Inside this issue
Beginning Again Every Time
Colleen Miniuk-Sperry fled the grey cubicle walls at Intel Corporation in 2007 to pursue a fulfilling full-time outdoor photography and writing career. Her credits include National Geographic calendars, Arizona Highways, AAA Highroads, National Parks Traveler, and a broad variety of other publications. She has served three times as an Artist-in-Residence with Acadia National Park.
Three weeks ago, I crossed the Trenton Bridge onto Mount Desert Island in mid-coast Maine and greeted what I call “my photographic home” the same way I always did: by rolling the windows down in my rental car and hollering a boisterous “Whoohoo! I’m back!”
After spending over 400 days exploring this 108-square-mile (280-square-kilometers) island since November 2009—thanks to serving three stints as an Acadia Artist-in-Residence, leading numerous photography workshops, and enjoying personal time have come to know these surroundings, as well as a doting mother, knows her own child. I know the contour of the granite ledges dipping into the ocean to kiss the waves along every foot of Ocean Drive. I know how the fog caresses the shoulders of Penobscot Mountain. I know the angles at which the birches reflect into Eagle Lake as the sun moves across the sky.
You’d think that perhaps familiarity would breed contempt. In 2013, it almost did. I had a moment during my third residency where I was completely bored out of my mind while photographing the same types of wide-angle frames over and over again. I wondered if I had photographed “everything” the park had to offer (as I described in my last article, “Finding Your Creative Voice"). After tossing expectations aside and incorporating curiosity into my approach, though, I discovered I was more in love with the park than ever. In addition, I had obviously not photographed “everything.” (How audacious and laughable that idea was!). I had barely scratched the surface of understanding the depths of the park. “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know,” as the idiom goes.