2019 Retrospective

Major Observations:

  • I didn’t do enough photography (this is a bad thing)
  • I’m still restless about the meaning and use of photography (this is a good thing)

Rusty in Morocco – February

(click on an image for larger views)

I took my first photographic travel adventure in February 2013 to Cuba. I have since followed this with yearly adventures; traveling with photographers, for photography.

  • 2013 – Cuba and Oaxaca
  • 2014 – Portugal
  • 2015 – Ireland
  • 2016 – Japan
  • 2017 – Mongolia
  • 2018 Palermo/Venice
  • 2019 Morocco and Vietnam

Experiencing life in another country, through another culture, is a way to open your eyes to what you have, what you don’t have, and contemplate what you really need. Doing it with photographers, for photography, provides the opportunity to stop, linger, and explore the alleys and side streets away from the national monuments and museums. 

Unfortunately, it is also far too easy to get lulled into a rhythm of only photographing when you are traveling. At home, work gets in the way, life gets in the way, boredom gets in the way. In Morocco, I felt really rusty. My photographs were nice, but predictable. Too many times, I heard the voice of a previous mentor saying “too much like something you would see in a travel brochure”. Well framed – yes, well organized – sure, interesting content – mostly, unique vision – maybe.

Better in Vietnam – September

(click on an image for larger views)

But Vietnam was better. I was really apprehensive about this trip. I was actually, secretly, looking for excuses to cancel. It was odd from the beginning, with odd circumstances, very small (only 3 of us), but oh so fantastic. There are a few things I did differently on this trip. 1) I concentrated on making photographs all summer. Sometimes just for 2 hours a week, during shot walks on the beach with my husband, but exercising my photographic eye none-the-less. 2) I got there early and hired a guide for a day and a half. Once I taught him to slow down and linger, I could loose myself in the surroundings. Hanoi was busy and all things a street photographer could want. The northern country side was stunning and our local guide brought us to people and places that we would have never found otherwise. It was hot, it was hard (long treks), but it was rewarding.

Changes for 2020:

  • I will make more photographs at home. Maybe literally at home. Lots of pictures of Chick in our small condo. But this will be stimulating and challenging.
  • I will make more photographs outside of my usual street photography genre. For a few years now, I stopped going shooting with my friends when they went out to shoot birds, or fields, or something other than the street. This was my loss. Pictures are cheap, but practice is not. I forgot this and stopped taking advantage of cheap opportunities for pictures and lost out on the practice.

Happy 2020 – I head to China in September to discover the Silk Road.

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