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  • Writer's pictureAustin Harter

Beside the Street and In It

New perspectives make the norm compelling again

Returning to daily walks eases some anxiety and emotional problems I must address. Is it because I'm no longer hiding from them? At the time, I would have disagreed with that question. From this new perspective, I was clearly avoiding more than I realized. After all, there is only so much one can shoot while hiding from the world, especially when you have no idea that's what you're doing.

I'm taking a different approach this time. Mindfulness in all things. Auto-pilot is a terrible place to be because you're no longer driving. You're strapped in all back of the bus and shit with no view of the road ahead or even if there's a road in the first place. From that point on, everything becomes reactionary. It makes my brain and heart hurt.

It's challenging to see those things I see every day in a different light (pun intended). The familiarity of the norm seems to distance me from seeing locations, objects, and settings. I still seem as captivating with their own stories to tell. Yet, somehow I feel less motivated to use them regularly.

For example, the street. I walk these streets over and over. I see these houses and buildings almost daily. I've photographed them multiple times, and each time it produces something new. I know this to be true. I've experienced it. But why do I allow that to be why I don't grab my camera and shoot more? After all, it is something I could do every day.

On this walk, I wanted to pay close attention to the subjects besides the street and in it. There were other beautiful shots elsewhere, some of which I shot, but I focused most of my creativity on observing these two things. I found some interesting stuff out there. Do I think I would have shot some of these regardless of the goal or challenge? Perhaps. I can say it doesn't matter, though. The challenge produced these, and I'm happy with that. The bright contrasty sunlight really made some things pop for me. That's growth, and I have much more to create.

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