Part of how I got interested in photography again was going on long photowalks, choosing a country path, or a winding route though a city, and just going wild. I would come back after a couple of hours with hundreds upon hundreds of photographs. God bless digital photography. I would have broken the bank processing all those rolls if I had shot film.
But it was something I needed to do. For a few years I did this, go out and take pictures of everything. I was learning what worked, what didn’t. What was interesting, what wasn’t. It was fantastic practice and training. Especially using just a point and shoot, all I really had to do was develop my eye, and try to build composition skills. I highly recommend it to everyone starting out. And to long time shooters who need to just get their groove back.
If nothing else, it helps keep you fit.
I work in a unique part of Las Vegas. I’m close to a lot of historic neighborhoods. And, as is often the case, historic = run down. But I believe there is a beauty all its own in places such as these. And I enjoy walking through these neighborhoods. I walk past the sad, sparse remains of the Moulin Rouge Casino a couple of times a week. Some might say it’s dangerous, walking these streets. But nothing has happened yet. And, I’m cautious. I know I don’t have a load of street smarts, but I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I’m no bumpkin. I know when to walk away.
I’ve always considered myself more of a documentarian than any sort of proper “photographer”. And that’s what I like to do through these neighborhoods. Document what is happening. Try to capture the feel of the places. Try to show others what they might be missing by avoiding these areas. I know that doesn’t always come through in my work. I put that down to the fault of the artist and not his subject.
These are interesting times now. The economy is ticking upward. Slowly, very slowly, but you can sense something is afoot. A change is gonna come to these neighborhoods. Sooner rather than later. It looks like they have already started the process of making F Street a through street again. Just today I was walking these streets and I saw more construction projects in one afternoon that I think I had seen down there in the whole previous year.
It’s exciting. And I’m excited to be close to it.