Friday, October 28, 2011

The Road less traveled

The voice of negativity can and will get the better of us if you don't keep it in check. I have had to deal with this demon for sometime and I have learned to tune him out but he is never gone. He is there whispering, lies and doubt, to make us forget why we started on this task and keep us from our dreams. I have done some reading on the subject and have learned of a young marathon runner that has the same problem Kara Goucher.

""I have a lot of negative chatter in my head," Goucher tells me in a recent interview. "If I don't rein it in, my mind will tend to obsess about what everyone else is doing in the race around me. I'll start comparing myself to everyone else." When she does that, she says, she saps the strength from her own legs. She morphs from great into okay. When she can block out the critical self-talk, she runs like a champion.
Goucher's struggle exemplifies a hidden challenge that every distance runner faces: the wrestling match with the mind."
A truly great story I suggest you give it a read.  Please read all of it

I found this old post I did some time ago and I wanted to share it with you tonight. I like looking at my old writing and finding treasures like this. I often ask myself what motivated me to think this way or what emotions was I feeling at that moment. This piece is called the Road less traveled and, I see the negativity monster coming out and and trying to discourage me from doing something I really love.  The writing is a little raw and all over the place but its who I was at that moment... "unfiltered James"

The internet at our finger tips... Google one click away, we can see the world from our HD screens.  Yet we still travel, we earn to have these experiences for ourselfs.  I want to see the pyramids with my own eyes.  I want to remember the smells the heat on my face,  I will take the photos I want...

I think about this when I get discouraged as a photographer, the voices of doubt creep into my head and I hear.

"It has already been done"
"This picture is boring"
"You will never be a Dan winters, Chace Jarvise, Henri Cartier-Bresson"
"Whats the point in continuing this absurd pipe dream"
"Give up"

I have one thing to say to that, and that's who gives a shit!  I take these photos for me so that I can experience life the way I see it.  I do this for no one else but me.  I would like to share a few of my stories with you and a few invaluable tips I have learned along the way.  How do I share and publish my story?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pictures of my father

ISO 200
With this posting I was reminded of The Cure song pictures of you.  It gave me a great idea!  I'm going to change the format a little and ask something of you today.  I want you to photograph your father in such a way that reminds you of a special moment with him.  A picture that evokes emotion, try to let your audience know who he is and what he means to you.  There is no time limit for this project, and I would love to see what you come up with, so please share!  You can send a link to your picture in the comments.

What do you remember the most, was it a fishing trip, camping trip, a memorable vacation.  I know this is a broad question that could possibly take three pages to answer in essay form, but I want you to do it in a single picture.  Your imagination is going to be pushed a little with this project so take your time.  Some of us don't have a dad to photograph, he might have passed away or no longer in the picture.  In that case take a snap shot or two that tells a story of a positive role model in your life.  My dad was not around so I don't have many picture that help with this project, however I had my uncles, all great men that looked after me as if I was their own child.  They're all great men who were all responsible for who I am today.

How do I capture a feeling of admiration, respect, and love?
This picture means a lot to me and I wanted to share it with you.  The image is of a father and his son talking in the silhouette It is how I wanted to show the relationship I have with all my uncles.  You see there are no true distinct faces the son and father could be anyone.  There is a conversation going on, perhaps some sage advise is being dispensed.  They are outside I would like to think they are camping one of my favorite activities to do.

I took this photo at my uncles birthday and it's one of his favorites, that reminds me I need to make a print of this and have it framed for him.   Looking back I probably should have a much shallower depth of field but I exposed it the way I wanted so when it came out I was extremely happy.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this picture, so please leave a comment and provide some feedback.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mr. Winters I want to be a photographer

ISO 200
Who wants to be a photographer?
I knew that being a photo journalist for National Geographic would be my dream job, however I ended up being a day dreaming systems technician.  In the grand scheme of things I shot a little to the right but I have to blame myself. I was afraid that pursuing a career that involved creativity might be beyond my capabilities and that I should put effort into something more "practical". (Note to self never sell yourself short, most importantly to yourself) I would much rather be a poor starving photographer, as a posed to a poor starving systems technician. The chance to travel to distant lands, and see first hand the wonders of the world. The opportunity to see people live their lives in different countries experiencing culture first hand, new adventures everyday good and bad. I wanted to witness and record them with a camera and at that time I did not care what I had. Leica, Nikon, Canon, Pentax or even a disposable just as long as I had a camera by my side.  I am willing to do what ever it takes to be the best.  This requires work, work that I want and willing to do.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to promote my work and keep myself taking pictures everyday for new and original content.  My hope for what I'm putting out is for somebody with that same dream to take the plunge and share their experiences with others.

