omeone asked me what kind of projects I want to do. I talked about two, but they require some major culling.
Reviewing archive work is taxing. Not only to you sit in a chair with your eye glued to a loupe and stare into a light box, but all sorts of emotions crop up. Some are those ghosts that you hope are friendly. Some are simply photographic like, “What was I thinking?” You start wondering how many misses you had that should have been hits. And, how many hits were just luck. Or, wishing you had better technical skills.
Between the physical and the emotional issues you often can’t work more than four hours. Anything more will put you in bed the next day. I’m not sure that the emotional memories aren’t worse than sitting in a chair.
As I may have written, the black and white project could almost be life long. In many ways it has to be done in its entirety if my archives will be meaningful to future generations. The goal is a couple of art books, but I don’t think that I can just stop and start whenever I feel like it. I suppose I could do it in year collections, but that probably won’t yield enough material for even a “chapter.”
The other project is a little more personal. It’s about my days on the musical road. The images are made digitally so that the culling is easier. These images could actually be profitable but I have to be a little careful. Some people assume the wrong things. Or, the right things.
If I delve into these projects that’ll just about put a stop to making new work. By now you might be wondering if I’m only working four hours a day why can’t I made new images. I can’t really work much more than four hours on photography without making too many mistakes.
Besides, the older I get (I can’t get much older can I?), the lazier I get. Or, is it that I tire more easily?
oing where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain. That’s what the song says. That’s what it felt like on many days out there in the high desert.
This is the other end of Central Avenue, Route 66. In Albuquerque. It is a business district. When I lived there two old school camera shops were within short walking distance. One kept shrinking but still exists. The other went out of business a few years after I left. I had nothing to do with that. I swear.
The light of New Mexico draws many artists to the state. Like this. Light that I had to tune down in order for it to make sense.
I may have made a mistake in doing that because it’s been a long time since I saw that light. My mind is playing tricks on me.
Hey! What was I doing again?
This is actually a picture a day image. I used to pick good times of day to look around. That increased the chance of what I call photographer’s luck.
That’s really luck that you make yourself, usually by walking outside of your door and taking a look around. Or, by using bad weather to make better pictures. And, by standing in front of better stuff.
That’s all I know. And, that’s really all you need to know about the philosophy of making photographs.
his is a drive through kind of picture. You can tell because a normally straightly aligned street is tilting to the left.
That’s because I put my camera on the dashboard and let it do it’s thing.
It did its thing, alright. I’m lucky this picture exists. It set the F stop at 1.8.
Something like this should be at least f 11. Maybe even a smaller aperture.
With such a gross over exposure I’m lucky that I could fix in post production.
There shouldn’t have been enough data in the file to produce any kind of image.
Let this be a lesson to you. Check everything. Control your camera. Don’t let your camera control you.
I slept really late for me. After a pretty bad Saturday, I awoke at a little after 10 am. The house was already very busy. Dog food was making. Laundry was washing. Breakfast had been eaten.
After Friday nights horrible news I was convinced that I would be really out of sorts for a couple of days. I wasn’t. The sleep did me good.
I’m actually sort of peaceful.
Yes. I’m worried about how RGB’s seat will be filled. If the Republicans rush to fill this seat after blocking Obama’s choice they will be as fake as I’ve always thought them to be.
If Biden should happen to win, I would fully support the idea of packing the court. After all, fair is fair.
All I know right now, is that we have to work as hard as we can to prevent 45 from winning a general election that is about six weeks away.
I’m not talking about just the presidency. I’m talking about down ticket candidates, like the senator from Kentucky. He needs to go.
I’m also talking about state leaders right down to some city councils.
Enough is enough.
The picture. That’s what you came for. Right? This is a case of being outside at the right time. It’s also a case for running as fast as I can with my metal hip and impacted spine.
It’s also a case of photographer’s luck. Five minutes either way and I would have missed this.
I’ve seen post storm skies in the past. Often they are dramatic. Because of the way that I work at home, I often miss them. Sometimes, I just don’t have the right angle to see what the sky is doing. Sometimes, I just forget to look.
This time I had the angle and I remembered to look.
I didn’t have to do much in post production. I did darken the picture to bring out the colors. I did not have to bring the them up artificially. Nature really did her thing.
A small victory in a year of massive defeats.
Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your damn mask. Enjoy every boiled crawfish.
I was concentrating on my work when I felt two paws on my leg. Time for a walk. Once again, she came through. I wouldn’t have seen the most beautiful golden light that we usually have after a storm. if we hadn’t gone out.
I did the best that I could, not planning for it, or having any real warning. Sophie Rose and I hustled to our usual go to place. I made a lot of potential photographs while she patiently waited for me to finish.
After I developed the image, I proceeded to post production, where I did very little.I brought up the color. But, not very much.
Speaking of color, there was a happy accident. That rail repair car is actually painted “safety yellow,” but with the golden light reflecting off of it, the car turned orange. It matched the clouds in the sky.
I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Friday. It was not. Since I wrote the word, “Sunday ,” I’m hopeful that it will stick in my head.
Time is elastic.
For some reason I spent all of yesterday sleeping.
I managed to get Sophie Rose her meds, which was my crowning achievement. That is a big deal. She hates pills. She hates the pain med that she needs. At least the pain med is liquid. I pull down her lip and squirt a little bit along her gum. It works very quickly. In about ten minutes she is asleep. Makes sense because it is a kind of morphine.
We’ve got ten days of this. Wish me luck.
The other dogs are looking after her. There is always one somewhere near her. They seem to be taking shifts. I’d be amazed if I hadn’t spent some time observing them. They all have different personalities. They all like different treats. They like to eat at different times. Luckily, they all like the same food which we put down at the same time. And, they are sweet and agreeable.
