« BREAKING! Colossal SNAFU! Epochal Breakdown! Scandal! | Main | Blog Note »

Saturday, 20 August 2016


Well, last friday happened to be one of my busiest working days of the year, so no photographs.
And yes - I've had lots of those days. I've had days when I took lots of pictures and, even though I thought many of them looked great at the time, they really didn't. And then I became more selective and began having photographic outings from which I'd come back with just a handful of photographs. Sometimes it'd turn out none of them had been worth the trouble.
Now I'm even more selective. Today I took a mammoth three shots, and that was thrice more than last sunday! (I believe the word for this is 'paucity.') And, having shot my last twenty three exposures on film, I can't tell whether any of them will come out any good.

Very often.Today was much better.

My comment just disappeared, I think! So I will try again.

Why not institute a World Selfie Day before before the ever accelerating freight train of technology renders them obsolete? I started writing that as a joke, but as I wrote, it struck me that it would actually work and would be inclusive, not some largely 1st World BS imposing 1st world history on the rest of the world.

Mobile technology and camera phones are cheap so ubiquitous in the 3rd world too. A World Selfie Day could throw up some very interesting stuff -- and be a lot of fun for everyone everywhere at the same time.

By the way, mosquitoes are important -- being the vectors for goodness only knows how many disgusting and often terminal diseases. I live with malaria and dengue and whatever else -- as very large slabs of the world (mostly 3rd world) do. Mosquitoes rule out lives -- and deaths.

And on that cheerful thought, I'll step out into the sunn, ever warm tropical morning and pay no attention to mosquitoes whatsoever (which is perfectly fine, the anopheles malarial mosquito is active at dawn and dusk, not in full sun. :)

Mike wrote, "Photography isn't as big a part of life as mothers ... "

I'll bet most people use their phone more often to take a picture than to call their mother.

Hmmm. You're on ‟semi-vacation” this week, and therefore aren't posting regularly, right? Coulda fooled me.

And, yes, most of the days I make photographs I wind up with nothing worth keeping. The most difficult discipline to master is learning when to use the delete key.

I just got back from driving on Spanish Creek Road thru Ted Turner's ranch in Montana (open to the public), where we saw at least 500 buffalo on and along the road for a couple of miles. Wow! I took a hundred or so pictures (from in the car or next to it with the door open; maybe they are all in-focus, well-exposed boring pictures, but the opportunity was a nice gift for World Photography Day! Btw, the animals were calm and mostly well behaved. They are clearly used to cars driven slowly and non-aggressively.

"Ever have one of those days?"

Ohhh, yeahh...we all do, I think. My best work always occurs when I develop a specific and deliberate plan in advance and then do my level best to execute the plan.

The shot below was taken in the "American Warehouse" during an urbex workshop with Mark Maio at Silo City, Buffalo, NY. I knew in advance where, when and what time of day I wanted to be at this spot before I even entered the building.

When I was setting up the tripod to get this shot per the plan, one of the participants who happened to be walking by at the time asked me, "What are you taking a photo of?" "Oh, you'll see", I replied.

Fuji X-T1 and that pesky Fab Fourteen. Can't keep a good lens down...

"Ever had one of those days?"

Sure - every time I make a conscious decision to go out and find photographs.

"The best photographs arrive uninvited" - Jane Bown

Everyday is WPD when you think of it. There are no impactful media stories without images, and the most powerful memories of significant world events are from photographs. The history of photography is weird and wonderful with all sorts of gadgetry, chemistry and imagination that make the accomplishments of modern digital technology seem a bit dry (pun intended). We would surely be poorer without the pic and photography definitely deserves its day.

(BTW Mike, most of my days are like yours - the fun is in the trying)

The motto of World Photography Day should be "May the Focus be with you".

Yes, and there are different levels to "those days." Some days I know I have nothing before I get home, but more frequently I discover I have nothing once I bring the images up on the computer.

I'm more likely to come home with something if I relax, walk slowly, take "warm up" shots like I'm an eager beginner, and stay out shooting for longer than planned.

Ha! I don't know if Richard read Stephen's comment, but that was a great pairing. Method or lack of method, both techniques work for me. I have some great fun and get great shots going some place I have never been with zero expectations. Then there are places where knowing where and when the sun and moon will be is essential.

Recently, I got off work early, and camera in hand, decided to make the most of the remaining day; for two long hours, absolute... crickets. Called it a day, and on my way home- an opening. Not the greatest photo ever taken- but a definite keeper nonetheless; something to add a smile to your sore feet, so you can toast a beer, instead of dejectedly downing one with thoughts of... next time.

And that's where the story should end.

That 11th hour keeper reinforced the age old axiom that persistence always wins out. And it often does, or... at least just often enough to reinforce the belief, ie- feed the addiction. That last second, end of the line shot fueled yet more days of dogged, determined, hard core persistence- and not a damn thing to show for any of 'em. What it was, was the parting shot to one phenomenally lucky shooting streak. Days soon turned to weeks, as the days of plenty became ensconced in the past, instead of the ongoing present.

Of course, the photos will come, eventually, in dribs and drabs, one here, one there in their own good time. Got freaky lucky first half of this year, and "lucky" spurts don't happen often, least not for me. And when they do- I get spoiled, and think I can turn it on and keep it on simply by trying hard enough.

But reality is never far behind to bite ya firmly in the ass and remind ya just how damn hard it is to get even one good shot.

One of my favorite stories along the nothing's working days is Adams spending all day at Ghost Ranch with son Michael and friend Cedric Wright in tow and "getting no good results." Stowing all the gear, they left and were motoring back to Santa Fe when approaching Hernandez, NM... well, you all know the rest.

Yes, tomorrow (August 22) is Henri Cartier-Bresson's birthday, indeed. Personally I can think of several other photographers (at least) equally worth commemorating but HCB will do.

Go forth and do something good with your camera...ANY camera.

And, don't forget, if you missed World Photography Day, you don't have to wait another year for a similar communal experience involving image taking. September 6th is World Pentax Day - only two weeks away. I don't know if there are similar events for people who shoot Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, et al. If not, you have some time to pick up a nice K-1, K-3 or even a clean, used K-5 and prepare.

May as well be Photography Week...free admission to all National Parks Aug. 25-28!

If there can be an 'International Take Your Goldfish to Work Day' (which there is) there can be a day for just about anything!

World Photography Day lvs me cold. I draw your attention to the cartoon "Pearls before Swine" of today, 24 August,



      Cheers, Geoff

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007