Sunset. Photograph by Reghan Skerry.

Project366: #241-250

Photography

I’ve stopped worrying about all the flower photos. They’re pretty enough, and very soon I won’t have a choice; I’ll have to branch out. The flowers aren’t going to last much longer. Even the ones in this batch are starting to feel very autumnal to me.

But if I do another daily photo project next year (which is an internal debate for another time), I’m going to have to come up with a better plan, or at least find different gardens to visit.

Sketchbook #47

Personal, Photography, Writing

September wasn’t terrible.

It wasn’t great. Losing power for two and a half days knocked me off my stride, and it took me longer to recover than it should have. I haven’t been happy with my photos lately (I already mentioned that). I’ve been dragging my feet on pretty much every big important project I’ve got going right now, and looking for any excuse I can find to avoid working on them.

But I’ve made it through the first act of Violet Lane. It’s been slower than I’d planned, and I’m still having a hard time settling into a consistent writing rhythm, but I’m having a lot of fun with the story. For the first time since that very first draft, lo these many years ago, it feels fresh and exciting. Tearing everything down to the foundations helped immensely in this case, and I’m glad I took the risk.

I’m taking photos. Even if I’m not thrilled with the results, just the fact that I’m carrying a camera on a regular basis and taking photos is a win. 

September hasn’t been terrible, and after July and August, I’ll take it.

But I do need to get past ‘not terrible’ and start making real progress again.

I said last month that I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough, and (obviously) that’s still true. Creatively, it’s because I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock, in both my writing and photography, where I’m not quite sure what the next steps are. I’ve reached the limit of my skills; that’s not a bad thing (it happens to all of us, all the time), but it does mean that I need to think about how to ‘level up.’ I’ve got some ideas for how to do that with photography—I’m more aware of my weaknesses there, and as a medium it lends itself to dedicated practice—but I’m having a harder time figuring out my options for writing. (If you have suggestions, let me know. I might have an idea, but I have to think about it a bit more.)

The other reason I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough is simple fear. 

People walking on Portland Street. Photo by Reghan Skerry.

Project366: #211-220

Photography

Routine is the killer.

I kind of knew that before. I said back in June that part of my problem with photography lately is that I’m stuck in a bit of a pattern right now: I go to the same places over and over, at roughly the same time of day, travelling the same routes. I’m not seeing anything new, and that’s made it hard to see photographs I haven’t already taken.

But this week confirmed it. I finally broke out of that pattern and did something a little bit different, and started feeling inspired again. (‘Started’ being the key word, there.)

Sketchbook #46

Art + Craft, Photography, Writing

I ended last month’s creative review by wondering if it might be time for a reset. I knew I had to figure out some stuff with how I manage my time, and I had to figure out what I was going to do about Violet Lane. From a technical standpoint, I was happy with the photos I’d been taking, but from a creative standpoint, I was getting bored.

I must have forgotten about all that as soon as I wrote it, because when I sat down to write today’s review, I was sure that this funk I’m in has only been a couple of weeks. Not a couple of months.

Ugh.

I’ll start with the good news, because there is good news. I’ve figured out what I’m doing with Violet Lane. 

Black and white photo of poppy seed heads. Photo by Reghan Skerry.

Project366: #181-190

Photography

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.