Welcome to LHSA’s Spring Shoot-2021! Normally, we would be gathering in a single location. But with a common theme in mind, the pandemic gives us new, global opportunities to stretch our photographic skills, our awareness, and our creative thinking – together.
Most of us have been cloistered in one place for over a year. Suffering from acute “cabin fever” and boredom. Many of us have had our connections with our regular world stunted. In the process, our photography has probably suffered, too. So, as we begin to have access to places outside our homes and emerge from what for many of us has become either a void or a cocoon, almost all of us have realized that we have missed connections that previously were invisible to us, connections we now better appreciate and understand. These are “awarenesses” we can share with one another.
Wherever you are, this year’s Spring Shoot offers us a challenge to reconnect with the world around us and share with one another new observations, new ways to see that we might not have noticed before but now value because we’re seeing with fresh eyes. This spring shoot offers the opportunity of beginner’s mind. You may see and value your own relationships – family, friends, pets, nature and even places, whether brick and mortar or landscapes – differently now. You may notice others around you rediscovering connections and appreciating things and places in a new way, too.
There are no rules here except to look harder. This is a unique time; one we hope will not be revisited in our lifetimes. Our collective view of this moment we are experiencing, this theme, will show us more than any individual’s set of pictures. This is a chance to stretch our abilities and reimagine what is around us.
So, for the Spring Shoot 2021, take a new and deeper look at what you “walked past” before. Think about it, explore it. Present it to us in a way that is important to you but helps us understand the connection we are now aware of and are starting to see bud, whether that vision is one of joy, learning and touching, or of our hobbled attempt to overcoming a time of shared inconvenience and frustration. Purposely fire up your creative juices in a new way. Rediscover moments, juxtapositions, elements, situations you might have taken for granted before.
As you begin, this assignment will give you an outline, but you aren’t limited to just it. Take any new awareness you have and help us understand and experience it in a fresh way. As David Spielman likes to say, “photography is all about learning to look! If you don’t look, you won’t see and if you don’t see it, you can’t take a picture of it.” The assignment is about where you are, the experience you’re having, and reconnecting with what has become a familiar but “new normal.” Make yourself look at your world differently: value something undervalued before, take a different path, explore with different lenses or angles that help you expand, consider details that perhaps you’ve walked by in the past.
From David Spielman:
As an example, I’ve been living and shooting in New Orleans for almost 50 years. In 2017 I decided to do a photographic essay of the city for its 300th anniversary. I visited old places but made myself really look. Turning left where I used to turn right. Looking at some of the clichés and making myself shoot them from a different vantage point, a lower or a possibly higher perspective. It was amazing, I found an entire new city that I never took the time to really look at.
The beauty of the Spring Shoot 2021 is that while previous shoots have been restricted to one area, we are now looking from cities and farms all over the place. And we have an opportunity to unlock fresh connections, to explore and rediscover because the pandemic has affected us all.
The 2021 Spring Shoot’s finished print edition, for which everyone is encouraged to summit images, will visually tie this time and us together, and help us share a different kind of connection, than we’ve had before. One that can bring the LHSA community closer together as we emerge from this shared tragedy. The common denominator here is the compass of our topic, reconnection – and, of course, Leica. It is our equipment of choice, with its traditions, and masterful development and design. In this new adventure, LHSA’s goal is to help us all see, experience, and show us – more. Details on submittals will be presented at the Spring Shoot.
With this assignment in mind, start shooting now. Images taken between now and the Spring Shoot will be eligible for submission. This year we are honored to again have David Spielman as our shoot leader and teacher, and Sandra Eisert as our final project editor. This is a huge honor and promises to make our project shine!