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.

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A chance…

Sometimes we miss the chance at a shot we try so hard to get and fall flat on our faces, wondering & asking why…Believe me, I’ve been there & done that. There’s always another chance at a shot that will be just as good if not better, and if not, then maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t meant to be; it’s something I’ve struggled with for what seems like ages. The thing is, I’ve learned, even though I still forget it quite a bit, that sometimes telling the mind to shut up & trudge along is the better thing to do, in photography…And sometimes in life itself.

Now on to a more cheerful mood…Remember the time you first got the shot that amazed you and made you want to continue photography no matter what? That was the perfect, meant-to-be shot that sometimes, even just recalling it, can bring a smile into even the lightless time. If you really think about it, it wasn’t just a chance, it was an opportunity handed to you/I and we took it, giving us that one shot of encouragement we needed. Most of the time, we end up too busy pushing ourselves to grab that perfect shot that we can just as easily miss the right shot; I know because I’ve been there way too many times to count.

UBC 2036 Main Mall

Taking the chance to get out there to find that shot is part of the fun because, like I’ve said before, it can open our eyes to different possibilities. From working at angles that we’re not used to working at to zooming in to a level of detail we’ve never had before, taking that chance is all about expanding horizons. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t; like on a recent trek out to the nearby university where I was working with a lens that I hadn’t used more than once before, trying to get a shot that I didn’t have a clue how to get. It took some trying, but some shots did turn out and, even with some chromatic aberration around some of the edges on one or two of them, the photographs turned out well. The above photograph was one of the vast majority that didn’t have chromatic aberration and it turned out good; the lines lead through the image while the bushes stop the viewer from following it too far and/or at a pace that would loose the viewer’s attention. So take that chance and you just might be surprised!

On trying…

Sometimes that bit of inspiration is fleeting and it’s like nothing is really coming to mind; believe me, I’ve been there many times before. And I’ve blogged about it before as well. However, it’s often brought me to a place I’ve never thought I’d be before: new interests & ways to shoot a certain subject. The problem is that you often go through one empty spell that doesn’t seem like it will end and you almost end up giving up on ever getting a decent shot again. And sometimes working it out takes longer than you really want to take…Believe me, I’ve been there many times.

Inspiration sometimes comes in the form of a good swift kick, telling you to just pick up your camera and shoot anything that might, just might, interest you or just shoot some junk shots for the heck of it. If space on the camera card comes easy & there’s plenty of it, then why not just exercise those muscles and take some shots? You never really know what you might find out there if you just try.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-Francis of Assisi

Trying (make an attempt or effort to do something, according to the dictionary) can sometimes be the one thing that really puts pressure on you & I to make a conscious effort (not looking that one up) to really do something with the camera instead of letting it sit there & gather dust. I’ve had plenty of times where I just got out to see if I could capture anything on camera and, sure enough, it does really work; I’ve gotten shots that I’ve never thought I’d ever get & experiences that I thought would never really come.

If you really think about it, it’s often in the dry spells that we tend to really think long & hard about what’s really going on, or at least should be doing so (something I often take a while to actually do). Most of the time, we (or at least I) forget to sometimes see the forest because of the trees, as the old saying goes, and then miss the shot that’s right in front of the camera, begging to be taken. The thing is, after all is said & done, do I/you want to be left wishing we had taken the shot, or left being lazy as can be.

A Frosted Seat