Looking in the mirror…

We, myself included, often trust the media so much that we’ve let it affect how we live our lives; we let mainstream media use their own employees in interviews to get their own point across or cutting out on interviews intentionally (CNN, I’m calling you out on this tactic), but we cut corners ourselves as well. Personally, it’s come to the point that I’m still getting mad at it, but I’ve fumbled so many times that looking in the mirror isn’t any better. Humility isn’t overrated and I’ve got to realize that on a daily basis; the thing is, I’ve got to stop letting that need slip while I’m getting angry at the media…While not letting them off the hook.

It sucks for me, but only because I’ve made it suck. I’ve been working on a personal photography project lately, choosing a subject/theme that is based on a certain color that I don’t necessarily photograph a lot of, or necessarily enjoy, but, although it might suck for me for now, it challenges me…And that’s what I’m after (challenging myself, not making it suck). It’s the same, or at least it should be, with how we work: if we’re stuck in what we think is a dead-end job, it’s probably at least a bit our fault because we let it get us down (especially when we complain about it) and want to get out so fast that we forget to think that we might be there for a reason. On a personal note, I may actually love my job, but for now I’ll admit I really like it. In other words, we forget to face the mirror and really ask what’s really going on; I’m so guilty of this that it can really suck.

Sometimes, we need to challenge ourselves by looking in the mirror and asking ourselves in what way we need to grow…And not just in our hobbies, but in life as well. While I’m not one to prescribe anything, knowing full-well I’ll most likely fail at it, I’m going to at least make challenging myself a strong priority.

On anger…(Pt.2)

When it comes to dealing with anger, I’m the last person to really ask about it, mostly because I’m the first to fuss & grunt when things don’t work. I mean, the easiest thing to say is to not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26-27), but, truthfully, it’s the best thing if you’re angry with someone. When it comes to photography, the best thing is to take a breather…stop what you’re doing, take deep breaths, and look at what got you ticked off in the first place. If you can, try it (the shot) again while trying not to do what got you angry in the first place and, if not, switch to a different subject and work on that to get your mind off what got you angry in the first place.

Photography, of all of the arts, is most like Math. Now before you go raving & ranting that I’ve lost my marbles and/or fallen of my rocker, let me explain what I mean. The two are much alike because they are both really tough, can get us frustrated when they don’t work, and can lead to headaches when faced with failure…And it’s been scientifically proven that math can cause headaches! Despite how silly this must sound to anyone reading this, I’m being dead serious…Photography & Math are similar in how easily they can make us angry.

Thinking back on this topic, and the last, somewhat silly, paragraph, it’s easy to get angry and even easier to get angrier as time passes by. The trick to to stop, drop & learn and what I mean by that is this: 1) stop & pause what you’re doing, 2) drop your anger by trying to do something else or figure out what exactly it is that made you angry to begin with, and 3) at least try to learn from mistakes by making an attempt to try a different approach.

On anger…

When it comes to making a mistake and then getting ticked at it, often times saying, “what the heck” or swearing, we sell ourselves short. Why? Because we immediately focus on how messed up the situation is instead of grunting & then learning from it again. When we think about it carefully, we’re not trying to go for the most times our speech has to be bleeped out per minute, but we’re trying to get something done right.

Picture it this way: you’re photographing a bunch of animals and you screw up a shot so badly you curse out loud a few times and there’s a family with young children nearby. Now, I may be a bit old-fashioned, but using that kind of language is just plain stupid because those children are going to go home and, being their naturally curious selves, are either going to ask what that word meant, or start using it a bunch of times without thinking too much of it. There’s nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam, just not when it gets to the point that it controls you and ruins the day, not just for you, but for others as well; the key is to figure out what is causing it and then learn from it…Something I readily admit that I really suck at. Blowing it off verbally is usually a sign that we’ve lost it; muttering under our breath too loudly is definitely a sure sign of this, and, if we’re out photographing wildlife, it often disturbs the animals around us and can wreck the scene in front of us.

I literally mean this: no matter how frustrated, pissed, or angry we get, we’re going to be affecting how we are in the scene around us. Why not make a positive effect instead of a negative one? This is a point I often lose out on, over and over and over, and sometimes I wonder if my brain ceases to remember it even after I constantly repeat it to myself. Why not just use anger to make you think better the next time? Slow down, take a breath, grunt, then try again…something I’ve done before and I’d have to say works. Then we just might get a shot that works and might just say something we want it to say…Or your subject looks at you funny, but then you still have a shot.

-Small Bird-
-Small Bird-