The school bell rings for the last time and exhausted students race out the door into summer yelling at the top of their young lungs, excited about several weeks of play, daydreaming, riding bikes along forest trails looking for Bigfoot, building sand castles at the beach, reading Twain, Rowling, or Kipling in the tall grass out behind the back porch, fishing for bass in the neighborhood pond, or building a LEGO castle that fills the entire bedroom. Once home, they crash into the kitchen, cast off their backpacks, and reach for the cookie jar when mom casually announces they've been enrolled in soccer camp for the next 8 weeks. Up at 6 AM, home at 8 PM; this is serious stuff, junior, and that's the end of it, no arguments. So much for being a kid.
Everybody deserves - and needs - a break from routine once in awhile, even Photo Assignment members. When was our last one? Let's see, let me thumb back through the records... ah, maybe here... nope... this one looks like... uh, no... oh, definitely not that one... ok, so it appears we've never had a vacay. My bad. Alright, so it's time.
Let's call this one SCHOOL'S OUT. You get two weeks to relax, shoot what you like (or not), post process what and if the spirit leads you, and share whatever your heart desires with no pressure of any kind from our merciless Photo Assignment taskmaster. The key is to use your Photo Assignment time to relax, and not to fill it back up with the equivalent of soccer camp. Take long walks with the dog, tease a kitten with a laser pen, smell a rose, read that novel that's been sitting on the coffee table since Christmas, hand write someone a long letter, go to a movie, ride a horse, sit under a tree, follow Alice down the cooper hole, greet a stranger, do your own thing - as you would on vacation. Converse, meander, explore, absorb, unplug. If you have a camera with you, experiment with it freely; otherwise, observe things with your own eyes - the flight of geese, people crossing intersections, the way water flows around a boulder or traffic around an accident, an ant moving an egg sac to a new location. Feel them, enjoy them, love your few days upon this earth without the driving need to produce things like income or god forbid, great art. Just Be. Here. Now.
Share your photos, thoughts, and experiences with us when it's relaxing and you're in the mood. Meanwhile, turn the noise off and go on walkabout.
SCHOOL'S OUT for two weeks, from July 27 to August 9. Recess!