Tag Archives: qotd
Someone told me today that they really liked my pictures of people, and that I seemed to enjoy taking them. I realized that she was right, but to tell the truth taking pictures of people is something that makes me uncomfortable, sometimes…
About the picture:
I took this while wandering around NYC back in ’07. This was taken in Bryant Park. I really liked how intent everyone was, and the colorful garb the older man is wearing. Even though it was a public place, I was nervous about taking their picture, and as a result I missed a really good shot a few seconds prior. The gentleman on the right had just made what he considered a masterful move, and had leaned back in his chair with a very pleased expression on his face. That would have been an even better picture, I think. Which explains the title of today’s entry.
There was another shot that day that I didn’t take, though for a better reason, I think. But that is a story for another time.
A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
– Ansel Adams
I spent the weekend in Fort Lauderdale, partly to attend a photography workshop/ fetish model photography session thrown by a photography club down there (the Fetish Foto Club of South Florida).
This post isn’t about that.
I’ll blog about the shoot and something interesting I discovered in a couple of days. By then I’ll have a few choice pictures.
While researching for the post I was going to write, I discovered an article that was originally published in Esquire magazine called “The Falling Man” by Tom Junod. It recounts some of the background and consequences of a picture taken at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
It has several themes (maybe too many)… The nature of commercial disaster photography, how a photograph can lie can lie and be part of an accurate depiction at the same time. People dealing (and not dealing) with tragedy, lies people tell themselves in order to make it through the pain… Powerful stuff. No wonder it was considered one of Esquire’s “Seven Greatest Stories”.
The story told in the article, and the background of the picture are bothering me for some reason. Not sure why. Maybe because I like to consider a photo as “TRUTH”, even though theoretically I know better. Or maybe it’s how a picture can bother a person, re-opening old wounds years later. I don’t like the thought that something I create could be hurtful to a person.
Then again, probably the only way I could avoid hurting anyone (through photography or anything else I do or say) would be to stay in bed all day, or become a hermit. Then again, I’d probably end up hurting someone by doing that too. Maybe I should have made today’s quote
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose freewill
One could say that “Free Will” is also part of the theme of the “Falling Man” photo…
When I was a child, my Mother said to me, “If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope.” Instead, I became a painter, and wound up as Picasso.
– Pablo Picasso
Ran across the work of a pro photographer that’s located here in Melbourne. He shoots many of the same subjects I try to (and gets paid for it, of course.) His work is fantastic. He’s been in magazines both local and national, has gallery showings, etc.
I’ve always known that I’m not going to be one of the world’s best photographers.
I’ve long realized I can’t be one of the nation’s top photographers.
Now I have the feeling that I can’t even be one of Melbourne’s best photographers.
This mean that I need to concentrate just on being the best that I can be.
I might be able to pull that one off.
I turned off an anti-spam plug-in in order to update to a newer version of WordPress (the auto update isn’t working for some reason), and I am amazed at how many spam comments I get but don’t usually see. The sad things is that I get far more spam bots visiting then real people.
Of course, the way to fix that is 1) advertise this blog a bit more and 2) actually have something here worth reading. I don’t really want to do the first without the second, but if I make that my standard I am likely to never try to get better known.
What is getting more attention is my Etsy store. I usually get one or two visitors a day, but now it’s five or more. Wish I could figure out why; I haven’t done anything except post about a treasury I was featured in. When I’ve done that in the past I’ve only gotten a small, temporary bump. Of course, if I’m going to be wishing, I should wish that some of those visits would convert to sales!
Some background on today’s quote can be found in the “ever trustworthy” *snort* Wikipedia.
In Japan, photographers are often called “light and shadow warriors.” – Scott Bourne
“Some say opportunity knocks only once, That is not true. Opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it.”
– Louis L’Amour
Grrr… Here I am, getting ready for a nice relaxing night at home, when I get a text message. Apparently there’s a rocket launch tonight.
I don’t know how I missed this… maybe it’s a spy satellite (despite being called “weather observation satellite”). Oh, I see. It’s a DoD payload. Those don’t get announced until the last minute.
It’s at 9:24 pm, so it’s a true night launch. It’s an Atlas V, which is the largest rocket the US has, so it should be an impressive sight to see…
I really have no choice, especially after vowing the other day to not let opportunities pass me by… I can leave my house at 8:00 pm and be there in plenty of time; a “mere” rocket launched on a week night doesn’t draw the crowds like a early evening shuttle launch does….
Wait, this just in. It got scrubbed due to fuel valve problems… All that debate for nothing. Oh well, what else is new…
Back to editing pictures.
I realized yesterday that my biggest roadblock in my “five year plan” was not lack of equipment, or time, or customers, or even talent (maybe). The thing that stands most in my way is… me.
There was a rocket launch last week, a night launch no less, and I didn’t go. I had reasons excuses: I was tired, I had to work the next day, I suck at night photography. But these are all irrelevant at best, and bullshit at worst.
If I want to make photography my full time job, that means treating it like one. My “real” job doesn’t accept the excuse that “I’m tired” as a reason to not show up, and I shouldn’t can’t let myself get away with it either when it comes to taking pictures, editing, writing here, or putting new items online.
Of course, some activities are more useful than others, so I’ll work on finding a balance.
Frank Horvat : Now it’s all set up, the model, the streets, the dog and the baby. There you are, with your camera.
Helmut Newton : There I am with my camera. Frank, you see, if I don’t set it up, what am I going to do? What do you do? Do you go out with a girl and God sends you an inspiration?
Frank Horvat : But when it’s all there, girl, streets, dog and baby, do you shoot it the way you had in mind, or do you wait for something else, that is godgiven ?
Helmut Newton : Sometimes it happens, not very often, that God chooses to give me that ray of sunshine or that cloud, at the right moment. That’s why I work outside, because I know that in the studio God can’t do anything for me, all he could do would be send a thunderstorm that cuts off the electricity. Outside he can help me, he could also fuck me up by sending a lot of rain, that would make it difficult, but he very rarely sends me light that’s no good to me. Practically any light, somehow or other, I can deal with.
Frank Horvat : Because you are very clever.
Helmut Newton : No, because any light that God sends me is different. This keeps me interested: “quick, quick, quick, something is happening!”