Reflecting on 2007

Marburg from Castle

As I end the year 2007, it is a time of reflection, about all of the events that occured and the experiences that I had.  Did the year 2007 go as planned? NOPE  Is that a bad thing or a good thing? Good thing, as it went better than I had planned;- )

My professional background is in project management and operational planning, so you can see that this whole idea of making plans for the year is almost second nature.  But thank goodness I have that Right Brain thing going on!  Sometimes I think you can over plan and become very rigid in your expectations, to the point of missing good opportunities.  On the other hand, I think if you don’t plan at all, then at the end of the day, year, whatever, you look back and wonder what the heck did you actually accomplish.

Case in point, the series Bad Trip – Sad Trip that I completed in 2007.  I had been taking some pictures of the road side memorials as Folk Art, but I was also taking a lot of pictures of a lot of other things. No focus per se. Just totally random, such as a lot of my prior landscape photography work.  But then I read the artice by Brooks Jensen in LensWork who further elaborated on the idea of a focused series or project, and Bingo! the lights in my head went off.  I had not done any planning on my images, ideas or thoughts about a focused series, and as a result, at the end of the day I was going to end up with a few random group of pictures.

So 2007 became the year of starting the focus on projects and series.  Now I had plans to work on and stay focused on the Folk Art Memorials project, but that also required me to really think about what was driving me, why do it, why should I do it, I think you get the idea.  But this was the start of a different journey for me, unlike any to date. And that is great.

I did not know at the begining of 2007 that I would finish this series or that I would start at least four more, with at least a second relatively finished and the third and fourth pretty much in progress.  Maybe it would be better to talk about how I accomplished goals versus the make-vs-plan that I do so often with my corporate hat on.  Goals for me is a way to talk about my ‘plans’ in softer and more open terms, with a lot larger degree of latitude and freedom. My right brain gets easily distracted and sometimes that creates great opportunities and that in retrospec, glad I took.  But it also give me a Charile Brown wishy-washy, can’t make up your mind appearance as.  Sorry, but I am now too old to care, so be it!

Okay, I’ll probably be reflecting a little more over the next week and perhaps get into setting some goals for 2008.

BTW, this image is from the castle overlooking Marburg, Germany while I was there at the end of October (business trip and not planned, but wonderful time and opportunity). I made this image as a gentle mist was starting to come down with Marbrug getting fogged in during the late afternoon.  This small building houses a spiral stairway down the side of the castle wall to another section of the castle grounds inside the moat. And there is that big tree, which in color would be a cascade of yellow Fall leaves. But that splash of color would distract you from that small building with the dark enterance, mysterious, but not totally forbiddening. Beckoning you to enter in, explore and to discover where the journey would take you. A nice little metaphor for starting 2008, eh?

Best regards, Doug


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