My latest lunatic picture (lunatic being defined as one suffering from the intermittent insane belief that the moon is a good subject for photographs). I went outside to take a picture of the full moon behind some picturesque clouds, but then the clouds moved away and the moon started setting behind the peak of the neighbors' roof. So I figured, what the heck, just go with it.
Taken handheld, because...well, I'm a lunatic.
Do you tend to approach things based on your ideas of what you want, willing to work until you get it, or are you more likely just to go with whatever you find and make the best of it? I'm much more the latter type. I'll take whatever I find. Maybe it'll be a picture, maybe not—I never know beforehand anyway. I have to see the picture as a picture. I think the ways we approach photography have a lot to do with our personalities.
Too early to say if I like this shot or not. I like it now, but the next few weeks are when my opinion "cures"—during that time I'll either start liking it more or (more likely) less. Three weeks from now I'll know. Right now I'm in that "look what I just made!" phase, where you're pleased with what you did and want to show it around for approval. I think we all feel that way when we like what we just shot. That doesn't mean the shot is any good, of course.
Enjoy the World Cup final today! You know things are tense around the Vatican.
Sunday's Open Mike is when we let Yr. Hmbl. Ed. write whatever he wants to write.
[UPDATE: I watched nearly the whole World Cup Final. Having never watched a soccer game before, I was curious about the fascination the rest of the world has for this great sport, and was determined to find out. I am happy to say it was splendid. Everything went marvelously. From the looks of things, fans got everything they ever want.
I say I watched "nearly" the whole thing because I had to leave my TV early in the match for a brief time. Fortunately I was only gone for twenty minutes or so and I didn't miss a thing. The match had everything. Regularly, every ten or fifteen minutes or even more often, a player from one team or the other made a shot in the vague direction of the opponent's goal, causing the crowd's hearts to leap into their throats. Trmendously exciting. Then there was the ongoing drama of who had tripped whom; great tension and suspense was created as we wondered whether every player who appeared to be mortally hurt was actually hurt or only faking (on the other hand, obvious subconcussive trauma was ignored on numerous occasions); and people who get engrossed in players milling about and kicking the ball to and fro had a field day (I have made a pun) as there was an absolute endless orgy of that. It went on forever and ever. Fans of it must have been in absolute heaven. Oh, the kicking of the ball this way and that—I have never seen anything like it. Seriously, I have never seen anything like it.
And it went on for hours and hours—and then a little more. For a non-fan like myself, after a while this became...I'm sorry...a bit of a trial. I was just glued to my seat the whole time, or nearly the whole time as I have already described, because I reasoned that if some small event of any significance were by chance to actually occur, and I were to miss it, then the interminable amount of time I had invested in watching the game would have been all for naught. My beard grew. I could not stop myself my anxious fidgeting, and at one point I began smacking myself in the head, softly and slowly, with an empty bottle, because I felt my brain was going numb, and my hope was that small jolts of pain could spark it back into operation. This did not work, and to be honest I am still feeling groggy.
Eventually, under approximately the same principle as the one which states that the sun will enlarge and engulf the earth in flames of fire if one only one could wait around long enough, one team did finally at long last manage to score...a point. One single, sparkling, crystaline point. This was the desired crescendo, the crowning moment, the climax upon which the whole celebratory shebang depended. It might have been the other team that did it; but it was the one team. Which team the one was seemed arbitrary, accidental almost. They had played, by that time, I think, about half a day and a night and another half a day. Although I had lost track of time. Mind you, the goal looked purposeful, but if they could actually do it on purpose, surely logic predicts that they would have done it much earlier. As it was, the score occurred well after the scoreless tie had established itself as the status quo. To any status quo, anything can happen; nefarious Nero ascends the throne of the judicious polymaths of the old Republic; Ceasar dares bring his rough Legions past the Rubicon; a little longer, and a sea-bird might have been struck by an errant header; an eerie cloudless rain might have begun to fall from a clear sky. A little longer than that, perhaps there would have been an eclipse. As it was, it was a goal. And the one team did it—because one team must. All manner of strange things happen in time.
The allotted time expired—but play continued. This mystified me, nay horrified me, because in all the sports I know, play ends when time runs out. I suspected something wrong with the Universe. I checked the hands of my kitchen wall clock, and, sure enough, the second hand took many slow heartbeats to pass from one hash-mark to the next. I was indeed experiencing a rending in the fabric of space-time. The announcer mentioned that fans were begging the referees to blow the whistle to end the contest. That could happen?!? My benumbed brain latched upon it in desperation and hope. I found myself fervently thinking, yes, please, dear God, that's what I want too—tears streaming down my cheeks. Like many other fans.
