Sunset Cliffs at Sunset, 3/31/14

Sunset Cliffs at Sunset 33114 © Michael Klayman 2014- 01

This is my first sunset post in a year. I’ve spent some time thinking about how I wanted to talk about the time between my last sunset shot and this one. At first I thought I wouldn’t mention anything about the fact that my photographic output dropped from 7 posts per month to 7 per year. But this blog is about my photographic journey, and some journeys have roadblocks that take a long time to get over and that belongs in here too..

2013 was rough and it challenged me in many ways. The job I had been doing for the previous year was making me almost no money, but left me a lot of time to get out and shoot winter sunsets, so I could leave the house at 3pm to shoot a 4:30 sunset. Winter is my favorite sunset season, when we get storms that make the sky interesting. It was a perfect opportunity to go to OB, drink some tea, take some photos, and generally distract myself from the fact that I was not in the right job situation. The lack of disposable income meant that I couldn’t spend money shooting bands for free anymore. After the cover charges and gas and drinks and inevitable late-night burritos, it got too expensive for someone who was dipping into his savings just to pay for the essential bills. I did get a new job in May of last year which has been great, but paying off the debts from last year is more important to me than keeping up with the music scene, and I’m still not done getting back to where I need to be.

I’d been having occasional arthritis problems for a few years, but things got to the point that I had trouble walking without pain for the second half of 2013. I have been living better through chemistry since then but had to cut out a lot of things that were bad for me, like the drinks and late-night burritos. Good riddance to those; makes more room for tea anyway.

The pain did affect my outlook, unfortunately. It didn’t help that I released some music for the first time in years
that no one was interested in. It really didn’t help that every week I
was finding more of my music photos being used in questionable places. And then I lost all the high resolution versions of my last 2 years worth of photos. One negative thing after another.

A bitterness that I hadn’t felt in a long time started creeping back. Those old voices of doubt that I thought I’d chased away were whispering in my ear again- telling me that I wasn’t being original anymore and no one was interested in what I was doing. I had to think again about why I was shooting, who I was really doing it for, and what I was trying to accomplish. I thought I knew the answer before, but now I’m not so sure. These shots are an attempt to figure that out. 

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