Friday, June 25, 2010

rolling with it


Oh, you guys! Oh, thank you. Your responses to my last post have given me so many smiles, so much encouragement. Though I wouldn't wish this restlessness on others, it is good to know that I am not alone. I kept grinning at all the books we have in common. I kept rushing off to the library to request the books I hadn't read yet. And I kept thinking...

Thinking... Roll with it. Rest. Write. Quit trying so hard. Try something new. Turn your mind to other pursuits. Relax into the restlessness. Write.Well, read in snatches then.

What good friends I am blessed with! Thank you all.


Yesterday I quit trying so hard and focused on something else. I spent a few hours with the camera. I piddled and played with the settings instead of just leaving it in P. I discovered the black and white setting. I got hot and sweaty. I got down on the ground. I chased butterflies. I parked the car in the middle of the road. I took pictures of the same three benches over and over and over again. I dangled my camera dangerously close to the water trying for a closer shot. I drove around; seeking, seeing. I walked around; seeking, seeing.

I took 625 photographs.


After the first pass at them, I had only 189 left. After the next cull, only 101. Of those, only 10 or so are worth sharing - the rest are learning shots. But. No excellent photo; nothing to rock my world. I have to tell you, I was bummed. Six hundred and twenty five photos should give me at least one that really is excellent. Sheesh! Jeffrey kept reminding me. You are learning, Relyn, learning. You've only been at this for a little while. You only turned off P today. Be patient. Be patient.

Can you tell that I am not patient? That's another gift photography is giving me. It's not the gift I longed for, but all gifts bring at least some good.



I wrote about another gift photography has given here. I'll post more images from yesterday soon. I promise.
Listen.

29 comments:

Georgianna said...

Well, my dear, I see four excellent photos right here. I love each of them for their communication and mystery and silent contemplation. Yes, patience is useful in photography, but so is piddling around, getting sweaty and yes, maybe even restlessness most of all. I just love you sharing your inspiring adventure of discovery. xo – g

Suz said...

ah...the artist emerges
and with it the expression of desire
you saw something in each photo
to move us as it moved you
pretty impressive journey you are on
so writing scmiting turned into
photo schmoto

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love this post....the raw messiness and honesty in the struggle you describe is captivating...inspired me to draw closer in wonder, as if I'm watching a butterfly's heroic unfolding. I have a feeling this dormant season is going to produce some fruit worth waiting for:)
The buds are already spectacular!
-Jennifer

Amy said...

I feel your pain ... I'm not patient either! We must, however, be building character ... right? Surely ... loads and loads of character ...

And I LOVE the park bench and that lone tree ... love, love, love them...

Tracy said...

OMG aren't you glad for digital cameras? I know I am. Some of the best days are the days I go out and take 625 photos and can't find any I like. So, as the song says, "Roll with it, baby".

Roban said...

Isn't it fun to do exactly what you did yesterday? Looking at things through an artist's eye... wondering what would happen if you moved this way just a little bit or angled your camera a bit more.

Woe were the days when we had to pay for processing of those 600+ shots, only to find a handful that really moved us. Good for you for working through your photos so quickly. (Mine seem to stay on my memory card and in my computer, regardless of how poorly they turn out).

And, by the way, I like your photos from yesterday. The rustic stairs seem to beckon me to find out what's at the top.

maggie said...

I am excited for you Relyn, something wants to be born anew in you so you are restless, that's my take anyway. Your telling of all the pictures you took was great-do the same thing myself. I wonder what you learned from the experience. For me it is mostly about staying with it and giving myself the permission to be a beginner.

Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

I can't even imagine taking 625 photos(!), especially when you've turned the P off! You'll get the hang of it very soon!

ELK said...

yes you DID find that b/w setting ...never thought one could swoon over an old wooden bench...but a photographer does that with images...yes YOU!!

beth said...

you're kidding me right ?
that last photo is FABULOUS....AMAZING....and FRAME WORTHY you crazy girl :)

and i can i just say.....you're the best !!
a personal note will come to you soon, but for now, can i just say "thank you"....."you shouldn't have" and "you're adored"......my arms are stretched out in hug formation....can you feel them ?

Patti said...

BEAUTIFUL shits Relyn- just gorgeous!!! I think I love the last one the best- but they are all wonderful!

Nieves said...

I love your four photos here Relyn, they are so beautiful! Enjoy your weekend, by the way,

S. Etole said...

What an engaging group of photos ... the light draws one in in a way that feels like a journey.

Kamana said...

you are on a roll! :) enjoy!

m.e (Cathie) said...

beautiful images Relyn! I feel like I could just sit on the bench and listen to your beautiful stories.
happy weekend ♥

Hindsfeet said...

"...no excellent photo."??? Are you kidding me, Relyn? These are gorgeous! That lone tree is a stunning composition and that unusual stairway.....this is not cookie cutter stuff, Girlfriend...these were a treat...really, not blowing smoke...thanks for the peek into all the beauty around you....

...reminds me of an Anais Nin quote...

"We do not see things as they are, we see things as *we* are."

...no wonder your world is so beautiful...

peace, friend, thanks for these lovely gifts...

That Crazy Family said...

