Hiking After the Rain

After what has seemed like weeks of rain I was finally able to go out and take photos today. I never realized before the impact that the weather has on photography, but it turns out that it's incredibly hard to take pictures in the rain. There were plenty of times that I wanted to take my camera with me, especially the Oakland Women's March, but I was too worried about damaging it and ended up leaving it behind. I went to Utah over winter break, hoping to get some photos of Zion National Park, but it was snowing so much that I wasn't able to do so. Thankfully, the weather has let up over the past couple days and it has brought back some of the inspiration that I lost over the past couple months.

My favorite thing to photograph is the nature in the Bay Area, and since the rain has prevented me from taking my camera out I lost a lot of interest in photography lately. However, yesterday I went out on a hike for fun, without my camera, and realized that I wanted to start taking photos again. It was actually nice that I didn't have my camera on that hike, though, because I find that there is a big difference between how I experience things with and without a camera. Today I revisited the same hike to take photos but I was looking at the same trees and creeks through the lense of what was appealing to the camera. Things that I found appealing the day before, like spots of sunshine hidden through the trees, weren't as appealing today if they didn't make good photos. Even though I love the photos that I did take, I feel that the integrity of the photos is sometimes compromised because I put pressure on myself to take photos that are just visually appealing and don't personally interest me.

It's not necessarily a requirement that the photos I take are appealing to me, but I think that part of art is that the artist has to have some intent behind their work. If I take a photo that doesn't affect me then what response am I expecting from a viewer? I shouldn't expect others to appreciate work that I don't appreciate myself, but it's difficult when the things that interest me aren't always the most visually appealing. I'm thinking that I want to start incorporating more written work with my photographs, as well as sounds possibly, because I sometimes feel that working in one medium isn't enough. Of course that could also be my lack of mastery in any one medium. There are certainly artists for whom one photograph can far surpass any written word, and writers who's poetry or prose produces an image more powerful than any visual medium. I don't think that either my photography or my writing are even close to being at that level, and so for me it makes sense that what my photos lack I could try to make up for with writing and visa versa.

The other reason that I'm drawn to mixed mediums is that I struggle with focusing all of my attention on one skill. When I am practicing photography then I wish I could be a writer, and when I'm practicing on my writing then I could be a painter or something. It's not enough for me to have one passion that I put all of my effort into. I'm just now beginning to start the process of looking at colleges, and one of the things that I've struggled with in the past is figuring out what I want to do in the future. I always thought that I couldn't find anything that I was passionate about, and that made me feel like I was missing some inspiration or dedication that other people had, but I don't believe that anymore. I now believe that my problem is that I'm passionate about too many things, and it is because of that that I can never settle on just one. That view on it doesn't exactly help me figure out what to do in college, but it makes me more confident about my interests and excited instead of disappointed about there being so many of them. Instead of trying to commit to one interest and then bailing on it once it doesn't completely satisfy me, I should try to incorporate my many interests into my life.

I'm going to keep taking photos as much as possible, but I also want to try out some new things. Maybe when I go on a photoshoot I also take some time to draw or write a few poems so that I don't get frustrated or sick of my photography. There's a lot that I have to explore in terms of what interests me, and I just hope that I figure out how to make them into a career or find some sort of goal to accomplish at some point.