So there I was, standing in the middle of the red pines and rain drops. I still had cell signal that far out there however I had not seen another human being for hours.
I had just had my video camera and tripod take a hit and subsequent plunge from onto the boardwalk and then the surrounding water. Barely only ankle deep, this shallow marsh land submerged over $1,500 worth of gear. Trying to shake this off was turning out to be not easy.
No one else around to see my costly mistake, my self-blunder.
Once again I asked myself the painstaking question often at these times..
“What am I doing out here?“
Moments of self-discovery like this compel me to find out why I am driven to create, often in isolation. Yet on this particular day I had been fighting the elements and my own personal struggles in order to create a ‘perfect’ video.
Creation for me is often an experience best done and fully realized when alone, yet in this instance a good thing can sometimes be too much for a person.
And so due to fear and frustration, I concluded to take two weeks off from going out with the camera. Much like a personal “punishment” or a temporary respite.
In that time without a proper DSLR camera in hand, I ended up realizing how much having a camera means to me.
Life doesn’t feel the same without a camera in hand.
As my work has evolved and my character has matured, I realized over time that my true calling, my true happiness is only felt when I have a camera.
The physical act of going out in the field is what I crave, no matter the stress about weather or other hardships, this is all just obstacles. And like difficulties they all just fall away in the face of true passion, hard work and dedication.
Photographing something allows me to get out of my head, as if the camera is a tool, a distraction. A pleasant way of saying ‘pause’ on all other obligations and ruminations. This is essential to my wellbeing, photography is therapy and the camera is the medicine, the meditation.
In the abstract, a camera is a device to slow down and distance yourself from other woes in life, whether that is something outside of photography or in your personal life. For this day, it was from dropping your camera on a boardwalk and subsequently in the water earlier in the day.
This could’ve been the end of that day, but I’ve learned to work with what I have. It didn’t matter if it was raining quite heavily, the goal was to finish the video and produce some quality photographs. Never was it a question of whether or not to give up, I had come too far in the past several years of setbacks to just throw in the towel now.
I still had another DSLR to use, and an extension tube and small telephoto zoom lens to work with. Sometimes you have to get creative, and so I set out again through the nature preserve.
So why does all of this matter to an introvert? Well, these experiences where found out when in isolation. They were tests to my character and a challenge in order to test limits.
Introverts tend to reflect more, as I am here in writing this blog entry weeks after the incident. However in the moment, my heart and intuition said to keep going despite the odds. Introversion leans towards self reliance and calculated problem solving, like I did by finding a plastic bag and rice from my bean bag support to dry off this gear.
By the end of the day, I learned all of this by working through the actions and consequences. The day was my mess to work through, and I did it with these beautiful spring ephemerals photos as a result.
(From left to right: Virginia Bluebells, Toadshade Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Rue Anemone, Dutchmans Breeches)
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
― Charles Bukowski
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