My October Photo of the Month is SNT30, a photo taken right by my house at Santee Lakes.
I am going to be honest, this isn’t exactly my favorite Photo of the Month. I have made similar images, when a quick sunset shows up that I didn’t suspect. This is less than 100 yards from my front door.
October was tough. I had two major Scouting events that I attend every year, although I have reached a point where I don’t view attendance as mandatory. I also had my usual full weekend celebrating Halloween with my daughter. She is down to help her Dad make a pretty photograph, but we spent the weekend in Northern California dodging high winds and thick smoke.
The prevailing Santa Ana conditions meant few opportunities to shoot. Octobers are often the return of our onshore flow marine layer. This year, we had clouds for just a couple days. It was bad luck all around.
I have also had some ambivalence about the photography I was pursuing. I can’t travel as much, with career and parenting demands narrowing my time. My friends and family from out of town may not understand, but I am getting a little bored with San Diego.
In addition, I have noticed that my personal reaction to my work isn’t what it was a decade ago. This may have some to do with Instagram and my Photo Club. My issue with photograph might be seeing too many photographs. Sunsets don’t have the same power for me – because I see hundreds of sunsets at a time. It’s like photography is hearing “Stairway to Heaven” on repeat. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest rock songs of all time, and I pull my hair out every time I hear it.
The solution to this problem is….well I haven’t figured that out. I don’t have a lot of interest in other genres. Thinking about macro, or birds, or street photographs just doesn’t do it for me. I like my big skies. So do many people, and I might be boxed in.
I majored in English because I enjoyed writing, and photography largely supplanted that hobby 15 years ago. Maybe it’s time for a hobby pivot.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.