I’m finally starting to break out of the all-flowers-all-the-time photography rut! And I’m a little bit in love with a couple of these photos.
Pretty good, considering I was stuck inside for a few of these days, and I relied on my phone for a few more.
If nothing else, this week has been a reminder that I really need to invest in a new camera. I’ve resisted for a long time—I loathe the wastefulness of replacing technology before I absolutely have to, and my DSLR is still serving me well. I started on film SLRs (well, I started on a cheap plastic 110, which I got as a prize for selling the most wrapping paper at an elementary school fundraiser, but I eventually moved on to real SLRs), and I still like the feeling of a real viewfinder better than looking at a screen. Switching to mirrorless doesn’t really appeal to me, even if I do sigh over how beautiful some of the cameras themselves are. (I’m shallow. I know.)
Plus, I’ve got a weird tendency to get emotionally attached to things like cameras and computers. Even when they do eventually fail, it takes me a while to move on.
I have no idea what’s going on with July. It’s been one of those months that’s simultaneously been dragging on forever and is disappearing in a flash. But July is almost over (however that happened), and I guess it’s time to think about how it went.
I’m going to start with photography, because that’s the bit that doesn’t make me want to tear out my hair this month. (Fair warning for when I get to the writing bit of this update.)
I’m still in that rut I mentioned in June, still taking far too many photos of flowers and not enough photos of literally anything else. So that’s not great. But I’m still carrying a real camera a few times a week, and I do like the photos I’m taking, even if they’re kind of boring.
But the real progress has been in the super-secret Big Scary Project. I’m still not ready to launch, but I have made some huge steps forward this month. (That ‘next step’ I mentioned at the end of June—the one that required an incredibly tedious bus ride? I actually tackled that the day after I said that it was going to be my top priority for July. And the bus out there wasn’t air conditioned, so it was pretty much exactly as painful as I imagined it’d be. It was slightly better coming back—at least there was a/c.)
Point is, I’m incredibly proud of the progress I’ve made on that project this month, and I’m super excited about the next steps. If I can keep the momentum going, I’ll be ready to make some actual announcements by fall.
Now. Writing. (Feel free to skip this bit. Last warning.)
It’s been ages since I’ve been this happy with a group of photos.
The subjects are still pretty mundane (flowers! ducklings!) and I still kind of feel like there’s not much going on, but I like these photos.
I’m starting to feel good about my photos again. Mostly. This batch isn’t amazing, and they’re mostly from the phone—I’ve gotten over my cold, but the one time I felt well enough to take a real camera out in the past ten days, I promptly got hit with a brand new wave of symptoms—but they’re not just flowers, and they’re not just random stuff I can see without getting up off the couch.
“Maybe I’ll have some answers by the end of June,” I said.
Why do I set myself up like that?
I’m being a little overdramatic. The first two weeks of the month were good. Really good. It took a few days to figure out what I was doing with Violet Lane, but I’m well into the second draft now, and it feels like the big changes (cutting down the number of point-of-view characters, eliminating one character entirely, et cetera) are the right ones. I’m still wavering a bit on the tone (I want to make it darker, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I might have to rework the main character again), but in general, I’m happy with it.
My progress with photography is… ok. I’m in a bit of a rut—so many flowers—and I’m trying to figure out how to push myself out of my comfort zone with that. Part of the problem, I think, is that I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to my routine in general—I do the same things and go to the same places, travelling the same routes, at roughly the same time every week—so I’m not seeing anything new. Nothing is feeling fresh or interesting. (I haven’t gone on as much as a day trip in over a year. The logistics for that kind of thing get tricky when you don’t drive.) Plenty of photographers have found inspiration in mundane environments, but I’m dealing with a general sense of frustration that’s just feeding on itself right now, and I need to figure out how to break myself out of it.
That said, the flower photos are ok—some of them have been quite good—they’re just boring.
Other than that things have been pretty much progressing as expected: I’m having fun with the website redesign, I’ve been making some real progress when it comes to figuring out my long-term plans (which… yeah, I kind of worked on that a few months ago, but I’ve been refining the ideas and framing them in a way that means I can work toward them rather than just dream about them), and I took a few small steps toward that big project that I’m still not announcing, even though I fully intended to do so this month. (More on that in a minute.)
… and then I came down with a cold. Nothing much has happened since last Wednesday. At all.
I’ve run into this problem every single time I’ve tried to do a daily photo project: what am I supposed to photograph when I’ve got a cold and spend all day asleep (or trying to sleep)?
I managed to get away from bright flower photos in the past ten days, at least. Mostly.