I have so many great ideas for photography, and I want a banner year…

4 minute read

January 12, 2019, 1:24 PM

Let’s admit – 2018 was kind of a bust when it came to photography.  I had plans, but none of them really came to fruition, with the exception of my trip to Centralia in May.  Even the big road trip in October produced only tepid results.  Most of that can be attributed to extremely poor luck when it came to the weather.  I got rained out almost every single time I planned to do something exciting.  Sure, we’re not in a drought situation anymore (far from it), but I have a shortage of newer material, which affects other parts of the site.

That said, I have lots of plans for photo sets.  I keep a list of ideas, but unfortunately, due to the rate that these shoots get accomplished, I have referred to the list as “The place where photo set ideas go to die.”  A lot of the list contains infrastructure sites, such as tunnels and bridges, both locally and on the road in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  I also want to do some explore-the-town photo sets, again both locally and on the road.  I also want to do a few reshoots of old subjects that I think that I can do better now than I did way back in the day.  See Richmond’s Canal Walk from 2002 and Richmond 2013 for an example of this.  Here are two photos of the same subject – one from the 2002 set and the 2013 set:

2002 photo
2002 photo.

2013 photo
2013 photo.

I don’t know about you, but I like the 2013 photo better.  I like the framing better, and it’s clear that I was standing closer to my subject in the 2013 shot.  Back in 2002, I did a lot more volume.  I took way more individual photos, but they weren’t as inspired, and I didn’t take as much time composing them.  The results reflect that.

In any case, it’s fun to make old subjects new again.  I want to give this treatment to my old Malcolm X Park photo set from 2005.  I did the original set in two separate visits about two months apart.  While I still like a lot of the photos from the 2005 set, I think I could do a whole lot better today.  The park has barely changed in the almost 14 years since the original set was made.  I’m pretty sure that the only difference is that the restrooms were moved.  They used to be adjacent to the top of the fountain, but now they’re in the upper section of the park, built inside an existing structure.  However, I would probably call the new photo set “Meridian Hill Park”, as I’ve not heard the “Malcolm X Park” name used in many years.  I also want to reshoot Old Town Alexandria, which I first photographed in 2002, and, to a lesser extent, in 2003.  That original 2002 set was a hot mess.  It’s clear that I didn’t try very hard, and was just taking snapshots while walking down the street, and the accompanying narration was terrible.  The 2003 set was marginally better.  I remember that 2003 set for the timing.  I was also visiting the George Washington Masonic Memorial that day, and so I did the waterfront set, and then power walked it from there to the Masonic Memorial to make the tour time.  In a modern set, I want to focus on details, and not just snapping while walking.  Based on the timestamps on the original photos, I did the whole 2002 shoot in just under an hour.  Same thing for 2003.  Nowadays, I spend more time, and the results show it.

I also want to do more infrastructure photography.  I want to photograph a wind farm, and did some scouting for that on what was otherwise a rainout when Elyse and I went to Centralia.  I also located another one near Cumberland (Twin Ridges), though I’m not quite sure how I would access it based on a look at Google Maps.  I also have several bridges and tunnels on my wish list.  Some are local, and others are not.

I also want to accomplish a few rainout photo sets.  I want to complete “The Wasteland”, i.e. that photo set that I wanted to shoot in Centralia but got rained out for, in 2019.  I also want to go back out to Piney Point to get that sunrise.  Recall that I tried that before and was rained out, though I did get “Intentionally Overexposed” out of it, so it wasn’t a total wash.

And, of course, I am not above cheesy pop culture references.  I want to do a photo feature showing street signs at the intersection of 4th and D Streets in DC, based on the “Capital City” song on The Simpsons.  DC has three 4th and D intersections (there isn’t one in Northwest), and my plan is to photograph all three of them and see what shot I like best.  That might be fun.

So all in all, I think that I have my work cut out for me in 2019.  Let’s hope that I knock a few things off of the list.