Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of a burden you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.
“Normal people have no idea how beautiful the darkness is.” Unknown
I was re-reading a Bryan Peterson book on composition and he suggests that compelling photography is not about the content but about the arrangement of the content. I think that’s only partly true but he does have a point.
I went out for my usual newspaper and coffee and passed a wide variety of interesting but common things like huge pumpkin stands, Amish children of the corn and even a rare steam engine at the Strasburg Rail Road.
But I was looking for something different and a mile from home I stopped to check out some potatoes. They had three sizes and I noticed this old cash jar that said medium on it right next to the medium potatoes.
For some reason this fascinated me and I decided to photograph it featuring the jar as the main subject. Between the Amish woman that owned the stand and the potato junkies that kept pulling in it was distracting but I persevered.
Eventually I realized that I could move things around to get the composition I wanted and the last three images I took were the best. Despite the clouds and an umbrella blocking the light I got a shot I’m happy with.
Now is this the kind of thing I would hang on my wall? No, but my Psychiatrist has been asking me for a photo and I think if I had this printed and framed she would not only stop asking me but would probably give me better meds.
“Inside of us, there’s a continual autumn. Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water.” Rumi
“It is the little things that are vital. Little things make the big things happen.” John Wooden
“Everyone said to Vincent van Gogh, You can’t be a great painter, you only have one ear. And you know what he said? I can’t hear you.” Steve Carell
I saw this thing, which I now know is a McCormick-Deering Grain Drill and thought it might make an interesting abstract for Cee’s photo challenge this week. I attached an L-Bracket to my camera to shoot vertically and set up my tripod.
The light wasn’t cooperating so I sat there and waited for a while when the first guy walked up and asked what I was doing. I gave him the short version and asked him what this thing was which he somehow knew.
Ten minutes later a second guy walked up and said: “One mans junk is another mans art right?” I liked his attitude but he was casting a shadow so I asked him to move. He stood there patiently apparently waiting for a response.
I told him I felt there were too many postcard type photos theses days and I like to photograph ordinary things in unusual ways. To see something like this close up and out of context you look at it differently.
So was it worth getting up early, using a tripod, waiting for the best light and processing the files? I’d say yes, it’s much easier than taking up golf and the last thing I want to do in the morning is spoil a good walk.
“Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world.” Cesare Pavese
“With regards to the way of death, if you are prepared to die at any time, you will be able to meet your release from life with equanimity. As calamities are usually not as bad as anticipated beforehand, it is foolhardy to feel anxiety about tribulations not yet endured.” Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai