In general. Nothing changes. Everything changes. Everything stays the same. Nothing stays the same. Everything happens for a reason. Except time and chance.
Since May, I’ve lost most of the mobility in my right arm. “Frozen shoulder” they call it, with rotator cuff issues. The pain teaches me limitations. Limitations are ignored while sleeping, so in pain I wake up throughout the night. The evidence of most painkillers’ association with memory/cognitive decline keeps me away from those. So, it’s ginger tea or turmeric. Physical therapy is “thawing” out the issue. My Orthopedic Doc will likely shoot me up with cortisone to speed up the process. With that, I recognize what a blessed world I live in. I get to go see doctors who will help me. We see a disease that would have killed countless millions 100 years ago and we fight it. There seems to be an “expectation of perfection” in society these days, from all sides. All of us are fallible and yet sides are drawn? Like it or not, we are not divided. My body is made from the same earth/cosmos born material as everyone elses. We all share this. We all share the same moon. We are all part of the same river. The water in our bodies once supported fish in a great ocean. Like it or not, we are all one.
Perhaps I have ADHD, ADD, WXYZ, or something, I don’t know. We know that when we endeavor into an artistic genre, we will aim at “traditional.” Once that is known (fully or otherwise) sometimes we ask ourselves, “what can I do with this? It’s nice, but how do I make it my own?” Our thinking drifts in and out of ideas. So how do we work it out? For me, the first step is to take it too far. Sometime that works, sometimes not. When I first started using intentional camera movements in my work, I was elated! My assistant reviewed some of my work and honestly stated, ” it hurts my eyes.” With that, I came to understand that something new and exhilarating to me is meaningless if it does not convey a meaningful message to the viewer. It was not failure, it was learning and with learning comes maturity. So here we are again. The decision to gear up for bird photography in February has brought me here. Processing a color image, save, process a B&W rendering, save, process a B&W image and remove the colors that make the water go to black. Stack that black image over the color and reveal the color through masking. Kitsch? Perhaps. But I will embrace kitsch if it leads me to new knowledge. Anyway, it makes for an interesting desktop background. During this process of editing and video creation I have come to remember why I love photography so much. A few hours spent outside of myself. No cares of the world bearing down on me. Looking for beauty and story. What a lovely privilege. Watching and appreciating nature is a treasure to the heart. In all of that discovery, I see the direction to go. To explore and work. To fail and succeed. To live.
Finding the Light
It is the telling That wears us out So we run to places Where semblances Of light Still reside
The gold of morning Gives us hope. There is no talking here Only instinct And the basic will To survive.
A place for flight And grace Strength and weakness. It waits for no one And moves through us all.
An unending story Waiting to unfold Waiting To be told.
This post is strictly photographic blather, so, I apologize if you clicked for something else. Before you leave, here are a few not-so-sharp renderings. (Early work) Early as in a month ago.
Recently, I picked up the effort for representational bird photography. I’ve always made bird photographs, but typically within an impressionistic rendering in mind. Or, in other words I didn’t care much for detail. This new pursuit has challenged my sensibilities in ways I could not have foreseen in the fledgling years of serious photo making. My subject has become the family of swallows that visit our little Lake Kumeyaay. They are fast, small, and rarely if ever, fly in a straight line for very long. Here is what I love and hate about the journey: Love: 1. Getting out into the wild to make these photographs 2. The challenge of finding the fastest way to get focus with as many decent results as possible 3. The Sony 200-600mm. It just fits into my side-carry sling bag. 4. Benro A48FD monopod 5. When focus is hit and I see a series develop in the viewfinder as I shoot (10FPS). When focus hits right, it feels great! 6. Reviewing (quickly) the results, especially the ones I knew were good.
Hate: 1. Shooting out of focus (10FPS)…the majority of the time. This has become better as I progress. 2. Culling. I throw away images that are not worth my time. This is good to do if you can’t fall asleep. 3. Editing. If images could just come SOOC, I would be a happy man. If you’re like me, the experience of capturing the photo far outweighs computer time. 4. Using a lackluster camera. For this endeavor, I decided to support my Sony (mirrorless) gear for focus speed. For longer reach, I have been using the APSC sensor A6500. Even with that, I end up cropping down and my files are at 2006 resolutions. When pixel-peeping, the A6500 reveals terrible noise and little true detail. It requires clean up and, you know, Editing. (see #3)
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the gear I have. At some point, I will use the A7iii to see if the quality improves. I just need to make sure I can get ’em when they’re in close! I am holding out hope that Nikon will up their game with auto focus response times. Their colors and detail rendering is simply superb! Come on Nikon!
What about you? Is there anything about photography you “hate?”