australia, where a beautiful vista was always just outside your doorstep. My Small-Town Ontario Project is a direct off-shoot of that train of thought. So every chance I get, I go out into my everyday, and try to find the beauty.
Or sometimes, it’s right inside my house.