21 September, 2008

Trying Things

I like trying things. Figuring out how to do something new, or finding that I'm ok at something I hadn't attempted before often fills me with glee. And curiously, a few of the things I've tried or noticed recently have accompanying photos that I like. Not that the images and text really have much to do with each other in every case.

When I shot the photo above, in a restaurant back in Virginia, I was just messing around. Exposure was 1/30s at f/4.5. I really like this image, though. I think it captures a couple different things that I consider a part of being me — photography, cycling, quirkiness, utility, pride, an almost obsessive attention to safety… And the photo looks good to boot!

I guess, when I look at most of the photos that I've taken, and that I really like, I think about the subject, and about the moment that I captured, and about how well the image suits that moment. When I look at this photo, I think the same things, but I'm thinking about myself — this is like a self-portrait without being a portrait in the first place.


Children try things. They often try things without fear for getting it wrong, without worrying about not having tried it before. They just get their hands dirty and go. I find them to be a great model for how I want to approach some things. (1/15s at f/5.6 and ISO640)

To borrow an often-partially-quoted statement from Helen Keller, "Security is only a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!"


A last vignette. I spent most of today working on bike stuff on my patio. By tomorrow (Monday) morning, I will have fully prepped and installed my very first carbon fork. This is momentous because, unlike the steel forks I've prepped before, it's a lot easier to turn a carbon fork into an unwieldy paper weight — if you accidentally drop a steel fork off a balcony, you can go down, pick it up, bend it back into shape, and use it. But if you damage a carbon fork, you toss it in the trash.

So what does all this have to do with a squirrel lounging on a tree? (1/320s at f/3.2) Well, I spent today lounging on my balcony, doing bike stuff; it was a nice day out. And I was working only a few feet from the very tree which was hugged by the very squirrel which appears to be so very lazy in the image I chose to illustrate this vignette.

"be a real student and take chances. live on the edge. teeter on the brink… skip on the tightrope. and if you fall, enjoy the wind on your smiling face." —paul lester

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