Here is proof that I am literally going out (of my way) to overcome my agoraphobia! It is a joy to be able to shoot outdoors again, and realise how much perspectives change when you undergo internal overhauls and put in the work to challenge the darkness.
My safe place is of course my home, my own four walls, and that certainly doesn’t include the garden and courtyard downstairs. As I’ve written countless times before, I am fortunate to live along the edges of a nature reserve and a little area referred to as Little Venice here in Berlin Spandau. I thank the universe every day for having led me to this part of the city, far away from the political and financial hubs of the nation’s capital. It is quite easy forget that I’m even in an urban area!
It’s been months since I photographed my beloved Tiefwerderwiese, so it was perfect timing that I returned to it a it approaches its peak vibrancy. Sometimes I have to blink twice to make sure I am staring into the abyss of nature’s bounty and not a two-dimensional painting.
Since this entire area is along the Havel River and is full of river fowl, encounters with ducks are inevitable. I always hope to chance upon the swans but it was not in the cards for me that day. Instead, I was presented with the trio quackernale. I love photographing ducks in a lake or river, not for the sake of animal photography per se, but because of the graceful motion of the water ripples. It’s the most exquisite 3D minimalism albeit the noisy running commentary from this gossiping trio.
Last but not least: there is an elevated wooden walkway that traverses river, marsh and field on the last stretch of the walk. This has been under renovation for ages and it was finally completed sometime late last year. It was re-routed somewhat but the basic trajectory is the same. If you know where to look and how to look, there are many hidden treasures to photograph, depending on your mood and preference. I mean, you could easily focus on the goats and buffalos in the fields, but why bother with them when you can chance upon a philosophical chair in the distance. The entire scene had a meditative spirit about it, and I felt as though I was in the middle of an open air temple of sorts.
The devil is in the detail, and I’ve seen many photographs lose their elegance or potential with the careless inclusion of an unwelcome detail. On the other hand, it is sometimes that one little detail that can transform the entire spirit and story of the image, like this chair does here.
The photograph above is entitled Finding Your Niche. It means so much more to me than just a composition. It was a reminder that we are in constant pursuit of our individual niche, the true calling of our talents and purpose in life. We aspire to find it in our careers, families, and communities, but more importantly, our passions. Yes, you may be a talented writer but what kind of writer do you want to be? What impact do you desire your work to have? If you are an artist, how do you want to convey you message or express your emotions? With photography it’s the same thing, finding that special path that defines how your lens interprets the cravings of the soul.
Bottom line: this new set of photographs is the soul pudding of the week, proof that I have finally stepped out of my comfortable confines and reconciling my place and purpose.