Driving west for a family visit on a misty Mother’s Day weekend. Old cars get me thinking about generations past and future along with birthdays and births happening in the present. We owe our families much and our Mothers most of all. The world would cease to exist if not for their dedication and sacrifice. Honor them today and everyday.
In the Summer when the air is hot and humid my thoughts turn North in hopes of cooler temperatures and the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. This year I attempted to keep a little Polaroid journal of interesting things I saw while I was there. I like photos of shopping carts in a Conga Line ready to break out in dance. This is inspired by a photograph by Carl Root and I think about his photos every time I see carts lined up in a row like this.
Had to stop for this shot of a Morris Minor with the steering wheel on the right side. It’s parked by the Jewelry store in Lakeside.
Going to Michigan is really about the lake and the different moods created by the sun, wind and waves. The days are long and lazy but the week always seems to end too soon.
Summertime fun in the sun (and shade) while trying to stay cool.
Hanging out at the pool with all the cool kids or at least the kids who want to look cool. It seems like these days everyone is trying to be someone or something they are not. Life has become all about Selfies and self validation. CBS News host, Bob Schieffer did a brief story on the dangers of Selfies this Sunday. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/face-the-nation-transcripts-july-13-2014-netanyahu-perry-gutierrez/
The definition of Selfies are, “Self portraits typically taken at an arm’s length.” This brings to mind an old idiom, “To keep someone at an arm’s length.” Meaning to to avoid becoming connected with someone or something. In this case the someone is ourselves. We are keeping our own true selves at a safe distance while trying to portray our social self as someone for others to envy. Look at me, I’m drinking champagne by the pool. Look at me, I’m dancing with the DJ. I’ve got no problem with self portraits or having fun in general but sometimes it would be nice if people would just be who they are instead of who they are not.
Minimal lighting setup on these quick grab shots at the park (Nikon SB900 on camera iTTL, bounced). Things don’t always need to be overproduced, just well done. The most difficult thing is getting people who are not models to agree to be photographed. Many people now prefer self-portraits or “selfies.” My guess is that they want to have more control over how the world views them when putting it all out there for the world to see. The problem with that is that for the average cell phone photographer most of the time the effort fails.
Don’t get me wrong, I think of a snapshot taken in the moment as the pinnacle of photography. There is nothing more real or engaging than a good snapshot. Fashion photographers often use a technique emulating a familiar looking sloppy snapshot to draw us into an editorial storyline. The models still have porcelain skin but the edges are blurry and the sun dazzles by seeming to shine directly in our eyes. The point is if there is one that photography is a complete fabrication. It tells us what the photographer wants us to hear. Some people think that is a bad thing but not me. I want to tell you a story but only the first chapter. I want you to pick it up from there and use the frame to let your imagination go forward (or backwards) to the next scene.
I have never been popular or in demand except by people who wanted to sell me something. It seems like the question I get asked most often is, “Will you be my friend… for a few dollars?” Usually the offer of “friendship” ends up being for many dollars. Come and join the party. You can’t miss this and it only costs $$$. Where else can you get this sort of inspiration (and friendship) for less? Well, it turns out you can get it just about anywhere. Inspiration and friendship are available all around you at no cost. The tricky part is choosing friends and inspiration wisely and then acting on it instead of constantly looking for more of the same.
Don’t be scared… just do it. Don’t expect instant success either. Just keep doing it and growing. The simple act of doing something will teach you much more than all the endless hours of watching someone else explain what will become obvious as soon as you start doing things yourself. Instruction is fine but at some point you have to put into practice what you have been taught. You may think you are not ready but you can never be completely ready. Things just don’t work that way.
The act of creating something is good for the spirit and you shouldn’t necessarily have to pay someone else for the privilege of doing it. Yes, cameras, art supplies and fabric are expensive but there are ways around that as well. Find yourself a real friend who doesn’t demand payment for their company and share costs and resources. You can often borrow things you need, you just have to summon the courage to ask. Most of the time people will be more than willing to help you out or even join in the fun. Now get moving.