Artists responded to U.S. 1’s invitation to share visual thoughts, feelings, and discoveries during our current health crisis.

This week C.a. Shofed, a Trenton fine arts photographer, responded with the accompanying images and statement:

Most of my work is taken outdoors. As the realities of the COVID-19 shutdown became clear I first wondered what I would photograph if I did not have freedom of movement. I really should not have worried because often what I photograph is right outside my front door.

However, I have taken this shut-in time to concentrate on a few specific things.

First, I arranged some photography lessons with a friend and colleague in the Trenton arts community. Since I am not currently preparing for any in-person shows I figured this was a great time to hone my craft.

After I had taken a few hour-long sessions with Heather Palecek (owner of the Ewing-based professional photography studio and a photography instructor), I went back to some familiar places armed with new knowledge. I really enjoy finding a subject and taking photographs of it at different times and under different conditions.

Take the Trenton Makes Bridge, for example. It’s been photographed so many times, and yet I go back to it again and again, trying to find the photograph that hasn’t been taken or the photograph that is uniquely mine.

I think Heather Palecek unlocked a few secrets for me that have gotten me closer to that perfect picture I’m always chasing.

Second, I have also been working on my web presence to make it easier for people to my purchase art. I have been working on uploading new images to both my personal photography website and my online gallery website that highlights some of my own work along with other Trenton-area artists.

And third, I’ve been finding new ways to work with artists in my community. I have been engaging and promoting artists in a virtual First Friday, trying to do something a little different each month. I hope that encourages some of the artists out there to be creative and keeps the wonderful group of artists on the map.

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