Inspired reflections


The skies were dark and foreboding – warning of the weather to come as I set off for my morning walk. The light was equal parts threatening and beautiful. Aware of the imminent downpour I struggled with which camera to bring. As I pulled on my shoes, and loaded my backpack with foul weather gear, I considered my options and decided on my trusted and reliable friend, the Olympus. Like my walking shoes, it has worn well and is dependable in any situation. It takes beautiful color photos – like my Leica. On this day though it seemed a better option to select the Olympus and not the Leica. I could not risk the potential damage of a downpour on my greatest photographic investment. And so we set out.

There is something about this camera that inspires me. With the lens I selected, the camera becomes almost painterly and I play with it like I do with no other camera in my arsenal. One of my favorite photographs of all I have taken was shot with this camera and lens combination. It has stood the test of time.

This was one of the shots I took along the day’s journey. It was shot through a mailbox of a lovely patch of blooming Cacti. It made me think of CF who for years sang a bit of a song that included the phrase and question “will the Cacti find a home?” The rush and thrill of taking a photograph with which you are pleased is so addictive. And immediately upon taking this, I felt that high.

There are times when inspiration strikes, and on this morning of dark looming clouds, I found myself inspired and energized measured by the consistency of my shots.

Upon returning I regaled my new friend and inspirer (you know who you are) about the morning’s shots and my choice of camera. Also, about my reluctance to bring one of my “heavyweights” with me.

I loved his perspective and challenge enough to share it with you. He posited that the Olympus was enjoyable because it wasn’t burdened with the expectations of a heavyweight camera. That I, as an artist, felt freer because it wasn’t a professional’s tool. He regaled me with a story based on images from a major photo journalist’s Leicas. The cameras were worn and scarred and in and of themselves told a beautiful story of their experiences – the camera AND the journalist. He then challenged me to not treat my tools too reverently and to develop the confidence to feel as free with one of my heavyweights as I do with my good friend the Olympus.

I loved the exchange, the challenge and the inspiration. And so, I left today on a trip with only my heavyweight around my neck and the hope that I can be as inspired as my mentor. Thank you TJ.


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