Sometimes it is possible to experience another person’s joy just by seeing them doing something that they love. A sort of happiness by proxy. When Mary dances, I often wonder what is in her head. But, I don’t want to dwell on the thought for fear of losing that sensation of enjoyment of the moment.
The New Mustache and the Agony of the Selfie
It’s been a while since you’ve had a good look at me and I’ve grown a mustache since I created my last self portrait. Sounds like a good enough reason to set up the tripod and take a selfie.
I’m not one to take a lot of portraits of myself. It’s hard. There are the technical issues of setting up the gear and using a light stand as fill in so that I can set the focus and the exposure manually. The need to stand in the right spot and make adjustments until I am happy with the results. Then come the truly difficult parts of creating a self portrait. How do you stand, what kind of expression do you wear. How do I avoid looking like an idiot and make my personality come through? What should I do with my arms? What should I wear?
Twenty or so shots later, I have the image you see above and I am fairly happy with the results. And then the t-shirt begins to bug me. It pops out and draws my eye. It’s stark white in a portrait that is made up of gorgeous greys and charcoals. The eyes are not quite sharp enough. Did I say the t-shirt bothered me?
Change out of the t-shirt, get dressed again. Re-check the gear Try to remember where I was standing, make adjustments. Try to not look like an idiot again and you can see the results above. Not as much personality, but by this time, I am tired and want to move on.
What do you think? Does the t-shirt bother you in the first image? Are the images too dark? I never question my judgement when I am creating portraits of others. Which is the keeper? Is the mustache a keeper?
This is one of the few times that I open my work up to your suggestions. Let me know what you think.
The transition from one space to another is a tricky one. You want to draw people out the old space and want them to enter the new space. But, how do you want them to experience the transition from one area to another? Do you want it to be a smooth subtle transition, as though you are leading them from one spot on a path to another? Do you want them to be jolted into a new reality? lure them from darkness to light? From grey to color?
Portals are tricky and you have to understand your purpose while placing yourself in the mind of the visitor. Good portals work. Others don’t. This one worked rather well.
Have a great day folks. I hope your Sunday becomes a pleasant transition to the rest of the week.
One of Jen
How many portraits have you seen of Debbie sitting at that same chair? Sewing, quilting, talking, or laughing? Well, here is one of Jen. Like Debbie, Jen can sew, talk, and laugh. I am not so sure about quilting. I’ve never seen her do it, so the question remains unanswered. I am guessing that she can.
Well, Jen? Can you quilt? The fine folks reading this blog want to know.
In the Wind
There are days when I like a good challenge in a photograph. I like to look at a photo and try to figure out what the photographer was thinking and what they are trying to say to me with their work. If you are one of those viewers, then you are going to be disappointed today. I am not trying to say anything to you and you won’t find this image challenging at all.
It’s simply soothing in it’s simplicity. It is pretty and maybe nostalgic. Maybe simple images are a kind of pabulum. I am too tired and have too big of a migraine today to wrestle with those kinds of issues. So please, just sit and enjoy the image for what it was intended. Simple pleasure. Look at it and let your thoughts become lost in the wind.
It is, I suppose, my nature to imagine conversations between people that I can see, but can’t hear. And so…
Miss Susan: I want the musicians over here, near the hay. I also want the benches around the walls. You will also need to move the corn grinder out behind the barn.
Mr. Carr: Yes’m.
Miss Susan: And Mr. Carr, I hold you personally responsible to see that the fiddle player has no liquor tonight. I will not have him dancing a jig in his union suit as we did last month.
Mr. Carr: Yes’m!
Miss Susan: Not a single drop, Mr. Carr. If I smell any liquor on that man, you won’t see a single pie the rest of the summer.
Mr. Carr: But…
Miss Susan: Not a drop!
Mr. Carr: Yes’m.
There are times when you should reach for the sky. Go for it. Pursue your dreams. Reach. Stretch. You can almost feel the moment when you accomplish everything you’ve been working towards. Then you realize you are a light pole and that you are anchored to the ground. Not only that, your bulbs are all burned out and you can’t even offer illumination to those that gather to watch your effort.
Other times, everything works out just fine. Mission accomplished. Piece of cake. What’s next? You just never know. So, reach and stretch. This just might be the time you succeed and make a difference. It could happen.
He Looked Hungry, So I Fed Him.
We’ve all been struggling with the loss of Jodi’s mom back in January. So, it was nice to have a happy memory of her pop into my mind last night. Roberta had a way of collecting cats. I would come home to find a new cat, that I didn’t recognize, sitting in my kitchen after I came home from work. I would ask her why there was a strange cat in our house and she would look at me with all seriousness and state “He looked hungry, so I let him in and fed him”. Soon enough, the cat had a name and was added to our permanent collection of cats. We only wanted one cat, and Jodi got me Sabi for Christmas one year. Now our collection of cats includes; Sabi, Betty, Jacky, Cooper, Oona, Elle Belle, and Riley. So, what does all of this have to do with my memory?
Last night, Jim (You must remember my friend Jim, we shoot together all of the time.) and I went to the Celtic Festival in Dayton. Along the way, we decided to stop at a Dayton favorite, Thai 9 for dinner. Jim went in to get a table and I parked the car…three blocks away. On the walk back to the restaurant, I spied this stenciled cat on the side of a building. I instantly thought…”he looks hungry…” and started to laugh. Roberta may not be with us in many ways, but in so many ways, she still is.
Have a great day folks.