For sure, they have disagreements but they are limited to growls and don’t last long. They don’t take them seriously. There’s a lesson in that.
Actually, it’s really a thought and comment since I haven’t been awake long enough to read much news. That’s probably a good thing.
President tweety said that he would make this country great again. During his inauguration day speech, described “the carnage of America.”
He got one of those things right. Except he did it.
Since he dithered as the pandemic arrived to our shores, many more people died than need be. One way to control its growth was to close everything down except for essential businesses and those companies whose employees could work from home.
This, in turn, created problems for the locked down citizens. The work force is destroyed. Finances are in tatters. We are wearing masks and keeping our distance, excpt for those who don’t.
That would be 30%. The same percentage as tweety’s base.
His violent words created an environment in which Black people are dying at the hands of local police departments. Protests turned violent. Parts of cities are burning. The National Guard were called out in Minneapolis. They were overwhelmed.
So let’s recap. We are sick, many are dead. Most of us are out of work and broke, cities are burning and just about everybody is unhappy, angry or just sad.
Is this what you meant by MAGA, Mr. President?
Great for who?
I should just be posting pretty pictures. I did sorta. I shared a nice cloud and tree picture. It was made at the right time of day. It shines, glimmers and gleems. Of course, I worked a little magic.
The calendar may say that we’ve got almost a month to summer, but the heat, humidity and rain have given us a summer-like feel for the past couple of days. I’m not really ready for it, especially since we planned on not being here for a couple of months, but a virus took that from us.
Speaking of that virus, I spent some time consoling a friend of mine who managed to keep busy for a good part of lockdown number one. Today is a quiet day for her. She realized what was lost and really started feeling blue.
I listened for a long time because I’ve learned a while back that when somebody reaches out and asks for help they really don’t want help. They want a friendly ear. They want something who will just listen.
That’s what I did.
When she was done, she asked what I thought. Her world is upended and may never come back. I said some of the things that I write here. That the “new normal” should not be a return to the old normal. Instead, we were all given a task. Make our lives better. Make our city better. Make our world better.
Those are quite some tasks.
It will take us a long time to even come close to getting the stuff done in those three simple sentences. Sometimes simpler is harder.
Photography, design and stuff
I’ve been talking way too much about the block system and design. I haven’t been talking about the theory of photography enough. Or, the concept of artistic thinking.
I’ll let this new block stuff simmer on the backburner where I can play with it and not worry about what you actually see. I learned today that my picture captions may not be where they should be. I learned it depends on how you are looking at them and what OS and browser you use. I also learned that some things just don’t scale. Remember that music video? There is a place for it on my phone. No video.
I’ll work on that in the deep background. Instead, I’ll talk about the emotional and personally historical issues that come into play when you are trying to make and view art. What resonates? What doesn’t? What do you do or not do with either feeling?
You know. The important stuff.
I won’t take about cameras, lenses, or f stops or shutter speeds. You can find all of that on YouTube, which is why I laugh when somebody wants to sell me a workshop about that technical stuff. On the other hand, it’s also why I cry when I see good information on YouTube. Somebody just gave it away. That’s nice. It’s kind. But, we’ve learned in the past three months that we have to do something to earn a living.
I’m not talking about the perfume. I’m talking about a mental and emotional obsession. I’m talking about the one that I have when it comes the closing of 2019. Normally, I don’t really care. It’s just the pages of the calendar turning. Not this time. I can hardly wait. Even though a lot of people have said the same things about other years in this decade, 2019 seems worse.
Many people who I know feel the same way. They are worn out. They are tired. They are depressed. They feel beaten down. A writer who I read religiously said, that in this year of truth being turned upside down, she’s gotten to the point where she’s not sure she can trust herself.
I fear that in 2020, in a general election year, it might only get worse. I really fear that the worse possible thing can happen. I am scared that a re-elected president who is unhinged and free to do whatever he wants will finally blow up the country. Not physically, but at least existentially.
Enough of that because there are ways to combat the fear and loathing that so many people are feeling right about now.
Go outside. Leave your house. Life will immediately become unpredictable. It will become, well, life. To be lived in. You can work. You can play. You can meet new people. It’ll will also take the daily pressures off of your soul.
If you are an artist or creator, art harder.
A friend of mine said that at the beginning of this year. It helped her. It helped me. Sink your teeth in to a couple of long term projects. You’ll think more about that and less about the state the world.
See the good in everything and everybody who you meet on your journeys outside. Smile at people. Greet them with a friendly face. Ask for help when you need it. Eat well. Sleep well. Play well. Take care of yourself. Whatever you do spiritually, do it more.
Pick a one word koan to keep in your heart and soul. Trust me, it helps. It becomes the guiding principle for your year. Because of all the bad things that might happen in 2020, I’ve chosen my word for the year. “Positive.”
What a color in nature. It was calling out to me. It said roll in Dr. John’s birthday second line next year. A couple of you on various social media wanted to see more of this. What could I do? I aims to please.
From a technical standpoint, this picture is very good. There is almost no post production. Nature took care of that. When I saw those trunks reflecting glowing golden light, I knew what I had found.
You know me. I’m lazy. I thought about traveling to New Mexico or Vermont, or Virginia. Based on weather reports and the lack of fall pictures on various social media, I’m glad that I didn’t travel.
This was a five minute walk from the house. I didn’t need to go to the airport, find parking, pass through TSA, check luggage, board the plane and wish I was somewhere else. I’ll have to do that soon enough.
This is a short post. I’m beginning another trip around the sun today. Maybe there will be cake, party favors and presents.
Relax! Let you eyes wonder and quiet your mind with some visual therapy. A picture is always more than you can see. You will also find my own illustrations about things I find funny and interesting. Have some fun, life is short!