Take a Shot at It
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
By now most anyone that knows me understands that if given the option I’d rather write it out. Meaning, I’ll defer to text over talk; email over skype; personal readings over public readings. I’m a slave to my own introversion and while it’s something I’m working on (see: year of adventures makes me uncomfortable), it’s also something I’ve come to recognize in myself.
All told, this has served me well. I’ve convinced myself that I like writing and then I write. I pretty much shun all the other lovely art forms out there because, well, they are intimidating and beyond my realm of comprehension and ability. Would if I could write and illustrate and pontificate and prepare as others can, but I can’t. I dead-end with the pen and that’s that.
Well, maybe not. This week (month) had me follow
ing the lead of a dear old friend, Ms. Myndi. Now a new mother, mama Myndi has the Midas touch for making anything (and I mean anything) into a beautiful something. Of late I’ve been a fan of her photography. Even more, I noticed that she took part in a ‘photo-a-day campaign’ via Instagram. This charge had her produce a photograph a day, in accordance with whatever the list decreed. The results were lovely, often unexpected and always so Myndi. So I thought to live life through the eyes of the photog and give this game a go.
It’s not nearly as easy as it seems. First off, composition is everything. That said, composition really is everything. There is SO MUCH to photograph. There are infinite stores of color and light and people and places in this world. There is so much matter that might perfectly depict, “A word I love” (Day 10) or, simply, “fun” (Day 4). How does Myndi do this? How does anyone do this? I thought to find out.
There is something to possessing power over a viewfinder, even if only that of an iPhone. It feels uninhibited. As I’m a woman who craves control, I had power over my posture and that of the frame. And the beauty in that it, it’s all up to personal preference. I like to snap photos off-center. Hiro bemoans that I do so. He loves forward focus. He loves a character in full, central frame. Who’s better? Well, likely Hiro since he understands the fundamentals of photography and is pretty adept to the task, but philosophically, who knows?! Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and I had great fun in deigning my own design.
I don’t think I have a future in this art, but it did help me to better construct description. Mostly I pull descriptors out of my head in long strings of words that might sound lovely without any reverence for the picture that might populate someone’s mind in reading them. Looking into the camera, well, you see what you’re after. That’s what’s what. You have no recourse but to work with nature and make your move. Words can help. And that seems a lovely union of the two.
I completed my campaign, taking 31 shots in the month of May and I’m sorry to set the shutter aside. But now, instead of scrawling down what I think I want to see, I might take a moment to actually look.