Saturday, October 30, 2010


I have a list of blog post ideas a mile long. This is the newest so it's getting here first because it is freshest in my mind I suppose.

Yesterday I drove down to the Gettysburg Battlefield. If you are familiar with this blog you will remember my trips (and resulting photos) from last winter and this past spring. Prior to last winter I hadn't been there in over a decade. I now plan to continue going back a few times a year. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to be.

I used my trusty bb (blackberry) as well as my Canon as usual. The bb has three focal lengths and I have two lenses (both of which are zoom lenses) for the 'real' camera. That said, I realised (remembered is more like it) yesterday that just because I have multiple focal lengths to chose from doesn't mean I can stand still if I want a good shot.

Perspective is everything. In photography. In life.

What do I mean by that? Perspective is how you see something, your take on life. It's the glass half full/half empty question. It's your angle on a story, the slant of an article, the "spin" of the politician you love/loathe most.

As many people as there are in existence or who ever existed or ever will is how many different ways there are of seeing the same thing. In photography the focal length of the lens is one tool a photographer can use to create their image; how close or far away they chose to be. But that can only do so much. The photographer has to MOVE.

I am paying for that movement today. I reinjured myself walking on uneven ground, climbing over some rocks, and getting up and down all day. But it's a price I pay gladly. I can not imagine taking all of my photos from normal standing/walking height. How boring!

One of the biggest mistakes that amateur photographers make is not exploring every possible angle in looking at a subject. People often make the same mistake in life. We want things quickly. We want things to be easy. We want to be right. So we make decisions and formulate opinions often without considering all the possible parts of issues and then we hold tightly to these beliefs even in the face of logic.

As photographers and artists, people need to remember to get uncomfortable. Move! Don't be afraid that you will look like an idiot laying on the ground to form an image the way you think it should be formed. The same holds true when you form an opinion. Don't be afraid to question the status quo. You don't have to accept it just because someone else believes it. Form your opinions as carefully as an artist forms an image. Get uncomfortable. Challenge yourself to see things from different perspectives, different points of view.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Power of Friendship (or how to become an enabler)

Tuesday was kicking my ass.  To the curb.  I was running out of ways to look on the bright side and cope.  Crawling back in bed would have been my last ditch effort to save my sanity.  As it was, I was about to concede today and make a sacrificial offering of Wednesday in exchange for an okay Thursday and a kick ass Friday.  Then, my friend Helen Madden, AKA @Cynical_Woman, came to my rescue.

Helen is, among many other things, a cartoonist and author (mostly erotica).  She did this... (go see now, I'll wait.  It is SO worth it!!)  I laughed so hard I nearly...well, I laughed a lot. I'm still chuckling. 

I'm laughing for a couple of reasons.  First, obviously, because the strip she drew is funny.  More so when you know that knitters really do say stuff like that to each other (at least the funny ones I know do).  Sure, they're not all as funny or as open as Helen but they're definitely not the conservative, up-tight old ladies many seen to think of when they hear the word 'knitter'.  I'm also laughing because I didn't realize that Helen had become addicted to knitting. 

When you have a hobby, or a sport you participate in, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing you want to do it as often as possible.  That only makes sense.  I've known people who get addicted to all sorts of things; playing golf, cooking, watching sports, model train building, you name it. Knitting is rather unique in that you can do it just about anywhere for any length of time.  You don't need lots of equipment or a special place to knit.  A finished item is likely to have thousands of stitches. But there is no rule saying you have to do a certain number of stitches at a time.  Every stitch made is a stitch closer to completion. So, while annoying, if you pull out your knitting and only get one lonely stitch made there is no harm or foul.  

Sock knitting has become extremely popular for a multitude of reasons; one of the biggest being that it is so portable. I don't care how big your foot is, keeping a sock-in-progress with you at all times is nothing like dragging around a sweater project.  I knit everywhere: at sporting events, while watching TV, waiting for a Dr's appointment, in line at the grocery store, at traffic lights (no, not while driving...not really...).

As someone who creates hand painted sock yarn I'm thrilled to know that the ranks of knitters has increased by one.  I am a knitting enabler and proud of it!  We are taking over the world one knitter at a time.  I have just one question to ask of the lovely Cynical Woman now: 

So, Helen, tell me....what's your favorite color?