“Learn to see the big picture. Often times we get tunnel vision and lose sight of the big picture and what we’re really trying to accomplish.” Robert Cheeke
In this case luck is a very talented lady named Alena Shminke who I had the pleasure to work with again on a still life project called Imaginary Road Trip Without Destination.
You can view the collection of images here: A Photography Co-Project
“It’s remarkable how we go on year after year, doing the same old things. We get tired and bored, and ask when they’ll come for us.” Yasunari Kawabata
So I’m driving down a backroad in the middle of nowhere when I see a van pull over and out of the corner of my eye I spot what looks like an animal up a tree. I quickly turned around thinking it might make an interesting photo.
It seemed that two large cats were stuck in a tangle of branches attached to a telephone pole. The woman with the van was noticeably upset and borrowed a ladder from a farmhouse nearby.
Now I’m basically a nice guy, I help old ladies cross the street and give money to the homeless though I’ve never rescued a cat and wasn’t sure if they really needed rescuing, but I got out with camera in hand.
Being a former house painter I’m very familiar with ladders and know that if you set them in the mud and climb to the top you end up on your ass. But after five or six tries I managed to reach the first cat and grab him.
The second one either liked the view up there or was panicking and refused to let go. Out of frustration I got off the ladder and pulled at the branches until the cat was within reach and pried his claws free.
The woman wrapped them both in a blanket to put in her van with two dogs who were watching the whole thing. I wondered what she was going to do with them and figured the dogs would probably have them for breakfast.
After it was all over she thanked me and my emotions were running high. I was annoyed that I didn’t take a few more shots, my mind was racing with thoughts of post processing and I had to pee.
There are a million stories in the naked county; this has been one of them.
I was on my way home the other day and stopped by these horses that were very busy frolicking in the mud. I tried to get them to come close enough for a photo but they ignored me.
Then I remembered how I used to get my dog’s attention by asking her if she wanted to go for a ride in the car. So I stood by the fence and said: Wanna go for a ride? Nothing. Then I said: Wanna go for a ride in the car?
The white horse slowly walked over and looked at me like I was crazy. Then he turned to his friend and said: This guy ain’t from around here is he Bo? And Bo said: No Jack, he’s probably a New Yorker.
I figured it must have been my accent. Fuhgeddaboudit.
My good friend Alena Shminke who is also a therapist was trying to cheer me up this morning and wrote: “I think animals are basically happy because they just live in their bodies and that’s all. And btw, they don’t read Nietzsche.”
Since she lives in Estonia I thought it might be easier to talk to an animal face to face and see what he had to say. I met a woman who was feeding chickens and goats cookies and lasagna, which I thought was completely normal.
Al wasn’t interested, possibly because he was on a Keto diet so he came up to chat. Not knowing exactly what to say I asked: what is enlightenment? And he replied, when hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.
Knowing that this was the truth, I thanked him and asked, then what? He told me to come back at the golden hour, use a wider aperture, low ISO and get the color right which pissed me off. So I shot him.
“Lovely thing to learn from water. Adjust yourself in every situation and in any shape. But more importantly, find your own way to flow.” Buddha
“There is only one day left, always starting over: It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.” Jean-Paul Sartre
“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.” John Green