This school year I have traveled considerably more than I do most years. Beginning with Labor Day I was on the road to Wyoming, followed by multiple trips to the mountains for the fall colors. Thanksgiving found my son, his girlfriend Adi and I headed home to Michigan, then Christmas arrived and if was off to Florida. Presidents Day and Martin Luther King were each spent in Steamboat, then most recently off to New Orleans for a Spring Break/50th birthday dinner. Add to the mix half a dozen adventures out to either Rocky Mountain National Park, or Park and Summit counties, and I am a bit flabbergasted by my own travels?!
I switched schools this year for the fifth time in my teaching career. I was a welcome change, and I knew early on it would take a considerable effort just to stay on top of the school work. I had honestly resigned myself to a whole lot less photography, and a whole like more work. Well, truth is the work did show up, even more than I’d expected, but I couldn’t let the photography go. Photography has taken on a new meaning for me, and the thought of missing a sunrise or sunset, or of not being out in a meadow, or under the Milky Way just troubles me still. I’m getting better at saying “there will be another,” but arriving early at work and watching fuschia and magenta skies blend with gold and blue and green is often really difficult to bear. I wish I could be more patient, but honestly, I’m just not.
So, I’ve taken to carrying at least one camera bag every day. I’ll leave home an hour early to sit on Lookout Mountain, or along the shore of Sloan Lake. I’ll go out on snow days, when my other colleagues are hopefully still asleep, that’s now what photography means to me. That’s the change I’ve wanted to be. And, this included New Orleans, as city I never thought about visiting. Admittedly, I’m not a cityscape, or urban shooter. I like to not have to worry about people, and the timing of everything. I like my walks in the woods, the crunch of the snow under my feet. I’m still a country kid a heart, a boy from Northern Michigan. But New Orleans gave me the chance to shoot differently; to think, and compose and anticipate a whole new set of circumstances. I’ve tried to share my thoughts on the city, and the subjects that I shot as I’ve posted images in my Travelogue Gallery, but i’m not sure if they do the trip, much less the city justice. Needless to say, being open to change allowed my to take in more of the unexpected that was presented. I had a few shots thought out, but really no idea at all what to expect. I would like to go back, to see more of the city itself, to experience what it has to offer, and shoot and explore some more.
As I reminded a student today, DON’T let the travel opportunity pass you by, that is a part of the change, that is a part of the growth.