One of unfortunately too many homeless kitties in Istanbul. This one was taking a break in The Tünel, which is the world's second oldest subway. The Tünel was commissioned by Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz in 1869, meant to help the locals get up the steep hill to the Beyoğlu neighborhood. It is still in operation today having been renovated in 1971.
Ahh, the joy of jet lag. Having been awake since 4am despite being back in the comfort of my own bed, I couldn't help but think of the photos I captured this week in Istanbul. The first thing I did last night once we got home (as always) was to download my images to my computer, make further backups & import them to Lightroom. Typically I then take a few minutes to scroll through my images to see if I captured any portfolio worthy shots. And what did I see? Nothing. Nada. Crap. How could that be? My wife and I had just spent a week in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth - a UNESCO World Heritage Site at that - and I'm not happy with my photos?! Something isn't adding up. Frustrated, I went downstairs to enjoy a much needed breakfast burrito and thought about my images for a bit. After clearing a bit of the fog from my jet lag, I realized I was experiencing the dreaded "Post-Photography Hangover". I've experienced it before, but this time seemed quite accute. Perhaps it was the fact that I was hungry and had essentially been up for about 24 hours, but I wasn't happy with what I was seeing. Usually this occurs after a long day of shooting, weddings were typically my worst culprits. It sometimes took me a few days after the wedding to get the creative excitement back to start the work on my edits and see the images in fresh light.
I'll define this "Hangover" as a loss of creative interpretation or burnout from your own work. Sometimes even though you may have captured some great images, you just can't see their full potential until you sit on them for a few days. I remember two particular events, one a wedding and one a day of wandering around the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, that took me a bit of time to digest. Once I saw the potential both sets turned out some of my favorite shots yet. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to re-visit images I shot months or even years ago. Sometimes you see potential in images you had previously decided weren't worthy. It is quite interesting the effect that time can have on the creative process!
So how do you cure the "Post-Photography Hangover"? Likely no 'cure' exists, but I think the best idea is to give it a few days and clear your head. Step away from the computer, go for a hike or just do something that clears your mind. Give it time and you'll see good results.
So after having another quick look through my images from Istanbul this morning, the excitement is growing. I happened on the image below and it really stood out to me. It may take a few days or even weeks for me to digest the rest of the images and they may not ultimately produce my best work. That said, it was a wonderful trip and I think I'll muster at least few good shots. Now where is my coffee cup?
As an airline pilot, I'm quite fortunate to get to see the world on the cheap and often on short notice. So when the opportunity comes to make even a short holiday somewhere fun who am I to say no? My wife and I happened to have 4 days off together recently and since the snowfall at home in Colorado had been mediocre we decided to skip snowboarding that week and fly somewhere instead. So off to Paris it was. I once again used my ethos of packing light and brought along my minimum kit, although this time I did bring my prime Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. I'm unsure of what's easier, having two weeks to make great images or having a shortened time span of about 55 hours on the ground. After getting home and sorting through my images, I was fairly pleased with the results. I hope you are too!
Disclaimer: this week's photo hasn't an ounce of technical nor artistic photographic merit. Zip. Nada. Nothing. It is however quite special in a different way. You see, it is a capture of my very last commute to work for hopefully a very long time. Beginning next week I am officially based back home in Denver with my airline. No more commuting nearly 900 miles each week to Chicago and worrying if I'll make it to work or not. Nor will there be anymore racing through the airport on my last day of a trip hoping to catch the last flight home to Denver. From now on, I simply get to enjoy my 45 minute drive to work instead of my minimum 4 hour commute for the last 4 1/2 years. Time to live the good life now and this photo captures well over 4 years of anticipation. So perhaps it does have some merit in it somewhere, sometimes those small snapshots in our lives make for very memorable moments. And memorable this one was. I can now welcome myself back home.