I recently moved to Milwaukee, and in between unpacking and getting acclimated to a new city I spent some time cleaning up my Lightroom library. The majority of my 2017 folder was a mess…I haven’t had too many dedicated trips/photo walks this year, so for the most part I was just dumping all of my images into a couple catch-all folders. In the process of parsing out these files into meaningful folders, I came across quite a few Omaha street photography images taken over the last few months. I felt like I was having a hard time getting the creative juices flowing in the last few months of shooting in Omaha, but to my surprise I actually came away with a decent number of keepers.
There’s something about letting your images marinate a bit before reviewing/posting them that I really enjoy. I never used to do that until I started shooting film…at which point I pretty much had to let them marinate due to the lag of the mail/development/scan process. Since then, I’ve kind of adopted a similar approach with my digital images. Sometimes I still develop and post images shortly after I take them (as I’ll likely do in a couple days with a post of some of my favorite images in my first weeks in Milwaukee), but I do this less often now. I think letting my photos sit for a bit prior to editing and posting them allows me to see them with fresher eyes, more in line with the way my audience will see them. This is useful for catching distracting elements, better identifying strong images, etc.
But letting my images sit for a while before reviewing them is also just more fun. They become little presents that remind you of a moment that you felt was worth capturing. I’m a planner by nature, and I have to drag myself out of the future and into the present moment far more often than I have to drag myself out of the past. And when I actually do consider the past, I tend to construct a narrative about it rather than simply re-experience it. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I like that looking at old photos offsets this tendency by immersing me into moments that I would have otherwise forgotten.
I suspect that this trick will be especially powerful with my Omaha photos. Omaha isn’t really a place that sticks out in my narrative reconstruction of the past. It’s not flashy. So I can see how it would be easy for me to overlook it or think that nothing much happened during my time there, but any time I take a stroll through my Omaha photography catalog I’ll be reminded that this wasn’t the case. It’s hard to describe something that’s as subtle as Omaha. It’s not about one or two big things, and it can’t be summarized in a tweet. It’s about a bunch of little things that come together into something pretty wonderful.
The whole Midwest is kind of like that, honestly. I suppose that’s why people from the coasts have a tendency to misunderstand these flyover states. They’re always looking for those big, obvious things that stick out in their narrative reconstructions of the past. Maybe they should take a few more photos of the little things…and take some time out of their busy lives to revisit those little photos every once in a while…
Anyways, that’s enough rambling for one post. I’ll stop here and let you enjoy these little images. 🙂