Sunday, February 9, 2014

Oh Yes

For the past couple of days I've done nothing but walked. I explored Peaks Island for two days on foot with improper snow shoes (only one of the two days) and I walked to some unfamiliar areas of Portland during the snow storm. 
Before I talk about what I found during my exploratory missions, let me be honest, our "neighborhood' assignment this week really kicked my ass. I don't know if I mentioned this the other day, but I felt like Nelson (my instructor), set the bar pretty damn high. To be even more honest with you, I didn't feel good about photography since day one of class. I felt like maybe I've been "doing it wrong." I never had any formal training, most things I know is self taught. I learn the business side from the ground up, much like the technical side of photography. I am not well versed in the who's who of photography. Basically, I felt discouraged. But I am excited to learn, eager really. I'm also excited about finding myself again as a photographer. 
Day 1 on Peaks was pretty great. I got some help from Mira and her family (Mira is the Writing Instructor at Salt) after I met them at the ferry station. They were so kind to give me proper snow shoes and pointed me in the right direction (as far as where to find certain things on the island). I walked until I got exhausted. I was alone for the most part so my journey felt lonely. I originally wanted to walk and cover the whole island on one day but I was defeated. 

When I got back on the main land, I met one of my classmate and told her what I was doing. When she told me she thought it was pretty ambitious, I started to feel paranoid. I didn't want to be ambitious and miss the point of the assignment...but I didn't want to play it safe. So threw my plans of going back to Peaks to finish exploring out the window and began to doubt myself. 

The next day I went to my favorite coffee shop and looked around. I thought about the word neighborhood and thought that maybe I could profile the shop. I felt pretty confused so I emailed Nelson. He mentioned that a coffee shop is not quite a neighborhood and said that he was sorry I didn't like Peaks. But it wasn't that I didn't like Peaks, I was afraid to get the assignment wrong...but why? It's the first freaking assignment for goodness sakes! Like I said, I have been questioning my photography since I arrived so it was easy for me to get discouraged. So I decided to go back and revisit. This time exploring the other side of the island. To my surprise, the second day really solidified my choice of choosing the island. I took a lot of photos...A LOT. I will have to narrow it down to 20 for my critic tonight. Here are some photos that I took with my iPhone whilst exploring. 

found my motto for my time in Portland
exploring during the storm
asked a local about hidden gems, he pointed me to the fish market
found a hidden gem in a alley way
Portland is full of graffiti 
beautiful light on Peaks Island
this here is actually a frozen pond from ice skating
Peaks Island was beautiful
lunch break on the coast
a view from the shore of Peaks
swamp grases are tall!
narrow snow covered boardwalk
Battery Steel built during WWII
can you tell why I'm in love?

What I've learned in the past couple of days is to really trust my instinct. If I wanted to profile Peaks as a neighborhood, why not? Say yes. I really need to believe in myself, my abilities, and judgement as a photographer. At the same time, be open to new methods, critics, and experiences because after all, I'm here to learn.

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