Listening to Your Muse

Sometimes when I walk into a place, I’m strongly attracted to a particular area. Something has caught my eye, and my subconscious has kicked into high gear. I’ve found that if I pay attention to the cues, and spend some time exploring that area, there’s a photo I really want to make waiting for me.

Case in point: this contemporary Loft. Walking in the ground-floor entrance, this was what greeted me:2211 5th St., Berkeley

Typical ground floor for this type of building, which is a sort of Condo/Loft hybrid. But of course, my eye immediately gravitated to the stairs, which are one of my favorite architectural subjects.

Upstairs, I found myself using this feature to anchor several other photos:2211 5th St., Berkeley

With my shoot effectively done, I took a few minutes to explore. Stairways are (for me) rich subjects, and when they’re as exposed as these, there are always some interesting compositions to make. But this time, it wasn’t immediately obvious. After wandering around a bit, looking at things through the lens, I tried this:2211 5th St., Berkeley

Meh. Sort of interesting (and actually, as I type this and look at that shot again for the first time since that day, I like it better and better) but didn’t really work for me at the time.

I knew there was something better. More wandering around, and finally, while standing precariously on a chair, in the corner of the room, I found what I was looking for. I worked it for a good 10 minutes before finally getting this:2211 5th St., Berkeley

The thing is, you had to go into a corner of the room that isn’t particularly inviting, and get up high enough off the floor before you can even see this shot. Had I not paid attention to that little voice when I first walked up this staircase, I might never have worked hard enough to find it.

It’s hard to find time to even think about art when on a commercial job; let alone find time to work on it. But at least in this case I came away with something I liked, and really, how often do you get a piece for your fine-art portfolio in 20 minutes?

One response to “Listening to Your Muse

  1. Well done, Scott. I enjoyed the post and the final shot you found.

    I added you to my RSS reader a couple weeks ago. I’m enjoying your posts. I shoot some architectural stuff on occasion as well. Best wishes.