I am glad I watched a soccer match; now I can say I watched the most important soccer match in the world. It was great; it was wonderful; it is something I have done once; and I should be fine again by the time I wake up in the morning. —Mike]
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
James Sinks: "I am much more the former. Obsessively so. I've gone back to locations for months on end and spent two, three, four, or five nights a week shooting them. Sometimes I'll try for the same shot half a dozen times in the belief that the image in my minds eye just needs a little more coaxing out....
"But at the same time, the more time I spend at a location, the more I see to shoot. The more time I spend at a location, the more chance there is for serendipity. My mentality is very much: explore, think, compose, shoot, critique, rethink, recompose, reshoot, but the location always informs my photography. Sometimes, even with exposures stretching into the hours, improvisation is an essential element of photography. Of course, everything I wrote above is about my 'real' photography—the stuff I do at night on a tripod. Working handheld is completely different. It's just snapshooting, so I shoot whatever, whenever, wherever, whyever...."
Bill Wheeler: "The moon shot looks good to me. Like you, I am likely to go with whatever I find and make the best of it. Then I move on. I try not to invest too much of myself in any one picture, for if it shouldn't work out, the resulting disappointment gets in the way of making another picture. Gotta stay loose."
David in Sydney: "I just read your account of the trial of watching the World Cup final.
I am a fan of soccer but this match was exactly that—a solid trial. It didn't become exciting until the German's scored that excellent goal and then for the last ten minutes everyone played very hard and much more freely but the preceeding 102 minutes were pretty hard viewing!
"The excitement of a World Cup cannot be summed up in the gameplay of a single match. Remember that there are 60 or so games in the tournament itself, many of which were truly exciting. There are also about two years' worth of matches played amongst the entire world to qualify for the month-long tournament. Many countries hunger for that finals representation. It takes an enormous amount of skill to qualify for the Cup.
"In America you have a bunch of sports that you, without a hint of humour, call World Series. They're not. Soccer, football, whatever you call it, is truly the world sport because of its participation rates, spectator numbers, media coverage and its ability, in spite of the nay-sayers, to provide the most elated highs and darkest lows for players and viewers alike."
Steven House: "I wonder how many of your readers are bothered about whether you like football or not. It seems like a lot of negative space to take so long to say so."
Mike replies: Just waving on the way by. I figure if I am mildly unlucky I get ten more years on Earth. If my luck is more average, twenty. If it's good, thirty. And whether my allotment of remaining years is two or forty, I won't be watching many other soccer/football games. Today's was the first and last!
That's nothing against soccer/football or anyone who loves it. It's just that...well, in the second half of a man's life, a lot of things close down. Doors slam shut; limitations present themselves; long-held aspirations turn out to be untenable. Possibilities drift away. We can't do everything. Hell, we can't do most things. At my age, there are a lot of things I know I'll never do or be—and it's just a reality that I didn't have to face at 40, even though it was probably just as true then.
So you pick your spots. There are some things you can do and some things you have to give up. I'll never run a footrace again, never climb a tree, never sky-dive. But I have two dogs, to my delight. You pick your spots.
Soccer is a wonderful game for fans, and being a fan of anything gives back to you according to the attentiveness you devote to it; I know millions of people love soccer, and God bless 'em. It's not my culture is all, either native or adopted. I'm okay with that. Some good things in life you embrace, some good things in life you must let pass by. With a wave.
Kristine Hinrichs: "I am more the later. I enjoy surprising people with Milwaukee and Southern Kettle Morraine images that most people would just walk on by. That requires some bit of spontaneity I think. That said, I've been known to come back to the same scene several times to get that surprise."
Thomas Paul Mc Cann: "I'm not a soccer fan either. In fact the World Cup along with Wimbledon just interfered with my minimal television viewing habits. However I think your little tantrum is akin to an average Joe looking at 'Sunrise over Hernandez' and going 'Mwah.' It takes education to appreciate certain things."
Mike replies: Ha! It wasn't a tantrum. It was intended to be humorous. I'll take it that shot was way wide of the net where you're concerned....
Erik Ahrend: "Being the only Spaniard in the whole universe who doesn't like soccer (it's called football here, by the way, and we never understood why you call your sport 'football' when the foot hardly ever touches the ball), I could not help chuckling when I read your tongue-in-cheek eloquent update. For a good reason TOP is one of the most interesting and refreshing corners of the net...."