Who here found the artist that inspired them and sent them an email or letter?
Guilty once again!
An amazing photographer by the name of Dan Winters inspired me to work hard, and push myself to create everyday, and to keep pushing never settling for average. When I first saw his photography I was in love he has the ability to see past a persons physical appearance and.... "Now this might sound like a cliché but he captures their emotions, thoughts, joy, and fears". We see actors one way but by viewing his work you no longer see an actor you see a man or women that you can relate to. Someone with vulnerabilities, and when I continued to look through his catalog, I knew I wanted to capture this type of honesty as well. I recomend you go to his site and look at his work, I think you will find a new artist that inspires you.  I found this amazing article in which he is interviewed for a little Q&A Dan Winters interview is done in three parts, and is a must read.

I sent him an email explaining who I was and that I really enjoyed looking at his art.  I told him that his photography moved me into becoming a better photographer and that one day he would see my work out there in the world.  I was... well still am a little confident.  I also sent him a picture that I thought he would enjoy.  This picture here is what I sent.  One week later he replied to me and told me to keep up the good work and that I had done a very good job with my photograph, I wish I could find the email, but I think I accidentally deleted it I can't find it anywhere.  Yes I am VERY mad at myself.  Anyway its not the end of the world, he was probably being polite but it encourages me to work hard and take risks.

Friday, October 21, 2011

An email that hit hard

I received an email from a good friend that had recently read Photo-logic. I was extremely nervous to hear her thoughts on it because she's in my top 5 list of amazing writers. I knew she would not sugar coat it, NOT one bit. After I read her email my first impression was WTF except I was quite loud with the obcenity, as a matter of fact I had to read it a few times just to make sure I was not miss reading anything. Who is this writer that had me sitting on pins and needles? Please allow me to tell you.
Courtney Perkes is a phenomenal writer for The Orenge County Register and probably the most honest person out there. We first met in Austin during SXSW and spent the entire day listening to moving music, drinking cold beer, watching interesting documentries, and eating the best vegitarian pizza. I had the honor of meeting her sister and brother as well both fantastic and interesting people.
When I first started writing I shared a very personal story with another professional writer. She gave it back to me with so much red ink on it that I no longer recognised it. My first thought was "Did I just get an F" Fortunatly for her we were in the middle of a coffee shop but if we had not been I probably would have told her off. I swore then and there I would never let someone critique my work. (That lasted about 3 months) So I ask Courtney to read my blog and provide me a little feed back of my new creation. Her reply is "I'll email you later" trust me this was not what I wanted to hear from her. I was preparing for the worst possible review, (note to self let's be positive) anyway worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair it gives you something to do but you don't get anywhere by doing it.
I'm posting a copy of her email below, no changes have been made to it you can ask her if you don't believe me.

Hi James,
I had no idea you were a talented writer as well as photographer. Your blog entries are fun, personal and relatable. The water at the river walk looks like glass. How did you take the photo? Court

I never answered her question so I thought it would be appropriate on this post. In my post "Someone to watch over us" I wanted to keep a low ISO (the sensors sensitivity) or you could think of it as the sensitivity of the film, now because of this I was going to need a long exposure. I left the shutter open for 30 seconds so any movement from the water blurred in the picture. Giving the water in the picture a glassy look, it also helped that there was no wind that day. To show another example of this, stay tuned because I'll be posting another picture that needed a long exposure giving the ocean a unique look. I want to thank everyone for being patient with me, soon I'll be home and be able to upload some amazing pictures for you. Keep looking or you can add this site to your reader and you will be notified of my next post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

All apologies!

