Looking Forward

It is perhaps no surprise that I am often following behind my subjects, often even chasing after them to take pictures (a habit I'm sure my daughter loves). What surprised me at first was how much I love some of the images I got of others looking out & away from the camera.

I'm not entirely sure what it is that I enjoy so much about these images. For some, such as those above, the sense of a person looking out into a much larger (and perhaps unknown) environment certainly has something to do with it. In others, there's a more active movement forward.

At play

Moving through NYC

For most of them, though, there's just a sense of… contemplation that I can't help but enjoy. When a subject is facing the camera, there's a great deal that can be gleaned from their expression. Without that expression, it's possible to project a greater range of thoughts and feelings onto those in the image. It's perhaps a situation, and I believe there are many in photography, where added uncertainty makes for something more interesting.

At rest

East Coast Vacation

Alicia at one of the windows in the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City.

Writing is not something I find comes easily to me, unless it’s a communication aimed at a specific person, for some specific task. Emails written for work do not need a great deal of polish, compared to anything written for more public consumption.  At least, I tell myself this is why I have been so reluctant to start this little project.

I believe it is time to write more, and to reconsider how I present and focus my photography. It no longer seems enough to me to simply post a collection of images I enjoyed into a gallery in chronological order (though I will not stop doing so). It’s time to attempt photo essays.

Family at Cooper River.

One recurring thought I have when I travel to most places that are not in Southern California: “Wow, this place has real trees!” We do have trees, really, but their presence is never so tangible at home as elsewhere. It’s as though trees in a Orange County have forgotten that they’re supposed to have a smell, that they’re not just there to look pretty.


There always seems to be a tension, to me, when it is time for a vacation. Time off from work is a wonderful time to rest, and also the only practical time to travel. I do not find travel relaxing. It's fun! But it takes energy.

Sleeping in after a day in NYC.

This trip was particularly ambitious. With my wife, daugher, and in-laws, we spent time in Philadelphia, NYC, Atlantic City, and with family in southern New Jersey. We got to spend time with many members of my family that we live so far from.

We spent one day in New York City, which is an uncommon experience for me. I used to hate crowds, and therefore avoided cities as much as I could. Now… now crowds just provide new photography opportunities, and I find I don't mind them at all.

We also stopped by Atlantic City, during their Sand Sculpting World Cup, which was certainly interesting to see. That city hasn't been doing so well, though; the hotel we parked at closed down a couple of months after we were there.

We mostly spent time on the beach, where I tried something a little different with my photography. Pictures taken in direct sunlight tend to be very contrasty; for these I tried a much lower-contrast black and white conversion than is usual for me, and the look that I got has become one of my favorites.