“…Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here…“

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann

Happy Anniversary. Well, almost…and not really. With all that’s happened, you may not be aware….naw, you’re probably keenly aware that it’s been about a year since we entered this new world. That’s a year of:

  • social distancing, ritualistic hand washing…
    • fear, masks, curbside service…
      • anger, racial injustice awareness, Zoom…
        • 1/2 million+ deaths, quarantining…
          • outdoor dining only, CRAZY politics
            • Black Lives Matter, pajamas at work …
              • isolation, protests, precarity…
                • too much togetherness, white supremacy…
                  • online schooling ,an even more divided America
                    • etc., etc.
Lost in the Shadows…, ©2021 Reginald Foster

Yeah, about a year, but a happy anniversary…not so much.

With all that going on, it really is a miracle that any of us remained sane. Coping mechanisms became essential elements in everyone’s mental survival strategy. To manage the stress, anxiety, frustration, and what have you, many of us turned to meditation, outdoor exercise, cooking, social media, family, streaming services, eating, board games, Peleton, Zoom meetups, outright rebellion, and/or Amazon Prime – just to name a few. Ya know, I employed a few of those – ok, maybe all – but eventually realized that photography was (is!) one of my primary ways of dealing with the stressors of both the old and the new reality.

Simply put… the process of creating images helps me to find my center and hit the mental reset button. It really is meditative/therapeutic for me. I can focus on one thing, work on that one thing, and attempt to improve that one thing. That “focus” is key to finding calm with so many things going on. I find that I can balance the demands of all the roles I play – Father, husband, worker, boss, son, brother, African American, neophyte, veteran, etc. – just better when I’m also consistently creating. So yeah, it rejuvenates my mind ( & soul) for the next round of personal and professional situations that inevitably arise. Yup…I’ll admit there’s a well worn cliche floating around in that statement, but it kinda works for me.

So, through it all, I never stopped shooting. In fact, I may have shot even more than I did before Covid.

Escapism? Not that it’s a bad thing, but, naw, some of the people and scenes I see in LA bring a dose of raw reality to the stories we hear everyday and only add to the collective stress. Covid, homelessness, racial injustice, protests, socioeconomic disparity, and more are all on display. So, rather than providing escape, street photography makes it all more real…a different reality. Hmmm…escapism? I still don’t think it’s a bad thing, but, OK, maybe. But, can’t the other reason I find street photography so therapeutic simply be that I’m doing something I truly enjoy?

Yeah. That also works for me…

Photography. It’s my therapy…my way of finding center. I truly hope through all of this you also find yours. Stay safe, be kind to yourself & others, get vaccinated, and let’s make the next COVID anniversary a happier one.

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Equipment Used

  • Leica M10-P, M10 Monochrom
  • Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux Asph

© 2014-2021 Reginald Foster, All Rights Reserved. All Photos and text are the property of Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Reginald Foster is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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