Third Thursday Challenge: May
“Would you like to get together sometime for a photo walk?” she wrote.
My introverted-self emphatically dismissed this suggestion – I couldn’t do that, meet a stranger, take photos together. Photography was what I did in solitude, inside my own head. I would be too self-conscious to do it with someone else. It would never work. My list of negative responses was extremely long.
And then, impossibly, I found myself saying yes to the very thing that scared me.
I first met Deb Tisch, author of the blog Learning as I Go, in an online photography course taught by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio. We began following each other’s blogs; admiring each other’s work. We learned that we both lived in Ohio – me in Canton, she in Lima – three hours away along Rt. 30.
We agreed to meet in Mansfield, half-way between. We picked the first Saturday in May. The morning was spent at the Kingwood Center Gardens followed by a tour of the Ohio State Reformatory, a historical prison, best known as the location where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed.
I suppose you have worked out by now that these images are from the reformatory, not the gardens. Regardless of my recent rapprochement with Mother Nature, my best photos of the day involved rust, peeling paint and prison bars rather than tulips. The reformatory held its own set of challenges – the lighting conditions were extremely difficult and many of my images were soft. But with some creative post-processing – this toning is appropriately titled “Futuristic Bleak” – I was able to capture the sense of despair and hopelessness that pervades these walls.
As far as our joint photo walk experiment, I think we both discovered that conversation, the kind of face-to-face-getting-to-know-you kind, is mutually exclusive with a photo walk. It’s hard to get to know someone, to really listen to their story, when you are worried about shutter speed and ISO settings, framing and composition.
Afterward, we both agreed that out best photographic work is done in solitude. The next time we get together, we will take time off by ourselves with cameras in hand and then come together to share our experiences and converse. Most likely, food will be involved.
I am glad I said “yes”, when I wanted to say “no”. My heartfelt thanks to my friend, Deb – meeting new people isn’t easy for me but she made it effortless with her friendliness and open personality.
So – what are you saying “yes” to this month? Share with us below. The link will be open through the end of the month so you have plenty of time to join in. You can read about the Third Thursday Challenge concept and pick up the button here. I can’t wait to be inspired by your personal challenge.