Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Getting Back to Normal

Possibly my favorite self-portrait. Olympus OMD E-M1 paired with the M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8.

With the gallery finally closed and the remaining pieces either being sold off quietly in individual sales or donated to a variety of repeat clients as pleasant "thank yous", photo-life is slowly resuming the familiar cadence I'm accustomed to. For its part, and despite being a considerable failure from the standpoint of quantifiable metrics, the gallery left an impression of success in terms of what I aimed to accomplish. From a direct cost perspective, I broke even, but more importantly I engaged face-to-face with a wide variety of people both in and out of the Baltimore Art Scene, ideally to the effect of lifting me from the shadows of The Unknown and constructing an identifiable namesake.

On the less glamorous side of that experiential story, my car was broken into the Wednesday preceding closing ceremonies and some lucky fellow made off with my "working bag" chock full of expensive goodies like the M. Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/2.8, tripod, 10-stop ND filters, a whole assortment of things. Filed a police report (of course) but don't expect it to go anywhere. Insurance, however, did its job in supporting me financially through a catastrophic value loss, thus making such an unfortunate event less... well, catastrophic. My friends all came through in support as well, Rob going as far as to lend me his own copy of the 7-14mm f/2.8 and tripod for use in working shoots. In a neat sort of side deal, he had me design a tattoo for him, which saved him in the triple-digits on getting inked at the studio, paying me back with his little-used M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro lens which I can easily identify as being superior to the 40-150mm f/2.8 in photographing food. Somehow along the timeline of the week or two post-gallery, we apparently traded cameras, with Rob now wielding an EP5 (which he very much enjoys) and my own wheelhouse is now populated by twin EM1s. Weird how an otherwise ugly experience played out to the positive with time, patience, and stubborn refusal to panic. Certainly inspires appreciation for the support structure around me I don't always have awareness enough to acknowledge.

Contract shoots are flooding in once again, a trend I should be used to after 5 years of business data indicating Winter is (inexplicably) the busy season for real estate. Restaurant shoots are also crowding the calendar quickly, or at least the ones willing and able to get back to me with scheduling (still a deplorably low response rate, but getting better). But moving away from photography-as-work, I spent this past Saturday photographing in classic knee-jerk fashion out and about for Open Door Baltimore, the event Rob and I first became acquainted 2 years ago. And it was a fun afternoon once again, with some neat guided tours of otherwise inaccessible spaces, and lots of street shooting as we wandered from place to place throughout the day. Personally liberating.

The year is closing quickly, but that is no indication that things will slow down in the span of the next 2 months (quite the opposite). I believe one of my goals for the end of the year was to publish a proper portfolio website, which I am at least on the right track to complete, simply requiring a free afternoon to deal with the more mechanical aspects of web publishing. In general, however, I'd like to spend the next couple months publishing more substantive material on this forum when and where possible. Seems to be another quantified trend, my publishing schedule. Always plenty of time to ruminate when it's cold outside and the sun sets at 4:00PM.

At least lazing about with a laptop on the couch on Winter evenings I have bunny friends to keep me warm.