16-07-03 The Things I Wonder About

Is this how the world would look if I took off my glasses AND was color blind?

RSJohnson_1606306303009-Edit

Looking towards New Jersey over the lower Hudson (Tribeca)

 

1-15-14 It Is Done When It Is Done (It’s Not The Vision I Had)

“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work.  I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”  ~Howard Ikemoto

Yes, we do.

I would think, since my background and terminal degree is in theater that I would know that there is a date fixed; a date when the curtain goes up and the work is shown to others.  Once upon  a time, I was very good at that.  x weeks to concept; x weeks to cast and design; x weeks to rehearse and build; x days to polish and tech; then boom: Opening Night! I could look at the work. I could think “Damn! What the hell was I thinking! Idiot!”: but it was in front of the audience, it was their work now to love or hate or more likely be indifferent to but…I was done. Time to move on.

Unless you are on assignment or have a contract in hand, the non-performing arts, photography in my case, are not like that.  You can continue to work with the negative or digital file into eternity and no one is the wiser. You can chew on the image, and chew and chew, deepen the shadow, burn, dodge, highlight, up the saturation, crop…throw it all out and start again and it doesn’t matter. You will never get it “right”. In the words of one of my theater professors at Pomona it always end up: “It’s not the vision I had.”

I took this image on January 26, 2011.

Ice Ducks-1

At one point it became this:

Ice Ducks-2

Then this:

Ice Ducks-3

and today, this:

Ice Ducks-4

1-10-13 It’s Not The Vision I Had

Due to a wealth of computer problems that don’t interest me so I am sure would not interest you, I was chased from Photoshop back to Photoshop Elements 10, which is a lovely program but can’t recreate what I did yesterday.  However after much play I enjoy what I came up with. It certainly is NOT the vision I had but getting there was fun.

I know some of you have read the title of this piece in the blog before but it is such a perfect statement for any part of life that I must repeat it now and again. I like it for many reasons but the biggest one, beyond the truth of it, is that it is neither a positive or negative statement. It just is. We set out to do something, and no matter how successful we may be, it is never the vision we started with. Sometimes better, sometimes not, but always different.

The Chair of the Pomona College Theater Department had this on the wall of his office when I first met him. It has always stayed with me.

Behold! The “vision” I did not have!

Play-1

 

1-1-13 (Cont) Looking At The World Through Different Lenses

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Went to the eye doctor today. Had been feeling like I needed a new prescription especially on the close vision. Well, I most certainly do need new glasses. My near vision has moved the visual equivalent of a full f/stop but my distance vision has only deteriorated slightly.  So I am trying to slide by with new reading glasses.

Funny thing. I had shot many pictures on the 1st which I had already looked at and rated for focus, exposure, framing and so on.  Looked through them again with the new glasses.  Now sometimes I want tight focus and sometimes I want soft but Uh oh! It seems that I have been rejecting shots that I believed they were not crisply in focus that actually had perfectly tight focus. Conversely  some shots I thought were nice tight focus are actually soft.  I wonder if discovering 20/20 vision again will change the work I produce?

Hudson River

Hudson River

Hudson River

Hudson River

12-15-11 Flotsam

I was walking the river at twilight after archiving and tagging video for 5 hours.  To be honest, after staring at images for that long, I really was not able to see, in the sense of take in or appreciate, very much.  So I just wandered up the bike path from 72nd Street and trusted that the river would bring me something.

I was about to turn and head out at 102nd, hoping that today’s image was in my camera, and I just didn’t know it, when I spotted this.   I think it is a true visual representation of flotsam.

I don’t know what happened to set this floating and bring it to shore here.  It looks like a floating barricade that escaped?  Protective bumpers from a small boat?  No real idea but it certainly stands out from the surrounding environment.

FYI: I hardly ever use flash on the river but it was deep twilight and I thought this giant bumblebee skin needed the boost.

8-5-11 You’re Either On The Bus…

Composed on the bus to Boston…

I tried again to get the shot I see in my mind July 14

I am getting closer but not there yet…

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4-27-11 – Our Anniversary

I didn’t have much time today and I spent much of it stalking this little guy until I almost got the shot I wanted.

The head of my college theater department had a saying about the work posted on his office wall: “It’s not the vision I had”.

He would remind you, however, that just because it wasn’t the vision you started with didn’t mean it might not be better than what you had envisioned.

Your collaborators always bring something to the table and you have to listen to them.