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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Returning

In yesterdays post, I mentioned that I had thought a building which I visit frequently might be interesting to photograph, and that I had returned to it with my camera in tow. I really wish that I would return more often to places that have struck me as intriguing.

Often times, I will be driving somewhere and see an interesting landscape or location and tuck away in the back of my mind that it is a place that, in the future, would be worth exploring photographically. Unfortunately, much more often than not, I never end up going back. On the occasions that I do return, I usually end up feeling quite happy about having done so, both from the point of view of the photographs I end up taking as well as from the sense of having followed through on an idea that I had.

In fact, I find that I capture at least some interesting images the vast majority of times that I return to such a location. It makes me wonder if that initial positive gut response occurs because the scene or location somehow resonates with me, without my even clearly knowing what exactly the attraction is. That might explain why things seem to ‘click’ when I return with a camera.

Often, however, I never get back to the place that had attracted me. Sometimes I just forget that I had wanted to return. But the majority of the time I just don’t follow up, even when I do remember. There are a million and one excuses. You know them all. I don’t have enough time, I’m working on a different project, it is too inconvenient, etc.. But when I think about it carefully, I realize that in doing so I may be passing up opportunities that have struck an unconscious chord with me and that those opportunities might actually be the very best and most productive ones to follow up on.

Recognizing this, I have started to keep a pen and a small notebook in my car in order to write down where I am, what it is I am seeing, and what kind of photograph I visualized when I get the feeling that I should return to a place in order to take some pictures. I am hoping that this not only eliminates the forgetting, but that it will also act as a gentle reminder to do things that I know I really should get around to. Time will tell whether or not it is effective.

I think that following up on these type of gut reactions is going to be worthwhile and likely to result in some interesting images.