My husband went out of town on Sunday night, so of course the first thing that had to happen was the clothes dryer had to break. Usually Doug is here to deal with getting things like this taken care of during the day, but since he’s gone all week I had to make a bunch of calls while at work, then leave early to get back to the house and sit around waiting for a repairman to arrive. However, in the end it worked out well, because it forced me to find a handyman in our area and get him out to the house – we live in an older home, and are notoriously bad at getting things fixed when they break (seriously, it’s been a joke at work for two years that our stove has slowly been narrowing down its number of working burners – we were literally down to one when this guy took a look at it). If we can find a way to force an appliance to keep working, we will do so, dammit, but when they do break, they are ancient and require an act of God to get them repaired. Well, this repairman is our new appliance god, because not only did he fix the dryer and promise to help us fix our 30-year-old stove, but he told me we were wise to keep all these old appliances as long as we could, since they were so much better-made than newer models. Ha! Now I realize this could be because he looked around and saw our house as a huge money-making opportunity with all its ancient stuff, but I don’t care, because I’d much rather mess with getting appliances repaired than buying new ones, which both bores and depresses the crap out of me. Moving on.
While I was waiting for him to show up, I decided to look through my movement photos from Saturday and see if I wanted to edit any more of them. The general consensus here on my last post, as well as on Facebook, was that the first shot was so good any others I processed really wouldn’t compare, and I rather felt the same way, but out of boredom and curiosity more than anything else I decided to play around anyway.
I’ve always felt that I process too many shots from my sets, and that really I should limit myself to one or two good ones and let the rest go rather than share five or six from each set with at least four of them being mediocre. It’s one of the reasons I ultimately ended up appreciating having to switch my Flickr page, because it gave me the opportunity to go through my photos and thin the herd, so to speak – to only add to my page those photos from each set that I feel are truly good ones. I’d been meaning to do that with the old page for a long time, but as I mentioned before, with thousands of photos uploaded the thought of going back through them all was overwhelming, and I never did it.
I’m not sure how I feel about only sharing a few shots, though. Ultimately I would like to keep Flickr as a place to share everything initially, but perhaps once or twice a year go through and delete those shots I’ve deemed truly mediocre, while keeping this blog as a place to talk about and share everything in detail, and then have some third space where I share only my best work and don’t socialize. I just haven’t gotten to that third step yet. And Luanne asked me yesterday about submitting my work, which is a step I’ve not even seriously considered because that is the part of the creative process that bores the hell out of me. I still have a complete poetry manuscript I’ve never submitted for publication anywhere – and it’s pretty damn good. I keep thinking I need to send that sucker off soon, before the style of poetry I wrote in 15 years ago (lyrical poetry) becomes obsolete and no one wants it anymore (I think that may, in fact, already be happening).
As far as my photography goes, I’m not sure what my “style” is anyway. When the idea of submitting my photographs came up in yesterday’s comments, I began reflecting on how my movement photos in particular aren’t easy to categorize according to what other people do that is similar. For example, I tried to post one of these recent shots to groups on Flickr yesterday, but I struggled to find the right home for them; they aren’t levitation or jump shots in the true sense of the word, as everyone else who takes these sort of photos seems to include setting as a key element of the piece – the subject is in a forest, or a darkened room with a window, or a field – but the point is, they are somewhere levitating. In my shots, I’m nowhere; it’s just me floating in front of a backdrop. Same for the jumping shots; the key for others seems to be jumping outdoors, mostly, and the focus is on the jump itself – for me, again, it’s in front of a blank space that may be black or white or blue, but I’m not anywhere at all. I’m just jumping, and I’m not in normal clothes like other subjects are.
I don’t think this is a bad thing at all; in fact, I like that my movement shots, be they levitation or jumping, have something unique about them. In no way am I saying I’m the only one doing this, but I can honestly say I haven’t come across many people who are – except for fashion photography, actually, which often uses backdrops and may have people moving about. But my shots don’t really fit there either, although with the focus on makeup and clothes that may actually be the closest fit for me moving forward. Anyway.
This is all one big ramble, so let’s get to the new photos (I’ve only had time for two today):
For this one, I was kneeling on the ottoman, and right when the shutter clicked I lifted the one hand that was on the floor holding me there. Somehow I managed to do this and still catch my fall before I broke my face on the floor. I had a hard time editing out a small part of the ottoman, though, so I used the same Pixlr smoke border I used in yesterday’s favorite shot to conceal that a little. Ultimately I don’t think it’s going to be noticeable to anyone else, and I wish I’d thought of that border sooner, because I spent almost an hour trying to get the ottoman edited out of the shot perfectly. In the end the border covered it up completely anyway. Live and learn. And another thing about this shot: I am not centered at all, which was unintentional. Because I was using a vertical orientation with the camera, it was a crapshoot as to whether or not I’d get my entire body in the frame, and in fact, in several shots I didn’t. I use the vertical when jumping or trying to get my entire body into a shot as routine, and often when I compose myself more horizontally I forget to adjust the camera accordingly. Happens a lot, and I have to just deal with the less-than-stellar results. It’s always somethin’.
This second one is a re-work of a shot I posted yesterday – I decided to use Pixlr on it to see if I could make it more interesting. As a reminder, here’s the original:
By the way, I love that in the shot above, you can kind of see the ‘farmer tan’ I am sporting from my outing with my father to the aviation museum. I had on a v-neck t-shirt and no sunscreen that day, and my neck and chest where my skin was exposed got sunburned, and is still a different color from the rest of me. LOL. This became even more evident after I messed with the color and shadows in Pixlr:
So there you go, an updated and Pixlr’ed version of a photo that was only so-so before, now complete with farmer tan! We’ll keep that part to ourselves, and hopefully it won’t be that noticeable to anyone else. Since it was already a jpeg when I pulled it into Pixlr, I didn’t want to risk reducing the quality even more to open it back up in PSP and edit out the sunburn, so I figure it’ll just be a nice little inside joke. Aside from that, I do like this edited version much better; it conceals the obviousness of the ottoman I was at one time standing on, and kind of makes it not matter even if it obvious; the whole appearance of being a little phony now seems intentional. A little texture also never hurts to add interest, and the dark green light gave it a nice dreamy quality (I like this one better now, in case you can’t tell).
I’m going to work with a few more shots, so we’ll see if anything else interesting happens with them. Until next time, friends!