Sunday, July 06, 2008

day +322

Photography has been both an emotional and physical escape for me since transplantation. At a time when I was burdened by the unknown outcome of treatment and barred from interacting with most people, outdoor photography served as the perfect outlet. It propelled me to go outside and to interact with the world around me, but on my own terms. In my exploratory treks throughout the city, I found the space and independence that I couldn't find any where else during my recovery. Out there in the city that I grew up in and love, I became enthralled by this new hobby of mine that just months before had been an interest oscillating significance. I had found something that took me away from the worries of cancer (if only for an hour or two) that helped to focus my energy on something positive and creative. Out there I had the elbow room necessary to reflect. I was in need of time for me and for me alone. Duane time. I was learning new skills and had found a new medium of expression and focus. Out there in the city that I grew up in and love, I had discovered a new voice and new eyes.

It was out there alone (sometimes wearing a surgical mask and gloves) with my camera and tripod where I was able to recapture some semblance of the rugged individualism and the feeling that I possessed some form of control over my own destiny. It was out there that my sense of individualism, of adventure, of curiosity . . . some of the many characteristics that make me feel like myself . . . were resuscitated and maintained.

Even during winter's coldest days, I made an effort to visit some new area of the Bronx or Manhattan in the hope of photographing something fun. In fact, a good deal of my earliest experimenting took place during the winter months. For example, it was then that I tried long exposure photography for the first time and subsequently, worked to get better. I found the winter and fall to be wonderful times for experimenting, but I find myself struggling so far this summer.

The haze and humidity of the city has been a bummer. I just feel zapped many times when it's this uncomfortable. As a result, I'm not inclined to go outside many times or I'll curtail my photographic treks. I can get down on myself too at times, which I've been dealing with recently. It is at these moments when I really need to be outside photographing, but because of what I just explained many times I'll find myself home doing nothing and so, frustration sets in. This holiday weekend I felt like I really needed to be outside working on my bridge project, but I was discouraged to do so due in part because of the ubiquitous white haze that suffocated the city since Thursday. I was also just down on myself. In a bit of a funk.

I'm trying to get my act together before I leave for this much anticipated trip, but it has been challenging.

By mid-week, the weather is supposed to improve. I'm looking forward to capturing a new and interesting scene.


Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

And what a great pastime photography has turned out to be for you! Your photos are great! You didnt say it but maybe part of your funk has to do with what you said on June 17th, "Day +303". But anyway, dont let the weather get you down. Day +365, and then the Fall, will be here before you know it! Autumn leaves, cool breezes, fresh air, new life springs from the old.

6:27 PM  
Comment Blogger Michelle J said...

Sorry dude!! I know all too well what it feels like to feel funky! And not in a good way! :O) Things will get better, they always do! When are you leaving on your trip?? I am excited for you!!

7:58 PM  
Comment Blogger byerrum said...


Did Sacramento make your itinerary? Let me know. Keep up the photography.


1:28 AM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration. Thank you for the gift of your blog, I know it inspires many. Thank you for your openness and willingness to share.

1:26 PM  
Comment Blogger Miss Melanoma said...

Sorry the weather sucks, but thank you so much for posting that very personal and touching bit about your life. It's great to get to know you some more. Keep up the great photography!


1:37 PM  
Comment Anonymous Brandi said...

Hi Duane,

I came across your site from The Blogcatalog. I haven't seen you before on the Hodge Board, I don't think, but glad I have come across your site, I would love to link to it from my site, if you don't mind.

I am glad you had photography as your outlet. Raised a photographer myself, I can really appreciate your passion and the ability to lose yourself, if only for a little while, through your work. I bought a new camera to try to get back into photography myself as an outlet for my creeping depression, last year, just before I started getting really sick, but have not been well enough yet to get out there and do anything with it. A goal I still have.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say hello, and I am glad things are still going well with you and NED! Have a great day, I will check your site often!

5:07 PM  

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