Ansel Adams said, "there are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." And who decides what is a good photograph and what is not? I have tried busy photos, too many times, and I finally give in to the fact that I simply prefer a non-complex arrangement of a few or even a single object. And the door knob of an open door in an historic home doesn't get much more simple. So, what makes me think this is a good photograph is the fact that I can't get the image out of my mind. I can't explain why something catches my eye--maybe the way the light hits it, or the shadow it casts; maybe it's the thing in a room that doesn't stand out--and I can't explain why something looks good through the viewfinder but on the computer it completely blows. But when I find (stumble into?) a photograph that hovers in my memory over the course of days or weeks, I know I've got something.
The plan for my time at the Chateau d'Orquevaux, then, is to look for those objects or those moments that others might miss. The internet is full of photos of the chateau and grounds taken by past attendees. Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful and probably more technically superior to anything I can or will take, but what I don't see are the studio corners or the overgrown benches or the ornate hand-railings. I don't see any artifacts or unique objects as the photo subject. What I see is lifestyle and landscape photography. I want to do something different. And this experience will be the greatest of opportunities for just that.
Now, to the issue of doors. This photo could be seen as very cliché--"when one door closes, another one opens" as Alexander Graham Bell famously said to express the certainty that when one thing fails, there will always be an opportunity for success elsewhere. But did you know that this wasn't the full quote? The rest of it says, "but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." This last part talks not just to opportunities but to expectations. We often see only what we expect to see, missing what we are unprepared for. To me, this door represents a beauty that some might not be prepared to see.