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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just Do It

Tied-Up on an Island (Holbox & Manhattan) © Nina Buesing

A while back I wrote about how it is hard for me to photograph in the city. I love doing all my sketching, dreaming, planning and post-production in the city. But shooting had been a bit hard for me here in the last few years.
At first I was not so worried about me not shooting in the city because I always photographed a lot of nature and a lot when I was travelling, and so I thought it had to do with my current passions and interests. I was somewhat comfortable with that explanation and left it at that.
But that didn't last. It kept bothering me. (And I know 'Guru Aimee' is thinking: I told you so).

I have just returned from Belize. A country that is another home for me and in which I have been photographing for over a decade. I shot a lot when I was there. While I was there I was also thinking about why it is so easy for me to shoot there: Belize is gorgeous, it is not overexposed like New York and it is not where I spent my quotidian life (ergo it's fresh & new) .
But I no longer think those are the primary reasons why I am so productive there.
I think the reason I am very productive when visiting Belize (or other places) is because I am out and about and not bogged down with a million things, like I am in New York. This might seem self-evident to most, but it truly wasn't to me.

My husband has been after me for years to simplify our lives. And I have always been very resistant. I am a pack-rat and homebody and I am just interested in everything & everyone. I see value in everything and as a result, at home, I store all kinds of articles, books, heirlooms, notes and knick-knacks in the hopes that they will turn into a project one day --and some do. But it also means: Clutter.
Space is scare on the island of Manhattan and I need to un-clutter so I can breath and think.
I think the clutter & subsequent mental noise keep me from being out there and experiencing things and photographing them. And even from making progress all together. I have some idea why I have been living like this and I think I am ready to move on.

I have embarked on a new project titled "Chronicle" (pics to come soon) and for it I had to get out there and take advantage of the great city I live in.
And you know what? It was great! And productive!

Thus August will be the month of cleansing. I will keep necessary books, notes, photographs and knick-knacks, but I will be more discriminate and get rid of a lot of baggage (mentally & physically). Reduce the clutter.
I will spend my time wiser and work with more focus. I will learn that it is okay to give up on things. And while I know that travel will always inspire me,I think I now am ready to photograph in New York again too.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes.


Rona Chang said...

Photographing in the city has always been a problem for me as well. I have decided that I want to start a project in Queens, which may branch out. I have some ideas formulated but no photos taken. Your post is a bit of a push to just go out and photograph! Thanks Nina!

Emily Shur said...

It's funny you wrote this b/c I recently started shooting around LA....just driving around and shooting, always keeping my 4x5 in my car. So far it's pretty fun. I hope the same goes for you and NY. kiss kiss.

nina said...

ahhh..us girls are in sync! Sweet!
Yes, things are going well and I am pysched :)