Sunday, December 11, 2016

It is Cold Outside

I've aimed to write a review of the Olympus M. Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 PRO fisheye lens, but haven't actually taken anything remarkable with it as of yet, nor attacked images with labored processing in Lightroom (plenty with Snapseed on the phone, however). It's a great optic, but the weather hasn't been the most optimal for creatively considered stress testing (and somehow I don't suspect I'll get the kind of use I see it really shining in until the Milky Way returns to the sky on this hemisphere in the Summer).

Otherwise I've just been thinking about my focus, my end goals, which is to say I don't really have any but am trying to align to something. In a curious interaction, my high school statistics teacher messaged me to suggest that I focus more on people, specifically the people of Baltimore. In his words, my work has a "melancholy" which reflects the "tone of an aging Baltimore", and while the architecture and landmarks I photograph may look pleasant, they're ultimately page-turners, but the faces of people in and around those regions would reflect a missing human element. I'm rather inclined to agree with him, considering the strong interest in portrait work and incorporating people in my photos back in 2012 and 2013. That's definitely a theme that dropped off. Not for lack of interest or even lack of taking photos of people, but definitely lack of mental bandwidth to process them and develop a solid, themed series. I will never not blame the business for being the catalyst of massive creative burnout.

I recall the path forward so many years ago being a stubborn doubling down, even when I thought my time had been stretched to the limit. I've since stretched further, always expecting new limits to be normalized and stretched again. That remains my expectation. Always somewhere in life where some time can give, even if only for a little while. The greatest balancing act.