Spending time photographing old haunts after a significant absence is a lot like catching up with an old friend. No introductions, formalities, or small talk are needed. You just pick right up where you last left off.
I’ve been spending some time in the South Carolina Lowcountry getting reacquainted with some old photographic “friends” like this one. It’s so easy to make a connection with the camera and lens, especially when the emotional connection has already been made years ago. The connection doesn’t feel forced or contrived, it just feels right.
I’ve always contended that photographers do better work with subjects and places with which they are intimately familiar. When I travel to a new location, it usually takes me days before I can do anything meaningful with the camera. The introductions and small talk I mentioned earlier are necessary in order to take the relationship to the next level. It usually involves finding your way around, scouting possible compositions, and just getting yourself oriented but it’s still deeper than that. Making an emotional connection to a place takes lots of nurturing and time – and time is often something we don’t have a lot of.
So after traveling the world photographing so many exotic locales over the past few years, I’m back home. The image making is comfortable, effortless, and deeply satisfying. The small talk has been logged years ago and the affair has been rekindled with nothing more than a suggestive glance.
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