Yeah, I am "a girl" and I wear jeans. A lot. All the time, in fact. I'm only comfortable wearing clothes that would be, um, appropriate to get on a horse wearing. Anyway...
Seriously, have you ever had a day when you just had to keep checking your zipper just to ease your mind? Remember how crazy that felt?
Well, that's pretty much the way my mind has been working lately. Everyday. Shoot, some of my pants don't even have zippers and I keep checking...
The worst part about it is that I didn't realize that was how my mind was working. I'm going to go right ahead and blame it on gas prices and the screwed economy. I really think that's what it is.
I'm back in the newspaper business, and back into the mode of reporter and researching and writing. I love it. I'm meeting a lot of great people and digging into it hook, line and sinker. It takes my mind off my zipper.
That reporter-ness is how I've approached eyebald, my other blog. I scour the headlines every morning and look for that odd piece of news that could be the beginning of something the media picks up on and runs with, or it could be something that is there and then gone the next hour. Sometimes, those little tidbits are important, but get trumped in the Wall Street crisis or lost in the he-said-she-said crap of the campaigning candidates.
In the meantime, while I'm covering a story of my own for the paper, I sit there and watch and wait. Sooner or later, those same sorts of little tidbits come through, all on their own, without me hunting for them. I'm a good listener, thankfully, so all I do is listen attentively and I'll get pretty deep without even asking questions. I want to hear, really hear, the person behind the words, and that's what frames the story I write and submit.
That sounds purplish and gushy. No doubt about it. But, it keeps my mind off my zipper. So, where I get -- no, where I allow myself to get -- creative is when I'm taking photos.
I don't consider myself a photographer. I don't really know much (because I can't remember much) about all these bells and whistles on my camera. And when I take photos, about all I see on that little screen is about what people who are too blind to drive a car see. It must be time to get my bifocals updated.
I get lucky. I get lucky a lot. I take hundreds of photos to up my chances of getting lucky, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that one or two of those hundreds of photos are usable. The paper has used just about every photo I've submitted with my articles, which is amazing to me.
Lately, I've been bit and lit. I've been bit by the creative bug and lit by the fire of that creativity. I had to get beyond a lot of self-doubt, get beyond the fog of the days' headlines (and that frakking zipper), but once I did, things started flowing. Most of this creative "flow" is presented here, on this blog. I'm afraid if I let my hair down too much, I'd go way out of the box and into La-La Land instead of producing valid and well-written news stories for the paper. So, my Fruit Loops stuff is here, for all my favorite readers!
Which brings me to this photo. I've been wanting to get a photo with both the foreground and background blurred for awhile. I saw this technique used one time on the cover of an US Air Force publication, and I was blown away by it. Now, that photo showed a soldier siting down the barrel of his M-16, so the actual content of the photo was shocking in itself. With the tight focus of the fore and background blurred, the photo became a work of art.
The funny thing is, when I shot this photo earlier today, that's not what I had in mind to do. See that little black square thing at the end of the guitar neck? I had no idea what it was, and I was curious as hell about it. I've been out of music for quite awhile now, and I'd never seen one of those things before, whatever it was. So, I snapped a few shots of it, thinking that when I got it on the computer, I could then see it up close to find out what it was! It's a tuner, of all things. A guitar tuner. Who'd a thunk?
And there, before my very eyes, was the shot of my dreams. Foreground and background blurred with complete focus on the subject, right there before my very eyes. I have no idea what I did to get it, and it'll be luck if I ever manage to get a shot like it again.
But, that's ok. I'm bit and lit! Ya-hoo! I'll just keep trying.
This photo has managed to break through all of the crappy feelings of reading through the news every day. If there is anything at all that I've learned from this is that it is important to take your pulse every now and then, and honestly let yourself know that it's time to break away. Don't let life and the world stifle your creativity, not for an instant. Your creativity is your gift to the world, and giving it breaks through any mountain standing in your way.
Get bit and lit!
(Click on the photo to see it 1000x750.)