Every once in awhile , one needs to stop and look back. Yes, I remember the old saying, “Don’t look back.” However, what I’m speaking of is not to recall the past and say, “I wish I’d have done this differently”. Rather, it’s attuned to verifying that our internal compass is giving us the right reading. We are creatures of habit. We go forward each day doing what we think is our plan towards what we believe is our goal. But sometimes, it helps to look back and examine the decisions we’ve made. Where have I been? Am I focused on the right things? Is the creativity there? Am I on the right road and is my path in keeping with the course and objectives I set earlier? Am I portraying the real me or am I trying to emulate someone else? For me, it’s a self-analysis to determine what I need to keep on doing. Possibly more important, it’s also a means to sort through those habits and things that I need to change, work on or completely separate myself from.
What does this have to do with photography? Well, just about everything. As I was looking through my portfolio of recent photos, some of those questions were going through my mind. So I paged further back. “Hmmmm. That was a pretty interesting photo and there was so much potential where I shot it. Yep, need to get back there”. Or, “Ugh! What on earth was I thinking when I locked in the composition and aperture for that photo?” Just as important were a few old captures that, as they opened up on the screen, still brought a tear of wonder and amazement to my eyes. Yes, progress appears to have at times come on like a tempest while on other occasions it seems that a rut of monotony and missed opportunities prevailed.
Yes, a look back can be a little painful at times. But don’t stop. Look back. Remember the detail of those little things that worked. Learn from those ugly compositions and terrible aperture settings. Focus on details. Examine your wish list for future opportunities. Most of all have fun. Finally, as I do with my shot of “The Golden Fall”, visualize those special moments and forever keep them in your mind.