Foto Fridays: Going Meta

It’s a digital photograph of analog photography equipment…how meta.  A couple of months ago, I was home in DC to visit my parents and was advised to pack up all my books and things from the attic.  Now that I have a house of my  own, this was not only a good idea, but I missed my books.  They are old friends that trace a very turbulent part of my history.  The books I read in middle school and high school were a crucial part of my self-discovery.  And while they did hold meaning sitting on the bookshelves of their birth – in a museum kind of way where I could go and look upon the space of my youth, they truly belonged with me. Among the double-packed books was another old, but not forgotten, friend: my Canon FTb Ql camera.

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Photos, Books, Life…

Don’t go thinking I haven’t been doing anything just because I haven’t been posting here!  Oh no!

I think that’s one of the things that we forget as creative people because it’s the WORK that matters, what we PRODUCE that can be touched or watched or absorbed through one sense or another.

But life happens.  And I want to experience it.

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And I’ve also just been busy trying to slog my way through the producing aspects.  So here’s a tally of what’s been going on and I plan to get this website more focused in the coming months!  Including a sneak peak of what I’ve been writing!

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FF: The Human Eye

foto_fridaySometimes cameras fail us.  The human eye is a wonder.  We can see things clearly and at the correct “aperture” despite multiple differences in stops, color temperature.  Cameras can create amazing effects, but every once in a while, no matter how hard I try, I cannot replicate what I see with my human eye.  Above is a picture from inside a log house in Wyoming.  I was stunned by the light that day.  The warmth of the wood, coloring the inside.  I could see everything inside clearly, fully lit by the daylight.  Then, through the windows, I could see the beautiful expanse of land, the house down the street, the mountains, the sky.  I wanted to take a picture of it, capturing the balance between these two images as I saw it: the foreground of the interior and the background of the exterior.  But my camera would either overexpose the windows, blowing them out to white, or underexpose the interior, making it darker than it looked.

This happened again this morning as I walked the kids to school.  I was shooting into the sun, so I wasn’t surprised that the building and the kids were silhouetted, but I was surprised at how well I could see them.  How perfect the lighting.  It was as if I could “zoom” in with my eyes as I watched the kids walk up.  And my camera failed me.  kids_school

I am a very visual person.  What I see before me, every day, effects my mood, my thoughts, my actions, and my inspiration.  When I was a teenager, I had my camera with me always.  Nowadays, with smartphones, we always have our cameras with us, but back then, it was unusual to carry around a 35mm camera everywhere.   But I would see things on the street, in my daily life, and wish I had a camera.  I was constantly looking for the perfect shot to every moment.  In a way, it distanced me from being in the moment because I was always analyzing how I would capture it.  I would despair over forever losing a particular shot if I didn’t have my camera.  I relied on it to document life around me.

Today, I live in a city where there is not much visual aesthetic, but I have found the secret places of beauty.  More importantly, I embrace the moment and the images I’m seeing with my own eyes, not just through a lens.

FF: Wildlife (aka children)

 

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The phrase “I love shooting children” definitely comes out wrong but many of my most recent photographic experiences involve photographing children and it is an endless passion of mine.  Photographing children is like photographing wildlife: you have to wait for the right moment and be fast enough to catch it.  There are so many times where I hear the “click” of my shutter and realize, “shit, I just missed it.”  But then there are times when I capture something right as it happens, and it’s never anything you can truly anticipate.  It’s magic.  So here are some of my favorites.

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FF: Sugar Mill

I missed my first Foto Friday last week after successfully posting for Movie Mondays and Writing Wednesdays.  But, it is a new day and a new opportunity!  The picture of the “Flying Guy” as I like to call him was a fairly life-sized paper mache sculpture indicating the entrance to a series of shops in my mother’s hometown of Brno, Czech Republic.  It reminds me to always keep an eye out.  You will always find something strange and beautiful.

I think lying in wait for the perfect shot requires patience, luck, knowing yourself, knowing your camera, breath control, and ultimately timing.  Most of the time, though, we don’t have the time to wait but we have the luck to come across something that needs to be captured.  I took the pictures below on my iPhone from the window of my car as I drove past.  This is one of my favorite spots and I’d like to come back when I have time and a better camera to really capture all angles, investigate the site and find secret wonders.  But not today, and that’s okay because I think these images capture the FEELING that I wanted to convey.  Sometimes a picture doesn’t have to be in perfect focus.  Sometimes that humanity coming across the lens is not just the subject but the artist himself or herself.

And yes I know I spelled “photo” wrong in “foto fridays.”