Now ~ A place and time.
We find ourselves.
Anyone remember what it was like to be 17? Or perhaps recall when your child was that age? It’s that time of unbridled optimism, when you think you can do just anything; a time before the reality of student loan debt sinks in.
My friend Betty asked if I’d be interested in talking to her 17 year old grandson Patrick about photography. He was coming to town to work on assignment, and maybe I could give him some tips or tricks. Let’s get this in perspective, Betty. More important would be my opportunity gain insight from him. What you say? You’ve been at this photography business for two of his lifetimes, and working on a third?
At this stage in my career, it is time to give back, to connect, to see life from a different perspective. On a tour through my studio and photo gallery, Patrick asked questions, a lot of it was about equipment, a photographers favorite topic. When he picked up a round prism, you could sense his excitement… yes, I said, you can borrow it, while at the same time thinking, can’t wait. Later he held it front of his lens and shot through it, focusing on the miniature and reverse image inside the glass.
Curiosity. The coolness of something old. You know what this is, holding up a plastic film canister. Yes, Patrick once saw one on YouTube. The broken film camera. He traveled to Florida with it, because it looked cool. It’s kinda weird, I had one just like it which worked; it had his name on it.
Like the old film camera, deep inside we all wish to remain relevant. What’s old is new again. We jump at the chance to check in with new ideas. A new challenge brings excitement to our work. Patrick really liked my body in motion series, which was inspired by the ORC Fitness center project. The interior designer’s concept of “movement”, inspired me to represent a passage of time in a still photo.
Patrick’s idea of movement involved shooting slow motion video, at 120 frames per second. While he “filmed” on the Sony mirrorless camera in total silence, my Nikon D4 definitely sounded more epic; like a rapid fire machine gun, recording individual images at 11 frames per second.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment while shooting, particularly when the music is playing, and the action is happening. But remember, the band is no longer playing when you later on review the photos. Or is it? In Patrick’s video, he’d time travel with the snap of his fingers, and there was definitely a soundtrack.
Since my background is of film, a much more deliberate medium, my first response to a beautiful sunrise, or an impressive site is, breathe. Say, Isn’t that a beautiful thing. Pause. Get the right perspective. There’s plenty of time to do it.
Just do it. That’s the shirt Patrick wore when we did the body in motion series of his backflips. He did them alright. Perhaps a dozen times. Until I got it right.
You see, my career has been a process, where one thing has led to the other, and challenges overcome along the way. Or to put it another way, my success is due to the very definition of “luck” : which occurs “when preparation meets opportunity.”
Good luck, Patrick.
This photographic website provides me the opportunity for self-expression, for sharing