Comfort Zones


I’ve become a creature of habit. For certain subject matter I go to certain places that I think will provide what I’m looking for. Most of the times they do, and once there, I can play within my defined realms.

It’s getting on summer, which means that the grasses should start beginning to look interesting. There are two locations where I do nearly all of my grass photos. They are both on land managed by Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), but they are also open to grazing of cattle as well. For some reason my go-to place for beautiful delicate grass flowers has now been chomped down so fully that it looks like it’s been mowed. And in my second go-to place they redid the fencing, so there is basically nothing that’s not been chomped either.

Will there be anything in either location for me to photograph this summer and fall, I don’t know. It looks pretty bad now.

So besides feeling sorry for myself and imagining my calls to Boulder OSMP, I had to make do with what was there.

I was out of my comfort zone. I was looking at what grasses weren’t eaten and seeing if there was something to photograph there.

I noticed these long single stalks with no leaves and little flowers growing right out of the stalks. Could I make something interesting with this? No knowing how it would turn out, I let myself get into them. I think I got some nice things. Photos grow on me over time so it will take me some time to really know, but I’ll come back and photograph them some more.

Instead of my go-to places I’m now looking at other grassy locations where there are no cows. It’s not summer yet when my favorite flowers start appearing, or fall when the grasses turn wonderful colors, so I don’t know how these places will turn out; but I’m enjoying getting images that are definitely different from my usual grass photos and that’s a good thing.

For as much as being creative means inventing and looking things in new ways, I find that I develop habits out of fear and control that are antithetical to creativity. Maybe Boulder OSMP has done me a favor by making me get out of my comfort zone. We may give lip service to getting out of our comfort zones but I think we all need to be pushed sometimes.

~ by danbaumbach on June 10, 2018.

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