Stark.

It’s been a cold, white winter. Many people have been complaining about it, and I suppose I can understand this intellectually even if my own reactions to winter are drastically different.
Sorghum resizedThe way some people speak of snow and cold is the same as how I talk about glaring sun and heat in the summer.
Tree and bench resizedI took the Mamiya 645 out to play a couple of weeks ago. The sun was bright and it was very very cold – exactly the kind of weather that invigorates me. The camera, however, had other ideas and the cold made the shutter operate slower than I was asking it to do. I ended up with very overexposed pictures that seemed at first to be unusable. The shots above were somewhat ‘salvaged’ with adjustment of shadow, midtone, and highlight levels, the same way some people try to wring some kind of enjoyment out of an otherwise unpleasant situation.

This next one, however, seemed resistant to any efforts to ‘improve’ it.

Blown out trees resizedThen I realized that I didn’t even want to change it. I love everything in this photo that most people would say was wrong with it. So instead of fighting it, I embrace it just as unapologetically as I embrace winter.

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My double life.

Maybe it’s because I was born a Pisces. Maybe because I’m just contrary by nature. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, however, I find that my life is constantly being pulled in two different directions. How do you think I came up with my blog name, after all?

These days, the conflict manifests itself in my roles as both student and teacher, and in the decision to either keep teaching and trying to squeeze more money blood out of the stone of academia, or to finish my training as a paralegal and enter the legal profession.

It seems fitting, then, that I’ve recently tried my first intentional double exposure photograph. I’ve had a few happy accidents with this in the past, but I hadn’t yet tried to plan one. It came out well enough to encourage me to do more.

Double Chrysler resized

As for my double life and whether or not the results will also be encouraging, I guess I’ll just have to keep shooting and hope for the best!

Semester Eve.

I’m almost ready.

My outfit is planned, the alarm is set, and my books are in order, though I can’t put them in my book bag just yet since Mrs.Parker has settled herself in on top of it.

No matter how many times I’ve done this, the night before the first day of school is always filled with excitement, dread, anxiety, and hopefulness. This semester will be a bit more challenging than usual; in addition to my teaching duties, I am still studying and will be taking two classes. I’ve also accepted an internship where I will be twice a week. When I think of what is on my plate, part of me wishes I could go to bed and wake up in May.

The rest of me, however, is ready for the challenge. I work well under the pressure of a loaded plate. There will surely be times when I will want to quit or slack off. More than once I’ll cry out, “When will this semester be over?” of “What have I done?” But I hope at the end of it, I’ve done what I needed to do and that I’ve done it well.

There’s nothing left to do now but go to bed and rest up for the start of the journey.

Tracks

Day 364: Close-ups.

Here are two more from the Mamiya to see how it does close up. It focuses quite close for a TLR but this gets trickier to frame. Luckily the camera has a parallax* correction indicator to show how my frame changes as I focus closer or farther away. This lens sure is sharp.

Day 363 - Gnarly

Day 363 - Corner*Parallax – the difference in what you can see through the viewfinder and what the lens of the camera can ‘see.’

*****

It’s hard to believe that there is only one more day in my 365 Project. I’m not entirely sure how I am going to handle its completion. I might be going through a bit of withdrawal. I’ve got a few ideas for next year, but it won’t be another 365. I’ve enjoyed it very much and it has absolutely helped me improve my photography, but two years in a row is too much!

Not only have I enjoyed being more immersed in photography than I have in a long time, but I’ve also found a community online. I’ve added a few blogs to the blog roll over there on the right of the screen.

Dave Vaughn Photography – Student and talented photographer.

Hypomanic Impression – Expressing life with bipolar disorder through photography

Lew Lorton Photography – Traveler, street photographer, and all-around interesting guy

Photos and Stuff – Don’t let the casual title fool you. It should be “Thoughtful, intelligent musings on photography.”

Sounds of a Shutter – An unexpected spirit sister across the ocean. Writing on misophonia and photography.

This Old Camera – Satisfying my desire to learn about tinkering and fixing cameras myself.

Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog – Another brave soul who posts every day in words or pictures, who shares my love of words and cats.

Life, Edinburgh – Amateur photographer and film devotee in Scotland.

BKS Pictures – Analogue photographer in Sweden. Beautiful black and whites and great information about techniques.

Not new but worth mentioning again: John Pickles Photography and of course, Buzz’s site, Filmosaur.

Go over there and check some of them out!