Darkest Before The Dawn

If you’re anything like me you yearn for some alone time.  Even if it’s just thirty minutes of time by yourself to collect your thoughts calmly or ponder your next move in life.  That’s what I needed this Sunday and so desperately craved.  I got just that…about 30 minutes to get out there and do what I love before it was too dark to capture anything worthwhile photography-wise.  You see my alone time isn’t always spent sitting by myself in my home…sometimes that’s nice…but the alone time I craved this weekend was alone time with me, myself and I (along with my camera) outdoors.

I’ve been working so hard every night finishing portrait sessions, trying to get caught up, in order to begin the large task of creating a wedding album for my close friend.

I needed this time outdoors to look for inspiration.  I had hoped to catch the sunset over the frozen canal but I missed it by under 5 minutes.  As soon as I reached the bottom of the scary icy steps in photo one below the sunset was already gone behind the tree line.  I was very sad and disappointed that traffic on the highway kept me from capturing what I imagined in my mind by just a few minutes.  It just reminded me that life has so many fleeting moments…

Rather than pack it in I tried to made the best of the trip and look for other photo opportunities.  Then I realized I forgot my gloves at home so my hands were starting to freeze and when I went to use my tripod I discovered I left the connector piece home.  I didn’t let myself become discouraged.  I ignored my frozen hands and took everything I wanted hand-held.  No biggie.

Many of you know that 2008 wasn’t the brightest year of my life.  It was probably the darkest year I’ve ever had.  The one constant that brightened my life was my photography.  Without it and the healing in provided me in the past year I don’t know where I would have been.  I haven’t really discussed the darkness I experienced last year much on my blog. I try to keep the blog mostly business with little slice of life thrown in here or there but today I don’t think it’s a bad thing to share a little bit more then usual.

I spent a lot time the past year alone with my thoughts trying to come to a peaceful place so that I could start a new fresh beginning.  I finally am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and making the fresh start.  Winter has been tough…so many challenges at the end of 2008 (some that are still here and will take time before they are just a faded bad memory).  I am optimistic that 2009 will be a good year for me but the challenges of 2008 have not disappeared.  I just need to conquer them one at a time.  I am still optimistic that this will be a good year for me (even with the obstacles I need to tackle).

I am definitely looking forward to Spring.  I feel like it’s going to be my renewal of energy that I need so badly.

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

(Thanks Arla)

I started at the D&R Canal, made my way over to St. Joseph’s Seminary across the street, and then on my way back home I stopped at this hidden gem of an abandoned barn that you may remember for a year or so ago.  I photographed some my favorite photography subjects…pathways, abandoned barns, and churches…I have a thing for them all (I wonder what that says about me?).

I was losing light quickly so this is what I achieved photography-wise in my short time out…alone with my thoughts.

Click on each to view larger

February 1, 2009 - 6:15 pm

colblue - I’m sure 2009 will be a much better year for you. Things can only get better!

It’s a shame you missed the sunset. But you still got some very nice shots. My favs are of the church, the first perspective especially!

January 28, 2009 - 9:45 am

Kevin Mullins - Great shots as always – my fav is #4 (but I’m a sucker for B&W). Have a great 2009!

January 28, 2009 - 8:34 am

Mike Palmer - sending some Sunshiney thoughts and vibes your way -

January 28, 2009 - 1:59 am

oneshotbeyond - Jen

I hear you about needing alone time. It can be very healing. I can’t get over the way your landscape and stucture photographs always make me feel like I’m standing right there beside you. You take the most interesting shots of these type things. I am sorry your year has been tough. With every hurdle…there is growth. Keep faith that good things come to good people. You have the best heart and are such an inspiration to others…

January 27, 2009 - 9:15 pm

Andy - “I photographed some my favorite photography subjects…pathways, abandoned barns, and churches…I have a thing for them all (I wonder what that says about me?).”

Well, all relate to journeys in the past or those to come. That certainly relates to your 2008, from what you’ve described. Those journeys make photographs interesting… and life.

I wish you a year of serenity.


January 27, 2009 - 6:21 pm

Chris - Very beautiful photos Jen. I love the B&W photo of the barn. And the ice steps is really a great photo. Things will start to look up as the weather improves, winter always seems to be a depressing time for lots, including me. I have high hopes and a good feeling for 2009. Keep your head up and remember there is always someone out there who thinks the world of you!

January 27, 2009 - 12:38 pm

photorover - These are all wonderful, Jen!
I like all of them, but the statue gets my attention; maybe because I have unlimited outdoors and old barns, but no statues here. ;)

Your work continues to be outstanding.

I am amazed -always — by your energy, and your positive outlook on things. Spring is closer than you think.

January 27, 2009 - 12:05 pm

Julie McLeod - Jen, whenever I see your work (especially the outdoor stuff) I think I really need to start all over learning about photography. Your eye amazes me. I LOVE the second shot to pieces…

My heart goes out to you – your blog never revealed that it was a tough year – and I know that you are going to overcome and rise above the difficulties you’ll be facing this year.

January 27, 2009 - 10:50 am

Lance - Wonderful photos Jen. I especially like the shots of the barn.

Here’s to a 2009 that is everything you desire it to be…

January 27, 2009 - 10:49 am

Elaine O’Brien - Jen, one of my favorite quotes is “Sometimes I am by myself, but I am never alone” I understand that craving for nature and the feeling of being out there in the “oneness”.

You pictures show your love for the outdoors and are a reflection of your strength and caring!

Repeat after me: “2009 is MY year!!!”

January 27, 2009 - 10:18 am

oscarstavern - Ah, our Jen outdoors… My favorite of Jen’s pallets!

Really beautiful shots Jen!

January 27, 2009 - 8:31 am

Larry Leone - Very nice! The composition is solid and I like the unlimited depth of field.

Funny, I do the same thing (must be a Jersey photographer thing lol) as a matter of fact I was so overwhelmed with an album design and getting caught up with work, I took a break and went out with my pinhole camera this past sunday. Its amazing how little things like that can put everything in perspective. I posted some of the pictures on my film blog if you’re interested. http://www.iluvfilm.wordpress.com

I, of course, have no idea what your year was like. However, you can rest assured that all of us have gone through some tough times. Time will heal all . Just hang in there… :-)

All the Best,

January 27, 2009 - 5:42 am

julielawsonphotography - Very beautiful my friend. 2009 is going to be a good year for you. Hugs!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.