Do you cultivate and challenge yourself? How? What is it that you do that keeps you spiritually centered and allows you to focus on what you love? What is it that you do that makes the clocks stop? What is it that you love to engage in that has world of delusional materialism and trivial matters fall away? Photography became that vehicle of self-discovery for me has been that manifestation of self challenges for years. However, that didn't mean I wanted to go right into shooting weddings or taking pictures of high school seniors as a hobby. For me, it was the landscapes I wanted to see at sunset and the beauty of the natural world. Ne and my little Rebel sought out mountains, deserts, and wherever I could capture a sunset. Well, fast forward to today. Laura and I love to engage in and plan road trips for ourselves to experience new sights, sounds, and sunsets. We just got back from Oregon, where we caught a couple Shakespeare plays, saw snow falling over Crater Lake, and hiked to some waterfall in the Umpqua Wilderness. That was my self challenge. Waterfalls. I have gotten a new piece of glass, (a lens) a 17mm tilt-shift 4L beauty. It's a technically challenging and more specialized, esoteric piece of glass that's for landscape or architectural photography. It's use to create realistic panoramas, or even those cool "toy" city landscape photos you may have seen. For wedding photography and portrait sessions here in San Luis Obispo, this isn't the type of lens that most photographers would use. However, I've seen my mentors and photo rockstars use this piece of glass for their portraits and weddings. Well, Laura and I want to set precedents and keep growing in our photography. So, what the heck doe this have to do with waterfalls? I do what I love in order to prosper at what I do. I assess where my horizon is in my skill set, where I want to go to learn in order to learn what I want to do, and to learn where my boundary is, so I can then push past that boundary. Long exposure photography of water, with some new processing techniques mixed in, was my challenge. So, while Laura cultivated her learning in yoga instruction by reading yoga books and practicing posing, I slipped around on moss covered rocks, got soaked with freezing snow melt mist, and got that spiritual kickass feeling of self-fulfillment by clicking pictures, honing my craft, and using a piece of class that I am intent on mastering. Here's some of the results -
Did I accomplish my goals? Well, I had fun. I was able to learn something, be able to manifest a concept into reality, and be happy with the results. That's all that matters. And, I now have another tool in my arsenal to utilize our skills in being the best wedding and portrait photography studio here in San Luis Obispo County.