52 Wednesdays :: Night

I’m going to preface this post and say that I am too hard on myself.  Anyone else have this problem?  In my head, I justify my self- critical nature by telling myself it helps me become better (which I believe is partially true).  I’ve decided that I need to become less critical however, because often it hinders my authentic enjoyment of something for what it is, experiences included.  And not to say that I am always too critical because I can definitely feel good about a job well done, but then again, my idea of this might differ from someone else.  One might wonder what this has to do with my 52 Wednesdays post this week, but it relates to my recent shooting experience.

On Monday evening, I set out at 12:00am with my Omni-heat jacket, fingerless gloves, camera, and a borrowed tripod to experience the city purely as a documentarian.  To my surprise, Portland is not a very happening place at around 12am on a Monday evening and it seemed much more like 2 or 3am instead.  I had a list of places in my head where I wanted to try a few things out, but the more I moved around the less safe I felt.  Really, I’ve never had a safety problem in Portland and even late, late at night when I lived downtown and frequently walked about.  But when a normally very busy part of town seems so dead and the sporadic passers-by were rough vagrant types, all 115 lbs. of me felt uneasy with $3500 hanging around my neck.  Downtown Portland was eerily quiet.  Only a few cars parked on the streets here and there, just me, the sound of my steps, and the clicks from my camera.  What would normally be a relished moment for how peaceful, surreal and dreamy it was, seemed squashed by my anxious nerves.  So I left and went to a different part of town which I thought would be busier.  And it was a little, but not much.  What bothered me at the time was that I felt the strongest desire to capture images that mattered.  I wanted to take photos of Portland at night in a way only the dodgy, night crowd experiences it.  Sleeping homeless under a church entrance, the dancing lights of the marquee to a strip club, portraits of the street youth with no place to go–these are the things I had envisioned.  But I was too scared.  Part of me thinks that it was smart to play it safe, but then there is another side that echos in my head, “Failed.”  Someday I would still like to attempt my vision, but next time I’ll bring a strong handsome bodyguard with me. =)

So this is what I created instead.  A small sample of a the hipster neighborhood, Hawthorne… at night.  And though they are not what I was after, I do like them quite a bit.

Next in the circle is a woman who amazes me with her night photography and I can’t wait to see what she’s created this week.  Pamela Joye from Salem, MA http://www.pamelajoye.com/fine-art/?p=2777

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