So very beautiful! The perfect place for me to journey to this morning for the inspiration that I seek! You are truly talented and seeing and catching beauty, carry on my friend!

Diana Joy said...

Hi: that photo of the stairs climbing into the trees is FABULOUS.....amazingly beautiful. congrats...

Marilyn said...

Isn't it exciting to turn the P off and learn. That first picture, the colors sang to me.

smith kaich jones said...

Did we talk about Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance? This part? It is a bit long, but it made me think of you; I will try to shorten it a bit:

He is, of course, a teacher.

~ One of them, a girl . . . wanted to write a 500 word essay about the United States. He was used to the sinking feeling that comes from statements like this, & suggested . . . that she narrow it down to just Bozeman. ~ When the paper came due she didn't have it and was quite upset. She had tried & tried but she just couldn't think of anything to say. ~ She wasn't bluffing him, she really couldn't think of anything to say, & was upset by her inability to do as she was told. ~ It just stumped him. Now he couldn't think of anything to say. A silence occurred, & then a peculiar answer: "Narrow it down to the main street of Bozeman." It was a stroke of insight. ~ She nodded dutifully & went out. But just before her next class she came back in real distress . . . still couldn't think of anything to say & couldn't understand why, if she couldn't think of anything about all of Bozeman, she should be able to think of something about just one street. ~ He told her angrily, "Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick." ~ Her eyes opened wide. ~ She came in the next class with a puzzled look & handed him a 5000 word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. "I sat in the hamburger stand across the street," she said, "& started writing about the the first brick, & the 2nd brick, & then by the 3rd brick it all started to come & I couldn't stop. They thought I was crazy, & they kept kidding me, but here it all is. I don't understand it." ~ Neither did he. ~

And then he begins to think about blockage, and why we get that, and it gets even longer & deeper (though I've left out the deep parts in the above section. LOL!) These 2 or 3 pages have always been an inspiration to me, though I forget about them unless something reminds me. I try to see that upper left-hand brick in everything, to step back, to relax into it. I wish I always succeeded.

These pictures prove you are doing just that. Your words say the same thing - I took pictures of the same 3 benches over & over & over again. You are teaching yourself to see, and thank goodness for digital because it lets you do that less expensively and more quickly. Digital is abused, not all is art, but I recognize the gift it brings - its own upper left-hand corner.

These are fabulous. That tree has a mood and I am in love with it. That and those 365 dancing legs. :)

Sorry for the LONG comment, but I am a wordy gal, as someone on Facebook once told me. Even when they're not all my words.

xoxo
Debi

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Relyn ~ I love you sweet gal! And that first picture is stunning! I so wish we could get together and talk soon. Miss you and so sorry you're feeling restless. I truly hope you've found a good read by now!

Erin Wallace said...

Relyn, all of these photos are beautiful - I really like the first ones. I think you are an extrememly talented photographer but we are all hard on ourselves, arent' we?

I have something silly and simple on my blog for you - you've been tagged! Please stop by.

xo Erin

elizabeth said...

Ha. The pup is trying to teach me patience. I feel for him. ;)

I love all the photos you shared with us.

Rita said...

I can't figure out which one I like best! They are all stunning! But I think I particularly like the last one the best. My thoughts were... where do those stairs lead to? How very fastinating that picture is! I love it and I love you too. I love your zest for life and your way with words. You are a great writer!

Jaime said...

Oh Relyn...I just read this post and then hopped down to the previous post, and I won't say much about your reading woes, because I KNOW you are a voracious reader, and it won't be long before you come back to it again. The right book(s) will find you, I have no doubts.

When you wrote about your journey as a new photographer, I could have written those very same words. I too am impatient, and want to know everything *right now*. I had a mentor a few years back who wrote the most wonderful letter to me as he tried to calm my impatience and he said something very simple, that I have never forgotten, and I still cling to these words when I am feeling anxious...and I will pass them on to you...
*Why are you trying to run when you are crawling so beautifully?*
And you are Relyn...crawling so beautifully. These pictures are wonderful, and your willingness to get out there and try new things and take hundreds of pictures of the same things means you are passionate.
Enjoy the process. There is something so sweet about beginnings.

Jeanie said...

Learning, you say? Don't sell yourself short. Yes, you are -- but oh! Some of these are spectacular -- especially that last one! So many angles, such height, wonderful color -- indeed!

I'm glad you are finding escape from the restlessness in your camera lens. You have a gift for it, and isn't it a wonderful way to see differently? Oh, my friend! This post makes me smile so very much!

Oliag said...

Everyone is their own worst critic...I would love to see the 625 photos because I am positive there are some real beauties there...like this last one of the stairs...Lovely!

You certainly are restless these days:)

spread your wings said...

Relyn, there are some wonderful photos here and i imagine you have many more on your hard drive that are as well. we tend to be much more critical of ourselves i feel sure. there is a wonderful feeling to this last photo - climbing representing an achievement of your ambitions, a movement in a positive direction.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Relax into restlessness is my new mantra! I am going with it, we'll see where it leads!

I love that you said that you were going to quit trying so hard -- then when out and shot 625 photos but then beat yourself up as they weren't so good!

Why is it that we are so easy on others and so hard on ourselves!

The photos are amazing!! Just Beautiful!

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