2018 faves and chasing the muse

mike wilson m.9.wilson at ntlworld.com
Thu Jan 3 02:11:59 EST 2019


> On 03 January 2019 at 00:53 Bob W-PDML <pdml at web-options.com> wrote:
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> 
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> > On 3 Jan 2019, at 00:36, Larry Colen <lrc at red4est.com> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > Some years ago I was toying with the idea of going pro and was figuring out what it would take to make a living at photography. I knew that I wouldn't be able to go from zero to enough paid gigs to make a living in any sort of reasonable time, but I was able to get enough free gigs to simulate what it would be like to work as a photographer.  It took about two or three weeks of that to suck all of the fun out of my photography and convince me that I didn't want photography to become my job, I wanted to keep it as something that I did for fun. It is nice, however, when occasionally the fun I get from photography includes cashing a check.
> > 
> > Now pardon me as I was philosophic, and perhaps a bit pedantic...
> > 
> > From my study of Aikido, I have realized that almost any activity can become a "do", (pronounced doe) aka dao, tao, or translated "way" or path". For me to treat something as a do, is to work on improving my skill at it for the meditative benefits of working to improve your skills at that activity.  For me, photography can very much fall into that category because there are so many areas to improve one's (especially my) skill and understanding. For me, simply working on holding the camera still while taking photos can be a skill that can never be perfected, only improved. Composition, lighting, and even putting a model at ease are just a few more of those skills.
> > 
> > So, to me, walking around with my camera looking for photos, even when I don't have my muse, isn't necessarily a onerous chore, but an opportunity for a few minutes of meditation.  At least that's the theory.
> > 
> 
> Influenced in all things by Henri Cartier-Bresson, I read a few years ago a book that he recommended to photographers, called Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel. This had a very profound philosophical and practical effect on my approach to photography and now when I'm taking pictures I close my eyes, breathe slowly, rhythmically and meditatively to make myself one with the cosmos, visualise the spirit of the image, then throw my camera at the subject.
> 

I read it as throwing the lens, leaving the body for composing the next shot.  Even so, I couldn't get past the minimum focusing distance with the 600/4.  Macro work is much easier.



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