Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looking Up

(Please click on the thumbnail to view the larger image)

This last week I have been overwhelmed with how little I know about photography, On second thought, maybe I just need to substitute life at the end of that thought. To compound my discouragement, I am becoming uncomfortably certain that in the time I have left on this planet I will make only minuscule progress. Life is too damn short. And, why on earth do many of us waste so much time on what are essentially trivial matters? If only I could go back and buy some of those wasted hours.

Every day, I am humbled by the posts that I read and the images that I view. The names of the artists that I am referring to are familiar to anyone who stops by here even occasionally. I mention the contributors by name repeatedly, and if I linked each and every post here that has blown me away recently, this entire entry would be nothing but a long series of links. Just click on any of the links in the sidebar on the left, and work your way back through page upon page of inspiration and enlightenment.

No doubt about it, most of the time it’s invigorating to spend time listening to and watching the work of people who are far more talented and smarter than I will ever be. After all, looking up helps to keep me focused on my goals and be reminded that just because I can’t make many images that work, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It only means that while I am mostly bored with everything I am producing recently and don’t feel I am seeing anything in an interesting way, the situation may not be hopeless. Perhaps it only means that I have a great deal to learn.

Still, sometimes it’s downright depressing. Now, I admit that my personal life offers more than enough reason to get depressed these days, but the deepest concern right now is frustration about how little I know. A couple of days ago, I ordered Photography for the Joy of It by Freeman Patterson. A quotation from Mr. Patterson, posted by David duChemin at
http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/2008/09/for-the-joy-of-it/, got me thinking that I need to keep reconnecting again and again with why I am doing this in the first place.

Thus, I will look forward to the arrival of still more inspiration. Meanwhile, I will continue shooting and continue discarding. Thank goodness there is no Society for the Protection and Preservation of Pixels, since I make ‘em and destroy ‘em at an alarming rate.


  1. Hang in there Anita. There are those down times. I just came out of a serious several-month funk where I didn't even want to pick up my camera, but somehow I did. Even during those times, I felt like a fake. Sincerely. It was a really low point; however, things are looking up.

    I am noticing the beauty in the world again. That small amount of self-absorption and self-pity that I indulged in has been, thankfully, washed away by a kinder, gentler spirit.

    You're a classic artist. We are so hard on ourselves. Everyone else sees the beauty that we produce, but somehow, we are never satisfied. I know this feeling well, my friend.

    Life, as I'm finding out, is a journey, not a destination. I'm doing everything that I can to enjoy that journey. I only work as much as I need to and photograph as much as I can. That's balance!

    Keep shooting and writing, for my selfish reasons, because I enjoy both from you! :-)

  2. Paul - You have certainly been through a tough time, I know. And, for my selfish reasons, I am delighted that you are posting more frequently these days. Your inspiration means a great deal.

    Thank you for taking time to offer encouragement. I felt quite guilty for failing to offer any uplifting thoughts when you were the most down. I was having trouble seeing any silver linings. For now, I am just getting out and shooting for the exercise and because I know I have to make the best of this part of the journey.


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