Somehow, this recently captured image reminded me of how important it is to stay open-minded and open to advice and criticism. As someone whose bread and butter has always been writing and critiquing others’ music and product. I wholeheartedly admit to not taking criticism of my work or the backlash on my opinions and beliefs very well. As of late, however, I’m trying to become more open to criticism while being more helpful when applying my views of other people’s work. It’s not easy. However, we can all benefit from listening to and accepting other people’s views, critiques, and advice. As the future quickly becomes the now. I aim to learn and apply the knowledge and criticism from those who think well enough to help. Luckily for me, many do.
Category: Self Analyzing
When in Doubt… Part II
Following up on last night’s post “When in Doubt…” I’m coming to the realization that my days as a studio photographer might be over. Being that I spent more than four hours going through old sessions and even considering reacquiring studio lights. I whole heartedly admit to missing experimenting with studio lights, settings, modes and above all, interpreting beauty. Looking back, the road was full of mistakes, anxiety, impatience and an overabundance of caffeine. Still, when I was clicking with a subject, it was magic. Going forward, mainly due to my issues with balance and speech, I will have to find peace and balance. In the end, I hope to learn more about landscape photography and long exposure. Enough so, that I can prove myself to me.
My First Photography Related Nightmare.
I had a dream the other night where I lost all knowledge and ability to take pictures while on a vital magazine shoot with my friend and photography mentor Kevin. It was a beautiful day, and shooting in natural light, instead of the pressure of shooting in the studio, added a lighthearted, stress-free element to the job. I began to run poses with my model and formed a bond to allow us to work in a more carefree environment. I completely shut down. Suddenly, the camera and the knowledge I had built over the years were gone. I confided in Kevin what was happening. His assurance that everything was going to be okay. That I just needed to relax fell upon deaf ears and disappearance of any prior knowledge of photography. Even with and despite his calming nature. My struggles continued until I woke up. If I was to guess, I would relate the dream to my recent health issues, and future doubts of my ability to photograph the things I love and those the fascinate me. In the end, that scares me more than anything.
My Mom once (Okay, more than once.) told me to watch what I said in public and especially to be mindful of what I write. While being free to express ones self. We must also be mindful of what we say and share with others. A lesson I’ve tried to apply, and suffered from when not practicing. Yet there I was trying to write my Father a letter or email that will potentially mend fences in regards to a recent blowout between us.
And while I’ve spent a lifetime looking and often finding closure to many early traumas. I can’t help but open new wounds every now and then. In the days and weeks that followed. I searched and replayed the moments before the blow out. Could I have instigated the argument, said anything to bring on his storm of anger and hate. Or brought on his ire by perhaps seeming uninterested in his reasoning that Trump was a great president and world leader. “No”, “No”, and “No” I was assured by my step mother and wife.
Considering he read it (I confirmed this with my step mom.) and he never bothered to return or acknowledge my olive branch. I’m guessing we’re done. After a lifetime of trauma, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and a whole lot of fun. I’m ready to move on. As bad as that night was, I did my best to reach out with no hate, anger, or blame. I’m sharing the email i sent because I wanted to prove to myself and anyone reading this, that I tried. I tried and I did it by taking the high road. Over and Out.
“Dad, how are you. More than a week has gone by since Kay and Me visited and we had our blowout. The arguments only show our beliefs have grown stronger with showing how different we are politically and socially. We always have been. However, the times have changed and I guess we have to. I just wanted to reach out and say, our beliefs should never overcome the fact that you’re my father and I’m your son. After a week of unpacking I’m finally enjoying going to the gym every day and enjoying the deck and the common areas. Also, after all this time, it feels good to sleep in our own bed.”
If These Walls could Talk
We were heading home from a road trip when my wife asked if I wanted to stop anywhere before our final stop in Seattle. Having become more savvy with maps and my geography, I nonchalantly suggested a visit to Funko’s headquarters in Everett. Though she agreed, she immediately included the stipulation that I do not buy anything. “Gosh, what’s the fun in that?” I thought as I mumbled something about having five items on my list. We quickly found a parking spot headed inside and eventually went our separate ways. When she finally found me I had quickly found Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland (The Police) and two Johnny Cash Funko toys. I don’t know if it was the evil eye or the reminder that I regularly complain about having too many things (Which I do.) but I immediately returned the items to their shelves and returned to my wife’s side like a wounded child who’s Halloween candy had been confiscated. When I returned home. I stood amongst the toys and records that have taken over our second bedroom and wondered how I got here and when will I decide to get out. I hope that time comes sooner than later.
And Gravesend Was Just the Beginning.
After a week recovering from a food poisoning incident in Seaside Heights the weekend prior. We headed to Gravesend with a new found sense of balance and a hearty appetite. Throughout our train ride to Brooklyn I found myself growing more and more irritated due largely to some of the behavior of some of the riders seated around us. The family of five who seemed to be fine with their boys writhing around in his seat while smearing his cheetos all over the seats, windows and polls while using the available seating space as his personal germ spa. Or the completely lost couple unsuccessfully tried to find their destination via speaker phone. Each stop a confusedly loud exchange of “!!!%&^&*!!!”. Add to it the nose pickers, fast food consumers and steady flow of panhandlers and I was about to come undone. To top things off, the regular lecturing on tolerance and why I should neither speak up nor be even slightly effected by “Ignorant People.” I was quickly becoming my own worst enemy. Sitting there in my own boiling hot kettle of poisonous thoughts. Luckily, for everyone involved we finally reached our intended stop, With some much needed fresh air and our pizza related Nirvana in sight, My anger began to dissipate. After multiple slices at L&B Spumoni Gardens we headed back to Manhattan where we enjoyed the rest of the day in the West Village and Chelsea before eventually heading home. While my day was, by no means, perfect. I came away with some important lessons that I hope weren’t wasted on an old, sometimes unappreciative curmudgeon. One can only hope. Enjoy every slice. JD