Naturally the first real blog post has to be about the Pier Series(as will be the second post). If it weren't for the Pier Series I likely wouldn't be writing this and you likely wouldn't have seen any of my photography. The Pier Series has easily and without doubt been the most photographically important thing that I've done. Now, it certainly hasn't made me rich and/or famous(photography rarely will and if you want to be a famous photographer make sure to have a backup plan) but it has done more for my photography skills and "photography confidence" than anything else I've done in the past. So in this first post I'd like to take you through the beginning of the Pier Series and tell you how it started and how it almost didn't even happen(twice).
All photographers(or any artist I suppose) go through peaks and valleys of creativity. As a photographer the peaks are amazing. Everywhere you look you see an interesting composition, envision how it will translate in an image and create a good photograph. The valleys, or ruts as I like to call them, are simply terrible. No matter where you look you see no interesting compositions and you create garbage photographs. I was in one these ruts in the winter of 2014. Lots of things can contribute to the peaks and valleys of creativity but winter in Michigan is often times a huge contributing factor. So when we finally had some interesting light in the sky in the middle of January last year I decided to head to Grand Haven's North Pier and try to create some interesting photographs(Pier Series #1). I liked what I had captured and felt myself slowly getting out of the valley(rut). The next Sunday we had good light again, an unusual occurrence for a Michigan winter. Because I was just there the week before I wasn't going to go back again - at the last minute I convinced myself to go. This was the first incident in which the Pier Series almost didn't happen. About 5 minutes passed and I realized I was just sitting around doing nothing! Why not go take some more photos? So I did. I again liked the photographs that I created(Pier Series #2) and on my way home started to think to myself, "What if I just kept going, every Sunday for the next year?" After I thought about it for a few days I decided it was a good idea. It was already getting me out of my "rut", it would force me to create more images and could potentially help get more of my photography "out there". So it was a done deal. I had two weeks in the books already and announced on the social media sites that I was going to do this. I was committed. Then week three came around. This would be the second incident in which the Pier Series almost didn't happen. If you're from Michigan and were here last winter you won't soon forget the copious amounts of snow we received. Between weeks 2 and 3 about two feet of snow had accumulated and I arrived at the pier to find the entrance completely plowed in. A snowbank about 6 feet high stood where the entrance had once been. There is no roadside parking available at the north pier(only said blocked parking lot) and with huge snow banks lining the road, parking in the street illegally would have meant simply parking in the middle of the road. So, I drove past the snowed in parking lot and decided that this just simply wasn't meant to be. The Pier Series was over after 2 weeks. I started to head home and was quickly overcome by a feeling of disappointment and instant regret. So I turned back around, parked in a stranger's driveway and hiked over the six foot mountain of snow to create the week 3 image. It wasn't even a good photograph, the non-stop lake effect snow was making sure that wouldn't happen, but it was done. The Pier Series could continue.
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