A month ago, already, I went to Pittsburgh for a conference. It didn’t work out that I had too much time to wander around doing photography, but it was fun to actually be in a large city and also one that has many old buildings. The thing that I looked for mostly for during those days was light. I have always liked how light is reflected from high windows into shady areas of the streets below. There wasn’t a lot of this, due to the cloudiness, though on the day I made this photo there was some occasionally. What I was looking for, besides, light, was shapes, how elements could be brought into the frame to create a structure. In this, I think I was generally successful; but the result was fewer exposures, overall. That’s not a bad thing, though.
It’s been quite busy for me lately. On top of just many life things and the beginnings of the holiday season, much of my photo time was taken up selecting photos to submit to a couple of portfolio prizes. I found it a good thing to take the time to sort through the last few years of work to evaluate it and give it some thought. One thing that was clear was that I have definitely made progress in conceiving and executing my work. It is much less haphazard and random, even when I just roam around looking for things, which was clear to me on my rambles through downtown Pittsburgh. If I wanted it, there was a lot of old building detail and associated decay that I could have concentrated on, but I’m not so much into that nostalgic documentary mode.
Working through a lot of photos in a shortish period of time was also good in that I learned several processing techniques that I hadn’t known about. So, now, my photos have much improved contrast and definition. I realized that in some cases I was way overcooking certain procedures and that less is actually more; in particular with the sharpening masking in Lightroom. That was very good to find out before I sent out those photos.
At any rate, even though it’s unlikely that I’ll even get honorable mention in either of the contests, it was worth the effort. It’s becoming clearer to me that I work mostly for myself. That’s how it should be, I suppose. It certainly seems to be the case for many artists that I read about; they work in obscurity for years, or their whole life, and, if they’re lucky, maybe they get a little notice occasionally. So the journey continues …