Get Up!

(Thread photo is of a Kodak Pocket No. 1 – circa 1927. My youngest daughter, Julia, has her grandfather’s example hanging on her family room wall. It is non-functional, unfortunately.)

This is being written on Thursday morning, from the comfort of an office chair, but when you read this column, I will be out in the wild with my daughter on a photo expedition to the wilderness of Western Wichita. The best time for landscape photos – and most others – is early morning or late night when the shadows and light are softer.

I am looking forward to spending some time with Dee, pursuing our mutual love of fine photography. Taking a great picture is a pleasure, especially if the experience can be shared. We will be heading out about 6:30 AM, an hour before sunrise, to be able to set up and wait for the perfect light. Thanks to the technology of digital photography, our “mistakes” can easily be forgiven and we won’t have to worry about having enough film with us.

I began my fascination with photography in the old days, with a 35mm Minolta rangefinder. Soon after, I graduated to a SLR. It took a while, but I belatedly went digital. I still shoot like a film photographer, but I appreciate the flexibility of digital. Now, I carry a King’s ransom of photography gear with me – no excuses for poor work these days!

In the real old days, Ansel Adams shot with a huge view camera with 8 x 10 sheet film and massive lenses. Every shot was a pricey event and there was little room for error. Today, I real off six or eight shots of the same scene to get my pix. Adam’s most famous photo, “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome,”  was a three shot wonder, each shot with a different filter, when Ansel was just 25 years old. Today, I won’t be shooting a similar picture – no mountains in Kansas – but I can take as many shots as I want, with all the effects I could imagine, without taking my Canon DSLR off the tripod.

Photography is my passion. I can’t sing. I can’t play an instrument. I can’t draw. Photography is my creative outlet.

Fnord paints rocks. Wicked is a writer. Free is addicted to Southern Rock. We all need a place of our own to express ourselves to remain remotely (?) sane. What is your passion?

William Stephenson Clark

(Photos will be published Monday.)


Filed under Addiction

12 responses to “Get Up!

  1. tosmarttobegop

    I am not sure what happened, but once it was quite easy for me to see and find the beauty of Kansas scenery. I still remember the wonder and absolute beauty of standing out in the middle of nowhere while on the bridge crew.

    Seeing an image that gave the impression that this land and scene had not changed in the last hundred years.

    A scene I could image was seen by a lone native American who had pulsed on his pony to look over the path ahead.

    The rolling hills and prairie grasses moving in the light wind on a warm spring day made for something that took away the feeling of being away and distance from being a part of everything more simply one aspect of everything.

    Just one moment in time and not the total of all time, that is something that in this world of noise and light, of busy with things to only concerns me and not everything.

    This was truly far away from that world and sadly getting harder to find the time or place to suddenly find yourself in.

    We attempt to make it for ourselves, with yards groomed and decorated with small images and statues.

    Flowering plants and lush greenery, but ending up with only the cheapest of imitations compared to what nature herself creates.

    Parks that were designed by man to imitate what once was found everywhere by nature.

    But compared to what I saw that day, those parks had the stain and stench of being man made.

    It really is about the image, which can be illusive to capture freezing it in time at the breaking moment.

    When any moment that image can change and dissolve away to something that at best barely resembles anything that was there the moment before.

    It passing given little time or thought to shed tears its passing.

    To realize its loss, only looking forward not at the once was more then moment that is now here.

    Perhaps we have changed our wanted legacy in this world to leave to those who follow us?

    One of buildings of stone and glass and concerts of noises manmade and hurting not just the ears but also the soul. It replaces the human soul with the manmade soul of plastic and synthetic fibers.

  2. Your words reminded me of a trip several years ago. We flew into Seattle and rented a car, drove along the coastline up into Canada. I love the Pacific Northwest, the trees are sooooo tall — the forests are so thick the trees all reach for the sky — and you see the ocean, mountains… At the border crossing between America and Canada you can stand and look toward America and see Mother Nature’s beauty, untamed and gorgeous. When you look into Canada you see what man does and it too is gorgeous, well maintained gardens, trimmed trees, colorful flowers, all well tended. All that work doesn’t make for more beauty, just a different kind than nature alone provides.

    • wicked

      If I could live anywhere, my first choice would be the coast of Oregon. My second choice would be anywhere near water, whether an ocean, a river, a lake, or even a pond. I find it calming.

    • My two oldest grandsons live in Portland. This year all our available monies and energies went to happenings on the east coast, next year I will, barring something unforeseen, be on the left coast! 😉

  3. wicked

    My dad had a camera like that. I have no idea what happened to it. 😦

    I used to take a lot of pictures when I was young. It seems I always had a camera in my hands at various school functions and slumber parties and whatever. Wish I could find all those pictures or at least the negatives. Blackmail pays well. 😉

  4. GMC70

    What is your passion?

    Wow. What day of the week is this? My wife complains I need to limit myself to one hobby . . .

    In no particular order:

    I sing.

    I play a mediocre guitar, and I sing.

    I fish, usually while singing with the radio.

    I like to shoot, occasionally at something tasty.

    I like old cars – in particular an old truck. I’m usually singing in her.

    That’s about it –

    did I mention I sing? My wife complains I can’t not sing, and she’s probably right. It’s the one thing I do that I KNOW I’m really, truly good at. One of these nights, I’ll have to invite all of you out to hear the guys – but you all have to promise to behave . . .

    Enjoy the weekend, all. Sing something; it’s good for the soul.

    • wicked

      Yes, but do you SING?

    • Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. I used to sing, but not any longer. And I was never more than mediocre. I would love to hear you sing sometime. We clean up pretty well and know how to conduct ourselves among polite company. 😉

  5. wicked

    Seems as if all my passions have become my careers. Except one, and I don’t dabble. Even if I had time, I woudn’t. I was in theater in high school and later a small community theater. Even had a chance to appear in basically a walk-on at a small theater here in town, but I had to pass it up. I enjoyed every production I ever appeared in, directed, or worked backstage, and was never paid a penny for it.

    Just call me a drama queen. 😉

  6. tosmarttobegop

    Well my passion and in the truest sense of the word is the guitar.
    (various forms of emotional suffering in Stoicism)
    I actually play very few songs and simple ones at that.
    I can not keep a rhythm, I have no real idea how it sounds.

    Writing use to be my passion and to an extent still is.

    But it suffered once I started blogging.
    It often shows up when ever I post something, in the shape of being wordy and long.

    But the sentence form and grammar has became so lacking that when I try to write a story it shows that I am use to not having to write to that level.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    LOl the one time I tried singing in public it was “Long Black train”.
    I was doing OK, then suddenly my mind just went blank!

    Total test pattern time, I mean there was nothing there not one word of what would come next.

  8. Zippy

    Heh, I’ve sang in public a few times. A few participants in this forum have seen me do it (including toosmart).

    I was a fairly inexperienced, crappy guitarist at the time (I had 20+ years on keys at the time). Now, I’m a more experienced crappy guitarist!

    But I’m jammed with a lot of really good musicians.

    Cutting code used to be a passion, but it’s more about survival now.