I took my camera out for the first time in years yesterday. It’s a Nikon D7000 and it has hardly been used. I had to remind myself how to make it work. ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture. The quality of light. There are still some things that are bugging me. Little icons flashing that I couldn’t figure out, but for the most part it came back to me. People have told me for years I have a good eye. The photos I’ve taken while travelling overseas have been rich in color and story. But when COVID kept me home I wanted to start seeing the world in front of me. I had put the camera down thinking things in my backyard were less interesting. Then came the IPhone and who needed to lug around a DSLR. Just point and shoot and post it to the web.
I’ve been making excuses for not taking photographs. I wear glasses now so can’t focus well. I didn’t find that the case at all. Nothing interested me in my neighborhood. I found lots of imagery within a short drive. Is it possible to have photographers block just like people have writer’s block? If so, I had it. But yesterday when I had my camera in my hand it felt good. When I had the viewfinder up to my eye (even with glasses) I saw things through a new lens. I noticed the things I photographed were different from things that caught my eye before. I drove through Globeville and Rino and Five Points. I roamed through Curtis Park and Whittier and all the way to North Park Hill.
I photographed textures and trains. Sunflowers and signage. The thing that stood out the most to me was the Home sign in Globeville’s Beloved Community Village, which was set up to house the homeless. In the past when I drove by there it was just a cluster of tiny homes by a train track. But this time it had a beautiful colorful fence with HOME proudly written in big white letters across the wire. You could see a criss-cross wood pattern and next to it the colors of the rainbow. There were planter boxes in front. It looked like those who were there intended to stay. Nothing about it said eyesore. It said this is a solution.