Art, Writing, // December 27, 2013
Karen Commings – PHOTOGRAPHER
In April of 2013, I attended a Light & Creativity workshop sponsored by the Harrisburg Camera Club. The keynote address by John Barclay, “Imagine, Create, Believe,” was a call to action for all budding (and perhaps seasoned) photographers to keep producing work that you love, to not give up, and most of all, to put your own unique vision into what you create. Barclay emphasized that it is not necessary to visit exotic places to take great photos; you only need to look around you to find material to shoot.
Being relatively new to digital photography, the presentation was a pep talk I need to hear. So inspiring was it, that I decided to commit myself to a one-year project of producing a photo a day regardless of how I may feel, what the weather is like, or any one of a hundred other excuses I make for myself to justify not going out with my camera.
To track my progress, I set up a blog (karencommingsart.blogspot.com). I write this on day 256, a goal I had questionable hope of achieving when I began. This project has been one of experimentation, of finding myself through the lens of my camera, of looking at my surroundings in different ways, and having them reflect back to me in the images I create. So far, I’ve discovered many things I enjoy photographing: the darkness of night split by the vibrant colors of neon, patterns and shapes found in nature and manmade objects, shadows and reflections, and the unexpected amusement of catching people unaware on the streets. But as the year has progressed, I’m being drawn more and more to the high contrast and emotional power of black and white images. They speak to me in a way that color does not.
What began as a project to improve my photography has become an obsession. More than fourteen thousand images later, the camera feels like an extension of my hand and the images extensions of my thoughts. Day and night, I move through a world that is defined by my imagination rather than by my surroundings.
Karen Commings is a photographer, artist and writer from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.