#BehindTheGallery at BREW, Part 1 (Schenck Forest)

Hello and welcome to my short series on #behindthegallery for #stujonesphoto featured at BREW Coffee Bar in downtown Raleigh! Today we are looking at the following two pictures:


These are two of my favorite shots of a creative walk I took through Schenck Forest off of Reedy Creek Road. There come points in time when we, as creatives, need to drop what we’re doing and go create something without expectations or any predefined direction. That can be lots of things for different people: drawing freehand, woodworking, playing or creating music.

For me it was a combination: being in nature and taking pictures of whatever I wanted. What better place to be inspired to create than in creation? It’s a place that opens up my mind and displaces me from the stressors of life. I may not forget them, but I am able to see them and life more clearly during and after I’ve been out in creation.

As for the photography side of things, I decided to make a personal challenge and just bring my 50mm on my Nikon D610. Shooting candid events and lifestyle I photograph so many things wide to tell the story, but run from my 50mm for fear of not including everything I need in the shot. Thus the challenge.

As I walked about my usual path, I took my time. Walked on the path, off the path to whatever caught my eye. Sometimes giving up on a shot I thought looked cool and other times trying over and over. Here’s one shot I tried a couple times of capturing the ripples as the leaf hit the water:


As I made my way around to the main creek I remembered one of my favorite visual elements: reflection. I worked my way around the wider part of the creek and came to the opposite side. Instead of shooting up into the trees I began working with their reflection in the water. It gets really interesting when you begin focusing not on the water, but beyond it. Here’s my favorite frame:


As I rounded the final turn and made it back up the hill towards the entrance, I looked back to the west and saw that a vibrant sunset was unfolding. I continued to walk up the path knowing the shot I wanted once I came to the clearing where I started. Here are some on my way up:


When I came to the young pines along the fence of the pasture, I saw great texture and contrast. There was a point in time early on in my photography journey when all I would do is photograph sunsets. Now, I still love and appreciate them, but try and find ways to capture them differently. Which for me usually means putting something in front of them, like this pine. And that brings us to the other print in this gallery:


The walk alone would have been enough to reenergize me, but challenging my clear mind excited me to produce more images I loved. 

Schedule time for personal creativity in the next two weeks. It won’t happen if you don’t make time for it. And don’t, I repeat don’t, wait for a burn out. It’s much easier to maintain and grow your creativity than having to resurrect it from a starved decrepit state.

Confession: to make time to take personal pictures is one thing. To make time to edit them…that’s another story haha. These took me almost a year to do anything with them!

Keep on it friends!


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