I wanted to apologies for missing my deadline this last Thursday.  I have been  traveling and was a victim of procrastination.  My excuses is my iPad is not the best for typing long post such as a blog and maybe for Christmas I will get a Bluetooth keyboard.  So yeah... Spoiled and worried about carpal tunnel syndrome (not even sure if I spelled it correctly.) One interesting thing I have noticed is that while not having another option ie a desktop or laptop, I have become quite handy with this guy and have been "tweeting" a lot more.  Come check me out @whi5k3y.  (shameless advertisement )
Bad news I will be down here for another week. :( I know not the news you were hoping to hear but...  I'll be here updating from my iPad any and all interesting news.  I know this is a photo blog but since I'm on my iPad the pictures might be a little less then stellar. Interesting news I broke my blog while playing with the HTML I broke the background and some of the side bar tools... And I will admit I'm not 1337 enough to fix it from the iPad, but please feel free to help me correct it throw some advice my way via a comment.  I welcome any help I can get.  In other news I started a 500px account that I am very happy with and was able to change my name to whi5key, so yeah check out my work there if you have a minute to burn.
Goodnight guys from a Holiday inn express

Uploading a picture with the pad is not so hot, I can use a URL from one of my social sites but the process is being a jerk. So I'm sorry to say no photo until I figure a few shortcuts around its limitations.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A good friend

ISO 200
Many of you might know that as of a month ago I rededicated myself to go running three times a week.  Running provides a great opportunity to burn off stress, extra calories, and when I'm alone with my thoughts it helps me get my life into perspective.  When I first started to run I was pretty awful walking more often then not, with practice I have observed much improvement.  That being the case I thought I might be ready to compete in a "long distance race".

When I first heard about this race a few years back I have to admit I was drawn to its' non intimidating nature and calming effects from the beautiful colors during its fall season much like a soft soothing voice whispering in your ear, the terrain was beautiful by anyone's standards, beautiful tall trees provide shade and protection, one could get lost just staring at their magnificence and a cool breeze blew off the lake like the way a women touches your skin with her lips.  There would be some travel required because this race was not in Texas but the distance did not scare me.  I knew I was going to be successful as long as I gave it my all and my heart was in the right place.

A few days before the race I would hear about a runner who was not very enthusiastic and didn't want to compete, let me clarify he did not want anyone to know he was competing and quit a few times prior but would try again a year or so later when it was convenient.  The bottom line is that he didn't care one way or another and took important matters for granted, he squandered the trust of others and was oblivious to their emotions.  I don't like to look down on others but after hearing a few horror stories I knew in a character contest I stood hands down the better man.

The day of the race came and trust me I was excited, a little nervous perhaps it was the newness of it all.  I remember the smell of the cool morning air the way my feet felt inside my shoes.  Lining up getting ready for the signal to start the race my stomach turning I think we call it butterflies.  Then at exactly nine in the a.m. I hear the pistol fire...

I would love to finish this story with a "happily ever after" ending but I can't, trust me it would please me to give that ending to you.  Please don't be sad for me I have experienced loss before and I will have to deal with it in the future.  Growing and learning is what we do, its why we as people (humanity) will continue to thrive even in the face of adversity.  The important thing to remember here is that we have all tried and failed at one time or another.  It's the effort that counts and effort is not difficult it's relative to the situation and once we stop trying is when we start failing.
So have a good cry, talk with your friends and family, and remember the sun will rise tomorrow.

This photo is dedicated to who now is "a good friend"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Someone to watch over us

ISO 200
I woke up early to take a few picture of my adopted city, I wanted to see her at night with no interruptions or distractions from commerce, foot traffic and the sounds that come along for the ride.  I had her to myself for a night a great opportunity to spend time together and learn about each other.  I have never seen her quite like this and it was extremely exciting.  I was a perfect gentlemen and a little nervous but I treated her with respect and only had eyes for her that night and in return she watched over me.  If I had to equate it to anything it would have to be a first date with an old friend.  Completely new and exhilarating yet surprisingly comfortable and relaxing all at the same time. I was truly the luckiest guy for about three hours.

I think we all need someone like that in our lives, someone to take care of us when times get rough and when that road seems too long to traverse.  We can all do this on our own but a little help from a trusted friend is always appreciated.  She provided many great opportunity's that night to perfect me as a person, and it was that type of team work that I felt and wanted to hold on to as long as I could.  Because this shot was not the easiest task for me, I had to be patient and very observant of my surroundings. Unfortunately patience is not a strong suit of mine, but I'm learning and working to perfect the art of "delayed gratification".

I walked for a few hours taking pictures of buildings, street signs, and even cars parked along the side of the street.  While on my walk I looked to the left and see a moment in time that I wanted to keep.  I setup the tripod and compose the shot.  With the birds chirping in the distance my camera contributes to their song with chirping of its own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

You might like