Monday, May 14, 2007

NPR - Slow road to somewhere

Several years ago, before I retired and thinking about the road to a new life and career, I read the book Working Identity by Herminia Ibara. It's an outstanding book about making life and career changes. It was initially written for people in the middle of their careers, the focus of her research, but it also works for changes later in life and in retirement.

One of the goals of the book is not to subscribe to a pre-arranged plan for your change, but follow the opportunities that are presented to you and be open to changes that happen when they come along. It's a balance between creating opportunities, finding them and having them find you. Sometimes something leads to something else you didn't anticipate or considered, but turns into the real deal. In short you never know.

Another goals is to follow your heart to love what you want to do. This also is a balance between work you love and work that has some interest. The latter may be work which fills in until something better comes along, work which teaches you new skills, work which may lead to something else, or some other reason. Sometimes the work you love isn't there or takes time to get going, and you have to decide among the choices in front of you.

And how does this apply to me at this time? Well, my photography is on the slow road to somewhere. It's a personal evolution in learning in two ways. The first is that up until last year I used a Minolta manual focus system for 37 years, at which time I bought a Canon 5D camera system and a 4x5 camera system.

The second is my computer system to process, produce and print images for photo cards and prints. Learning to produce images (w/ Photoshop and other software packages) and printing images takes time and lots of work to understand the process. All my printing experience before this was using traditional darkroom techniques. I'm now producing my own prints for cards, but not without a lot of mistakes typical with me.

I've talked about the timeframe my photography is taking in previous post, mostly giving myself 5-7 years to get the photography and business sides working producing marketable images, if not already selling some. Since I just started the second year, it's a slow road to somewhere.

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