I got nothing…

Isn’t it always a real downer when we’ve got nothing to say, nothing to do? Sure, sometimes not having anything pressing to do can be a good thing, but sometimes it leads our minds to wander and then we get lost in that wandering. Sometimes all it takes is a good book, a good drink (the non-alcoholic kind), or even just a nudge from that still small voice inside, to get back on track & get inspired. Oddly enough, for me, it sometimes is a good song over the radio while I’m driving, or from some other music player; it’s some country song, some gospel song, or, on the rare occasion, a Good Charlotte song (I’m thinking of either The River or We Believe, or even something from their newest work) because my strange mind just works that way. While I’m not exactly onboard with everything about them, the band does inspire me a bit in their music.

- Tree & Flowers -
– Tree & Flowers –

The above photograph was taken a few months ago, but while I was thinking about the new album from Good Charlotte, Youth Authority, I figured that, in a completely unrelated way, I should take a second look at some of my photographs from the gardens where this shot was taken. This shot, and another that was similar, stuck out to me, but this one had a better composition so I decided to bring out what I remember feeling at that time when I took the shot. Did I get it? Maybe. Did it in inspire me to try it again? YES. With all the refinements that I made (vignette, clarity, vibrancy, noise & select color adjustments), I actually succeeded in bringing out my intent for this photograph, something I couldn’t do when I was going over this shot the first time.

Thinking about it, when I got nothing, inspiration can come from the most unlikely of areas, often from something completely unrelated. Inspiration can often show up when we’re not even thinking about what to do and sometimes we just have to ride that wave, or just remember what it was for when we’ve got time to get out and follow through on what inspired us. So, when we got nothing, sometimes I think the best idea is to just go back & learn from past things we’ve done to inspire us.

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New Year’s Day…

Now it’s a new day & a new year…At least 2016 is over with; all the shocks, events & things that have come & gone. I’m not going to rant about resolutions or anything else this time, so this post is playing it safe, somewhat. I figure that I’d put out my list of stuff to watch out for in 2017, so here it goes…by category.

Music:
-Darius Rucker’s new album
-Paramore’s new album
-Possible album from Breaking Benjamin (it’s been two years since Dark Before Dawn)
Movies:
-Star Wars Episode VIII
-Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
-A possible movie based on the Portal 1, or Portal 2, game (a geek can wish)
Tech & News:
-Adobe realizing & admitting that it has lackluster security when it comes to Adobe IDs
-Consumer Reports finally admitting that they botch testing with many devices
-Less crappy news generated by the mainstream media
-Less Samsung phones catching fire & exploding…
Sports:
-Cleveland Browns winning more than a few games (As a fan, I hope this comes true)
-New England Patriots don’t win the Super Bowl (I’m holding out for some other team)
-A Canadian team winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup (but not the Maple Leafs, PLEASE)

So, that’s my list for the year, sans any resolutions I have or haven’t made. We’ve all got resolutions & hopes, mine being better, clearer & improved photography among them, but only time will tell. It comes with the territory when New Year’s Day comes around, we’ve all made resolutions, or at least most of us, but I’d rather make a go of it, trying to get better at what I am already.

On music…

I thought I’d deviate, somewhat, from the typical topic of photography (only) this time and switch to talking about music this time. With the way things stand now, my music ‘likes’ at this time are quite varied; Flyleaf, Thousand Foot Krutch, MxPx, We Shot The Moon (anything with Jonathan Jones), Red, FM Static, Thrice, Darius Rucker, Petra and Switchfoot to name a few. Of the ones I’ve mentioned, all usually contain strong upbeat messages in their music; for me, music needs to have an upbeat sound/message. And sometimes, the music I listen to comes to me when photographing something because it’s often better to have a tune in mind to ease the mind while getting the shot instead of being distracted by the outside world.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
-Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

In terms of when I’me importing & editing the shots, I’m usually not listening to music, mostly so I can keep my mind on the photographs in front of me. But when I am, it’s usually the slower, softer songs to sooth my mind and keep me calm because nothing is worse than getting myself worked up over that shot that turned out crappy. It’s pretty much quite varied every other time I have music on; my work playlist is usually either consisting of We Shot The Moon, Switchfoot, or MxPx nowadays. Having a varied taste in music (apart from hip-hop & rap) often helps my creative juices flow; recommended music would have to be We Shot The Moon and Flyleaf, as well as country music similar to Darius Rucker. While I’m usually not listening to hymns, my strong conservative upbringing usually ends up bringing me back to the old classics sung most Sunday mornings during service times.

Recommended bands/singers:

-We Shot The Moon, Waking Ashland, Jonathan Jones
-Darius Rucker
-Thousand Foot Krutch
-Flyleaf

So it goes to show you that this History major (I got my Bachelor’s a few years ago) has one oddball taste in music…