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.

What gets me…

…Is the complete over-insistence on what society wants from us instead of the desire & need to inspire others. I mean, c’mon, when did we get so hung up on methodology & certain lists that we forget about the others around us that ARE hurting that we CAN help? I’ve certainly screwed this up so many times that, when I see others do it, it reminds me of my own shortcomings and literally gets me frustrated, to say the least. Shouldn’t we just learn to slow it down & listen, let alone trying to do it all on our own? I’ve failed on this so many times that I’m quite literally talking to myself here as well.

In photography (yes, it’s that rant again), it’s become all about that latest piece of tech or how famous we’ve become through how many shots we’ve sold. In life, it’s become about that latest thing we’ve got & what shiny new toy we’ve got, but have we really thought about how shallow it’s making us? I’m just venting here, but I’m beginning to think that we need to forget about the megapixels and focus on the meaning & the inspiration behind the shot or the person. Like the mainstream media, we’re so hung up getting the most clicks that we’re just doing things that don’t really go very deep at all…And before I’m labeled an alt-right nut, I’d like to point out that the alt-right stuff disgusts me just as much as the regular person. I’m just as tired, as the next person, of being flooded with all the sensationalist crap coming from the CNN & Fox outlets out there, so I’m beginning to really look at this with a grain of salt…It’s just that the proverbial grain of salt is getting much bigger these days.

So, while this might seem a bit winded coming from me, I’m beginning to see that venting, in a decent way, is slowly becoming a way to relieve all the pent-up frustrations I’ve got. Who cares if we’ve got the latest stuff or if we’re rooting for the most likely person to succeed? I’d rather root for the underdog who’s trying to make it through with a bit of humility because, to me, that’s being a bit more real than the favorite.

Left behind…

We tend to worry that we’ll get left behind and forgotten because it shows that we’ve not done enough or well enough, but we couldn’t be more wrong. Why? I guess it’s because we always want to be the center of attention in our own ways sometimes. Now I’m not saying we’re all like this every time, but we usually go this route every now & then…We all have our moments I guess, myself included. Sometimes, we need to just get out & try to be ourselves so we don’t get lost in the feeling of being left behind.

- Holding Snow -
– Holding Snow –

While the above photograph isn’t directly about being left behind, it shows the snow left behind when the rest of it falls off the branch…Ok, so that was a bit of a stretch linking it in with the theme of being left behind, but it works, barely. I went out on a snowy, and icy, day to get into a floral conservatory that was indoors, but I got a bit lazy seeing all the snow on the ground on the way up to the spot, so I changed gears and decided to shoot photographs of the nearby pond that was frozen over; this shot was of a small section of the shore of the pond (it’s not at all visible, but it was off to the upper right of the frame). It was refined with the usual adjustments (Clarity, Tone Curve, & Noise adjustments) to really bring out what the scene felt like to me; it was a kind of vision refinement in post-processing I guess.

It gets annoying when we seem to get left behind, but what I find often gets me back up is just getting a shot or two that really shines (for me at least). Not bragging that we got that one shot also works really well because it keeps us on the good side of humble, not the wrong side. For me at least, staying on the right side of humble is a challenge and not worrying about being left behind in various ways is even a greater challenge, but sometimes we just have to let all the worries go, trusting that, in the end, everything will work out.

Getting a break…

It’s something that sometimes you/I have to work for and sometimes it just comes out of the blue. While I’m not going to debate which is better or which is more deserved…It’s not my cup of tea (or ice cold root beer) to take a firm side on it…I would like to take a deeper look at it. It should be something that we could be looking for, but not as our sole purpose, because then it just distracts us from getting the shot we’re trying to get and puts our focus elsewhere as well as frustrating us.

Come to think of it, it’s not the most important thing, getting a big break, unless you’re trying to make a living at it, but it also has the effect of keeping you from being humble as you go about it; mostly because it tends to make you/I focus on ourselves instead of trying to work at it and eventually it can make us push aside others for our own personal gain. It basically comes down to the question of pride: would you want to be know as the one who’s in it for himself or rather the one who would work with others?

What I can add to this is that there is nothing like going out and shooting with a friend, especially because it creates an atmosphere where you can bounce ideas off of one another. At the same time, doing this just so you can get your big break is practically useless; useless, because you’re just using the other person. Now I’ve never done this, but, following this & working it out logically, this is pretty much what could happen. Sometimes, we need to work out, logically, what we’re doing and our reasons for doing so, especially when it comes to you/me wanting a big break. Is it just for ourselves, or something greater??