Searching for an angle

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          People keep telling me that I should try new things while I’m out here. Friends keep asking me if I’m doing this or that, and telling me it’s a whole new world and that nothing is like California. Yesterday after work I realized that I had fallen into a rut. I’ve been too comfortable in what I’ve been doing. So when we went down to the pier I tried to figure out what I could do to break myself out of my shell. Hmm, I’ve never really done surfing. I think I’ll try that.

           At the end of the boardwalk at surfer’s point, I found a group of surfers that seemed perfect and wouldn’t mind me hanging around them. So I joined. I waited patiently, looking for that perfect wave that would give me what I was looking for. I waited through small wave after small wave as the ocean’s breeze curled my hair even more. Every now and then I would know a good one was coming when I saw the other surfers turn their boards and start swimming. I would get ready and then be disappointed time and time again.

           Then finally I found a way to take the overall picture to a new level. Near the small wall that I was straddling on the boardwalk I noticed one of the surfer’s bicycles chained to a tree. I spent most of my time trying to frame their rides in between the bike. I never really got it, but I was trying new things and thinking differently at least. I hope I’ll get that opportunity again.

          While I never got in the water, I did enjoy sitting there for the half an hour or more trying to figure out a new shot. For the most part, Elliott beat me again on a shoot. I’m not sure if he’s just gotten a lot better or if I hadn’t shot much with him. I’ve said he would be a great photographer the whole time (please don’t take me to think I’m the one to see that) but it definitely snuck up on me. It’s great though. He’s reminded me how competitive this business is. I got too comfortable and thought I was making good photos. While that part may have been true, I never want to settle for good. I want the best.

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          I was thinking differently last night and composed a few photos that I probably wouldn’t have seen if I wasn’t looking for the best. It reminded me of a message that my friend Britney sent me saying how at first she was envious of us but then came to a new realization. I hope she doesn’t mind if I quote her on a part of it.

          I miss you all, but I was so caught up in thinking about what I wasn’t experiencing in far away places, that I forgot that I can still learn and explore whats around me.”

          I thought that was pretty cool. I told her even though I’m learning now, it’s only because I’m shooting more than I would at home. It’s easy to fall in the rut at home and just do what’s comfortable. For many of us that work for the newspaper, that ends up being sitting around with friends and trying to forget about two back to back semesters of backbreaking work. So we tend to fall away from what we love for the summer.

          I’ve learned the most at the Picture Kentucky Workshops in small towns in Kentucky. There are great stories there just like there are great ones here. I’ll never be convinced that eastern and southeastern Kentucky isn’t full of the most interesting people alive.

           I’m not selling this trip short, but I’m not discrediting the fact that picture stories are everywhere. And through all of the inspirational rambling in the past three paragraphs, I do actually have a point.

          The point is I was stale. While working for the Kernel it’s easy to think in terms of “What does my boss want?” Sometimes you think so much about providing the basics and getting the job done you can forget to be creative and really find how to tell the story.            Maybe you’re thinking this is me acting like I have some wisdom gained or that I’m trying to find personal value for my trip. Maybe it seems I think I needed to travel 5,000 miles across the country, camp 10 nights, eat terrible food, talk to homeless people, get lost, find the road and myself along the way, but that’s not what I’m saying.

            In fact, if you think that’s what I’m saying, you missed it. Keep searching for the right angle.

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One Response to “Searching for an angle”

  1. Britney Says:

    That britney chick sounds pretty cool.

    keep um comin brad, you inspire me more every day.

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