More On Personal Photographic Projects

As most of you know, it's been a long time since I have actually photographed anything that could remotely be called a project. To burn't out from anything remotely feeling like a project or even sounding like one. I have kept an ongoing list of things that have crossed my mind that might make for interesting personal projects.

Some items on this list have come from nowhere as I am drinking a cup of coffee. Some of them come from direct observation of subject matter sans camera that seems like I would be interesting to explore further - mostly documentary in nature. In other cases I will actually set out to photograph something completely different. Not anything that really interests me that much - definitely not "project worthy" and I happen to take a picture that later gives me ideas that have nothing to do with why I was photographing in the first place.

Over the weekend I ventured out into the local woods with a photographer friend of mine. The primary purpose was to help / coach him on his 4x5 view camera endeavors. Of course I brought my camera with me - mostly to make a couple images of him using his 4x5 camera. When we arrived at a suitable location I was intrigued at the number and diversity of people sprinkled around this spot in the middle of nowhere. He was of course annoyed as he like is landscape scenes sans people. When I saw this image I just had to take it. The scene only lasted about 30 seconds, I was way way too far away even with a 135mm lens that was in my bag. I was perched on a rock and had a hard time keeping steady. Even worse I had no room to move or recompose. I shot two of the frames and then it was gone.

The image is okay but the trip into the woods, my interest in the diversity of people there, and this image suggested two projects that I feel compelled to do. The first one is a lifestyle/fashion shoot in the many similar locations like this around the area. Grab a couple of models - someone to hold reflectors - and shoot. The location in combination with the heavy, humid air suggests summer as well as the vegetation and offers something way off the beaten track as compared to beachy type fashion but suggests a similar feeling. A great project right up my ally for the summer.

The other project it suggests is a documentary project about summertime swimming holes - they people that gather there - and the diversity of their age/background/ethnicity as well as activities. I have a number of grab shots of this type of thing from this summer already so something is nagging me to shoot this them.

One thing I am going to do as I dip my toe back into doing anything remotely similar to a project is to have some hard limitations to it's scale and intent. I am seriously thinking of limiting projects right now to ONE 36 exposure roll of 35mm film or one roll of 120 film if it is a static subject. This should keep me out of trouble, focused, and most importantly having a good time.

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