This is the best image I could come up with yesterday:
Yes, indeed. Yesterday, I took my camera out for a walk, and I might as well have brought a brick instead.
I didn't go in the spirit that Costa Manos meant when he told our class years ago to get out and practice photographing with no film in our cameras—he also added that he himself never did this, fearing he'd miss out on a great shot. Instead, I truly wanted to produce a good image and pull myself out of the funk that has been seriously sinking me lately. Besides, I just acquired some new tools, and that helped motivate me to go explore my new hometown of Barcelona.
After walking around for a while, the usual feeling of a bad photo day crept up and flatlined my drive. Fine, sometimes that happens and I now know how to deal with it. But what worried me most was that the line between that feeling and other worries of the moment began to blur.
As a personal rule, I try not to define my overall state (of mind, body, spirit...) based on a small scale of time. In other words, I make an effort to consider a period of days, weeks or months, depending on the need, in order to understand how I'm doing and better deal with the normal ups and downs of life.
However, in this moment I became confused and worried. Desperate, I started blaming the rain, the flat light and even Catalan culture. But I knew better. A resourceful photographer will make a competent, intelligent image even in the worst conditions, and I quickly reminded myself of that. To get out of this funk-within-the-funk, my mind raced for a didactic exercise of any sort. I decided to post the experience, if nothing else for the sake of squeezing a creative drop out a crappy outing.
It also helps that later in the day a dear friend and photographer asked me for feedback on his latest work. Nothing like stepping out of one's coop to find pleasant surprises in the creative process.
"From now on, think of your best image and make that be the lowest standard you'll accept for yourself!" Yes, Mr. Stock, thanks. Those words have helped me neutralize the most hopeless of situations in which I become blindly attached to a mediocre image that just does not cut it and brings my whole caliber down. I told my friend the same, and suddenly found myself making lemonade out of lemons.
Therefore, this gray gradient image will have to do for yesterday's session. Strangely, I feel pretty good about it. Thanks for letting me share.