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Get Local

I think one area where we all struggle is in appreciating what is right in front of us. I think this especially applies to our home towns, local communities, and regions where we are from and spend most of our time. There are always people looking to throw shade on your home town and focus on the negative and dismiss the positive. Don’t let those people bring you down. Don’t let them blind you to all the great opportunities right in front of you.

I know one thing that I often find myself doing and maybe you do it too, is I always think that there is nothing fun to do locally. I always think that if I want to do something fun it requires some grand adventure or at least a couple hour drive to someplace new or someplace you rarely go. It is really a difficult mindset to shake. I struggle with this all the time. It is very obvious to me in my photography, when I frequently remark that I have not gotten to X, Y, or Z local area to work on photography in some time. And I say it all the time. So if I openly acknowledge that regularly why is it I am so stuck on thinking about needing to go someplace to get my fun fix? I really don’t know the answer to that. I wish I did.

What I do know is that if you are able to shift your mindset away from the, “I need to go away to do something fun” and to “what does my local area have to offer”, you might be pleasantly surprised.

One way in which I am fortunate to live where I do is that there actually is a lot going on in our area. Not just event happening, but places to go that are regularly available for a visit. One of those places is the amazing Corning Museum of Glass. A place I often wish I spent more time. Recently I decided I wanted to take a trip there with my wife and my dad. There are so many cool items on display and I often wish I was a more patient museum going and could focus myself enough to read about all the pieces on display, but I really struggle with that. I am much more of a visual person. I really like to move from piece to peace soaking it in through my visual cortex as a work of art and not so much as expository text.

I wanted to try something different on this visit to the museum. I wanted to find a way to get myself to linger longer on objects and I don’t know if think about them differently is the right frame or if I just wanted to observe them differently. But I wanted to do more than simply walking through the museum looking briefly at the objects it contained. I wanted to find a way to train myself on certain object. So I did the thing that one does when they are a photographer and they want to focus on something, I brought my camera.

As we walked through the museum as I found items that interested me for whatever reason I took the time to study them through my camera lens. Often I photographed the same objects from multiple angles. I often tried to focus on the smaller components of a particular piece of glass and see if I could isolate it in an interesting way. I really enjoyed visiting the museum in this way. It took the whole experience to another level for me by combining different things that I enjoy.

Once I got home I was able to view all the images I had created. Some of them I really liked. Then I did something I don’t do a whole lot of. I edited the photos in a more creative and “artistic” style. This resulted in the final image not simply being a replication of exactly what I saw through my lens, but something a little bit different. I didn’t do anything too dramatic, but often the editing I did changed the colors of the items and or the backgrounds around the subject. Let me know what you think of the images. Especially if you are familiar with the Corning Museum of Glass let me know what you think of the images and if you can recognize the pieces I photographed from the museum and know what they are, particularly the ones where I isolated something small from a bigger work.

The CMOG has amazing pieces of glass and I love living someplace where I get to experience it regularly if I keep my eyes open to experiencing local. I am thankful for an opportunity to share some of our local treasures with you from teh CMOG, but you really need to come see it in person if you have the chance. If you have something local you want to share with me comment here or Tweet at me at @KRNaturalPhoto.

I referenced this article in my previous one titled “Defeating Anxiety in 2020” and I am glad to have fought through the several layers of anxiety to have finally produced the article. Thanks for all your support.

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