Those who have continued visiting this blog in my absence…you have my grateful thanks. In April I simply ran out of inspiration for adding new material. (It was a coincidence that Tax Day occurred at the same time my last post appeared.) If you’re like me there are times when words and pictures become too much: the mind is so saturated with information and arguments and opinions that it simply shuts off. “Heard it, seen it” is the motto for the day, and then the week, and then a month goes by…before we come up for air (if we do at all). Combine Writer’s Block with whatever version photographers catch, and I had it.

So I needed something new, or to do something familiar in a new way, and my opportunities came as two live-fire drills in the same week. I shot the first, pictured here, with only one lens, my underused 85mm. No wide-to-tele zoom this time: I had to shuffle my feet. I felt successful with what I did, which made me forget all the smoke I ate that day. A couple of days after that drill UPS delivered my new 400mm lens…I hadn’t had a focal length longer than 200mm for a couple of years and really missed the reach of a long telephoto. As I thought about the next live-fire practice I decided to put the 400 on a monopod and shoot entirely from a distance, no turnout gear, no heat, no sweat. Riiight. I relearned how finicky that focal length is (a few missed focuses) but was pleased (surprised?) by how many keepers I found.

Perhaps we avoid slumps by staying busy? I can’t say for sure…but the past couple of weeks have felt like a tailwind, and I’ll take that any day. It’s nice to be back.


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