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The repetitive nature of the unknown. | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

The repetitive nature of the unknown.

umbrella in the drizzle #walkingtoworktoday

negative space of a number 2 turned into a heart #walkingtoworktoday

ce n'est pas un vélo #walkingtoworktoday

Walking in Soho down Broadway & Broome #walkingtoworktoday

yellow & pink Vespa's caught in a snow drift on Crosby St while not #walkingtoworktoday

Recently Keith Stoeckeler asked me if I would write a post for his project #allthatinspiresme. Happy to consider the question, below is my response that is on his site.

The repetitive nature of the unknown.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
—Albert Einstein

It’s very easy to get distracted these days because of easy access to the internet anywhere, people sharing links at all hours and the ability to like, heart and comment all the time. This info share is hard to keep up with. To counter this, one way for me to continue to be inspired at my own pace is to shoot a specific photo everyday. The ritual of taking a photo while walking to work allows me to keep my eyes open to my surrounding environment, experiment with subject matter, and create a narrative of what inspires me.

Because I’m shooting everyday it opens up the opportunity to capture some great images that I might not have been able to if I hadn’t practiced. It’s like a muscle reflex, when something slightly out of the ordinary jumps out at me or when I notice that I start thinking about a piece of the city I know I should try to capture it with my camera. On the other hand, if I had woken up in the morning and decided that I’m going to shoot the perfect image, it’s probably not going to happen because I’ve already predefined what “perfect” is. Being inspired is having the ability to recognize things that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed.

Walking from Midtown to Soho every morning (almost every morning, if it’s raining I might take the train…), I get to experience the city that I chose to live in. There’s literally something worth observing on every street corner, sidewalk and building. Years from now I’ll be able to see how the city evolved in front of my eyes because I shot it everyday.

At the beginning of each month I’ll make a blog post of all the images from the previous month in chronological order. All of a sudden a new story becomes apparent because of all the images being placed beside each other. Patterns typically appear that I wouldn’t have otherwise recognized which helps me learn about what interests me and in turn keeps me inspired to shoot tomorrow.

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