I suppose this is the time when I'm supposed to write about the accomplishments of 2015 and goals for 2016, about how something clicked in me back in February and I decided that I'd had enough of standing by and letting others have all the fun and so I took a deep breath and jumped in and got into shooting races and triathlons and found out what life is like on race day behind the scenes (it's just as much fun as it is running the races). I suppose I also need to say that I took another deep breath and jumped into taking a few portraits and even a family session, two things I thought I'd never have the desire to do, but discovered to my surprise just how much more I loved taking pictures of people instead of the natural world. I suppose I should also mention that, after swearing off flash photography ever since picking up my camera nearly five years ago (I mean, really picking it up) that I am now a convert, so much so, that I think I may actually like flash more than natural light. Maybe.
Yes, a lot has happened this year, and a lot has happened to me. I've changed this year, I've become more focused and intentional, two things that I really wanted to achieve. I've worked hard at coming out of my shell, something that I will continue to do in the coming year. I've worked hard at my photography, striving at creating and making pictures instead of just taking pictures. I'm discovering that it's really fun to plan out a photo in my head, at first coming up with a vague idea sort of floating about in front of my eyes, but then zeroing in on it and making it happen, getting the props sorted out, getting the technical aspects sorted out, date/time/location decided upon and then just going out and playing, because that's what photography is to me - - - it's a chance for me to go out and play and playing is fun.
Which leads me to this little space and what I want to do with it in 2016. I will continue to write here and will continue to post weekly, but there are things that I want to change. I will no longer be posting to "Dear Christopher" on a daily basis with a daily photo. That practice has become mundane and chore-like as I finish up my fifth year of doing it. Instead, I want to use that space to post any creative ideas that I have come up with during the course of a given week and have brought to life. "Dear Christopher" will be my "Creating" blog, if you will.
As for this blog, this "Adventures" blog, I'm going to re-start something that I began a couple years ago but have since let slide. A few years back, I took off every Wednesday and went exploring around northwest Arkansas, the only rule being that I had to be back in time to pick up Joe from school. I would pack up my backpack the night before, map out directions to the location I wanted to go and see, then after dropping off Joe at school the next morning, I would hit the road and and not come back till around 1:00 or 2:00. It was so freeing to be on the highway, radio cranked up, my directions on the passenger seat next to me and have a little time out from my usual day-to-day world. I'd get to my destination, throw on my backpack and sling my camera around my neck and take off hiking, stopping an hour or so later for a snack and then turning around and heading back to the car and the trip home. They wouldn't be long excursions due to the time constraints, but these little "trippettes" would tide me over to the next week and the next adventure. I want to start those adventures back up again this next year and I will use this space to post about them here, along with anything else special that I was involved in.
One more goal I want to get back into the habit of is running long distances again. Maybe not the half-marathons, but I want to get back to where running 5-10 miles daily is the norm and not the exception. I really miss my long runs, the freedom I feel, as well as the pride I let take hold of me for the few seconds after getting back home or to my car. Another thing I let slide, but I've found that running is where my creativity really comes to life. Having U2 crooning in my ears and the rhythm of my falling feet keeping me company, I can zone out, lose track of where I am or what I need to do and let the ideas flow into me. I've figured out so much about life, about myself, about photography through running (I actually ran an extra four miles one time when I was puzzling out the whole exposure thing, finally "coming to", not quite sure how I got to where I was but realizing that I had run eight miles instead of the planned four miles. Yeah, I really did do that!). Running was what I did before I married and had kids and got into this whole photography thing and it has suffered these last few years. It's time I rectified that.
So, to wrap up, I want to work harder at coming out of my shell, to be a better friend, to have fun, to let things happen because forcing something to happen never happens, to run further and discover more of this unbelievable world we live in. And to continue to laugh out loud every single day.
What are some of your goals or hopes for 2016?
(all these pictures i took yesterday during the "historic rains" that fell on our area over the weekend. i think the final total was around 10", and if it had all been snow, we would've ended up with 9' of the white stuff. crazy!)