Finding Motivation in the Jean Lafitte Swamps

January 11, 2011
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A cypress tree covered in moss stands above Bayou des Familles in Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve south of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Mike Cavaroc)
A moss-covered cypress tree along Bayou des Familles in Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, Louisiana.

One thing I’ve noticed when I travel to a city I used to live in, is that it’s easy to get sucked back in to the way you were when you lived there. During my time in New Orleans, I found myself not terribly motivated to do very much, which is how I was when I was living there as a kid. Back then, my only real hobby (if you could call it that) was playing Nintendo. There was certainly an excitement in seeing things in a new way now that I had a camera with me and I was out to see new things, but it was building up that motivation that was tricky. I have a similar experience when I go to visit Phoenix, Arizona: I find myself just hanging out with friends mostly because while living there that was what I did and saved most of my photography for when I got out of the city.

While I’m happy with the photos that I came back with, I didn’t come back with nearly as many as I had hoped. Granted part of this can be attributed to the fact that I didn’t have my own car, so I was dependent upon my parents returning with some spare time, but even then, in hindsight, I could have made better use of that time. Either way, next time I return, it will definitely be with either my own car, or a rental at the very least.

So while it was a little harder than I expected to get out and enjoy the city with my camera as often as I would have liked, I did manage to get out to a nearby swamp preserve the last two days I was there. I visited the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve south of New Orleans and was able to come away with some decent stuff, such as this cypress tree covered in moss along Bayou des Familles, but will definitely be reserving more time upon my next visit to New Orleans for this area. Though I was happy I did finally manage to get there, both times felt very rushed, and for good reason. I got there late one day with some friends, and then had to leave town the next day I visited.

If you’re anything like me, keep that in mind next time you visit a familiar place and find yourself wanting to shoot more than you are. If nothing else, look up some work of other artists in the area to get you motivated.

Do you have any similar issues when you visit your hometown? Were you active or not so much while there and does that play into your visits?

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Categorized: Landscape.
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