Sunday, November 16, 2014

Playing in Miami

The wilderness is where I choose to take my camera. But every once in a blue moon, I take it to the city. I've been wanting to see the new Perez Art Museum in downtown Miami for the longest time. At last, with friends and public transportation, I explored the urban wilderness.

I brought a point and shoot camera, one that I rarely use. I had no expectations, I just wanted to shoot and run. In the city, I am totally out of my comfort zone with the camera. Excellent! This is a perfect way to practice and challenge oneself with the camera, or as I like to call it, "play".

We were on the go beginning with the Dadeland South Metrorail station, to downtown Government Center and then the Metromover to the museum. I shot images as we moved and I shot images inside the museum.

Shooting scenes on-the-go in Miami is especially challenging. Clyde Butcher once said about his photography, "I look for chaos, because if you find chaos, you find biological order". I am not sure exactly what he meant by that, but I think one can find a few meanings to it. One is that it is very difficult to photograph a chaotic scene (such as a swamp) and provide the viewing eye a sense of order (which subconsciously is what we try to do when we look at an image). My point and shoot exercise in downtown Miami was a lesson in making order out of chaos.

Miami is perpetually morphing and always in a state of disrepair and reconstruction. It is a chaotic city, as most are. The new and old are juxtaposed everywhere you look. A cityscape without construction cranes is rare. In the background is the bay and its palm-tree lined shoreline and blue skies above it. In the foreground is the destruction of large buildings (i.e., Miami Herald) and locations where "The Future Begins Here" (i.e., Miami Science Museum).

The Perez Art Museum sits amidst all this building up and tearing down.

Once inside it, the beautifully designed museum offers interesting glimpses to the city from the inside.

What can be taken from this little experiment? Maybe not great images, but just taking the time to simply play can free up the mind and give a fresh perspective on one's photography. Regardless of what photography means to you (a job, a passion, a hobby, something you do with a phone, a way to remember a moment, etc), there may be more value to a play day than you realize.

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