Actually, I don’t really. Every year Kim is amazed how I can sit by and not even notice the 3000+ lbs of Halloween candy that the kids bring home… maybe that’s why we had so much around the house.
Seriously though, today was another Sunday afternoon that really wasn’t about the subject matter. Friend, and photographer extraordinaire Jeff Stubblefield has been being a lot of work and producing amazing results with his home-made light box. So I figured I’d steal the idea, make my own and see what came out of it. I set everything up using a big cardboard box, some sheets of banner paper and my SB-900s.
So I spent some time lost in lighting and aperture settings, another training day. Some pretty sweet still life huh?
A few more shots can be seen here… on my Grasp The Moment Photography Facebook page
Yesterday was Christmas all over again.
Except I was my own personal Santa and no one came down my chimney. I did, however, walk away with some pretty sweet ass presents.
To help my growing business, I made a serious gear investment, and walked away with the new Nikon D7000, a new Nikon SB900 flash and an amazing Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens.
What do all these numbers and jargon mean to non-photographers? Umm.. I got some really awesome shit!
Yesterday there was a lot of personal stuff going on with the kiddies, so even though I physically picked up my new gear yesterday, I wasn’t able to play – I mean learn how to use it. And learn is an accurate description because the D7000 has more controls than the space shuttle, and I feel I need a PHD to master them all. The lens… that’s gonna take a heck of a lot to get used to…
So this morning, I woke bright eyed and busy tailed, my mind racing of all the places I could go and start my training. I sat there, sipping my coffee, creating a mental itinerary of all the places and things I could see, and didn’t really even hear what Kim said to me.
“What?” I asked, “You want to go to a flea market?” I said with doubt and disbelief until I remembered that yes, we were planing on heading to see our good friend Noel at her new shop “Catfight Boutique”. So, I took the new toys along and as the girls chatted, I snapped away. Nothing special, but a learning process, part of the ultimate goal of me becoming better and better.
Oh … and if you’re ever in Queens, definitely stop by Catfight Boutique, Noel’s actually got some really cool stuff.
I drew a vital word for my family from the can. History. Spend more than five minutes with my father sometime and you’ll know why. He loves the stuff. I don’t think “buff” is a strong enough word for his addiction to it, even though he was called that in book once. Hey, how many other people do you know with a historical marker on their home? Ok, it’s not a real one, but then again, that in it’s self is the perfect marriage between my fathers passion for history and pension for humor.
Growing up history wasn’t really a subject in school, rather a way of life. While most the kids in school left that and other studies in school for the summer, we saw out fair share of civil war battlefields, forts, museums and every other farm house that somehow shaped the nation that my folks could think of. For their anniversary a few years back, my siblings and I were photographed on top of a cannon, a playful reminder of our vacations.
My dad is to this day the smartest man I ever met, and can do all the smart guy stuff, name all the presidents, list the states and their capitols, and tell you who did what, where and why in almost any town you’re driving through at the moment. He loves sharing his knowledge, which has its interesting moments, but unwittingly he shared much more than that with me, the love of history.
My love of history isn’t a love of dates, facts and figures, although I can rattle off dates, places and set lists of more than quite a few Grateful Dead shows. Living history is what amazes me, the fact that these facts and figures are actually people, who lived actual lives and did actual things. And for me, the amazing part of this kind of history is that is never ends. We’re living some one’s history right this moment. Our whole lives are just that, history.
Today I had to discuss a piece of my history that I really didn’t want to, but I did because I know the strange relationship between history and the future. How what happens in the past, can affect the decisions and our choices in the future. How will we ever fully appreciate our future until we can fully appreciate our history?
So what do I photograph to capture the work history? Some have called my parents house “a musueum” so sure I could drag out my dad’s Civil War rifles or the books upon books he has about the subject, but instead I choose the things that make up the history we are living. The first letter Bob ever sent me, which I always kept. The bottle caps in the bowl on my coffee table. The cook book my mother has had for years. Some of my grandmother’s photographs she kept in a little album.
This is the history I love, the history I would love to live over again.
… Goes one of my favorite Max Creek songs… and it’s the first thing I thought of when my hand went into the coffee can this afternoon.
For those who don’t know about the coffee can – or forgot about it, like I tried to – it’s a little game I’ve created for myself. A while back I wrote a gagillion words on tiny slips of paper and stuffed them into a coffee can, which I promised myself that I’d raid the can every few days and shoot whatever the paper said. Like most promises I break, I followed for awhile, but then tapered off, hoping no one would notice. Great idea, except for this one bone head friend who brings it up to me every time we see each other. (Thanks Chuck. Now you know why I never invite you to afternoon tea anymore.)
So this afternoon, before I brought the boys home to their mom for mother’s day, the can caught my eye and opened it.
What? Colors? I hate these words. Who the hell thought of them?
So I went about my day with the word tucked back in the dark recesses of my mind. As I walked through Home Depot – I promised my mom I’d fix some stuff around the house today – I pretended I was bouncing around ideas, but it really more like tossing a rubber ball against a wall in an empty room. As the hollow echo of the ball bouncing from floor to ceiling ran through my skull, I passed the paint aisle and all it’s samples laid out, and I walked right past them.
Colors… what a sucky word.
it wasn’t until after the chores, after diner, after I had pretty much given up for the day that I saw the flowers sitting on my dining room table. I really am an idiot sometimes.
I grabbed them, and found my colors. Colors more beautiful than any can from Home Depot could ever make.
And yes Chuck, I’ll try to get another word real soon…
Another dip into the coffee can of words.
This time I scratched my head when I saw the word. “Still Life”? What the hell does that mean? The only still life I could think of are those bowls of fruit that they make you paint in art school – or at least the art school that you see on TV shows.
My biggest problem was that I didn’t have a bowl big enough for the fruit. Well, I tried at least. Then I got bored with the fruit, I mean it’s just fruit. So, before eating it, I decided to take a closer look.
Back to the can for another word…
I think I’ve beaten the “seeing when you’re supposed to see it” idea to a bloody pulp. You’ve gotten a taste of how I feel for that if you’ve read previous posts.
But what happens when there’s nothing to see? I sit here at night in my little makeshift studio, set up my lights and try to see if I can do the impossible – try to see if I can create.
But create what?
That’s where my mind goes blank. I’ve been around a lot of talented people, people who can one-two-three make a swan from a square sheet of paper, and I without a doubt am not one of those people. Hell, I have trouble at jigsaw puzzles, and I could never pick what tie matches what shirt so how the hell am I supposed to see the underlying beauty and message in the random objects that I find tucked under my bed?
So I struggle with it. An empty bottle. Some cards. A compass. Heck, even the rent money. Through I learn there is so much more to it than meets the eyes. It’s not just an empty bottle and it’s my job as a photographer to find the story hidden inside it and not only to bring it out, but to capture it.
It is my job, to create.