I've been enjoying a new photoblog from the NY Times called Lens. I was taken there by a link from a friend about a photojournalist I've been following for quite some time who is a New Yorker now, but is originally from Belgrade named Boogie. He does his documentation of the human condition in black and white but has begun shooting in color because he "was tired of the gray skies" around him. He had a quote that so resonated with me that I wanted to share it:
“If I left my house without my camera, my heart would probably start pounding and I would get all tense,” Boogie said. “That thought freaks me out. I wouldn’t be able to take it. Maybe it sounds cliché, but I really do feel like I am one with my camera. I like to compare it to martial arts, when you practice some moves so many times that — when you need to use them — you don’t think, you just react. Thinking is the enemy.”
I went to a show with a very old friend the other day. I hadn't seen him in quite some time (12 years, in fact) but we didn't really chat during the show, instead we connected through the music. Smiling at each other when a song that we hadn't heard in forever began to play. I saw his chest rise and fall at the same time as mine as we belted out "Comfortably Numb" over the loud guitar that resonated throughout the venue. Yet the whole time my mind was racing. If you've ever had the feeling that you needed to go to the restroom during a movie and you're sitting in the middle of the isle and a pivotal scene has just come on the screen, then you know what I was feeling. Do I get up and just go? Do I wait it out until the end? Is now a good time to go? Will I step on anyone? Where is the restroom in this place anyway? Will I be able to see where I was sitting when I get back? How many rows up am I? 1, 2, 3, 4....ARGH HOW LONG IS THIS MOVIE!?
My mind was racing like that, but it was about pulling out my camera. The stage was lit perfectly. The band was backlit by huge spotlights that would change from white to blue to green. The background singers would raise their arms up in unison and it would break up the light so amazingly. I kept going through all the shots in my head wanting to pull out my camera so badly, but I didn't. I was nervous. I didn't want to look silly, would the light bother the people around me, I should just enjoy the moment with my friend, what if the picture turns out bad just as someone is looking over my shoulder and thinks "man, she sucks". ARRGH HOW LONG IS THIS SHOW!?
This is actually a constant running dialog in my head. I see shots all. the. time. but I hesitate to pull out my camera. I feel like I'm one with it, but it's like a long distance relationship. I want to see it every day but I can't, however once I'm reunited with it it's almost like we were never apart.
I'm mixing my metaphors here, but I want to convey how hard it is to be away from it. I wish that I could have it by my side every day. I wish that I couldn't leave the house without it. I wish that every day was filled with beautiful moments captured on film. For now I'm enjoying the beautiful moments, I just need to have the guts to pull out the damn camera and capture them. What other people think be damned.
When the tall one suggested night shooting last night I jumped up and down, I was so excited. We had both had a terrible day, and his was amazingly long, and yet both of us were still down for an adventure. Ah, old Stacy how I missed you. It's been a while since I've just up and done something without boohooing about it. I picked him up at work, put my gear together while he showered and off we went to Alki Beach for my first evening of night shooting with my D90.
We had a quick bite to eat at the Celtic Swell amidst a game of pop culture trivia and then headed out to the pleasantly cool beach. I was exhausted, but wandered around the old Luna Beach pier looking for a shot, finally talking the tall one into walking down the rocks to get the shot I was looking for. While waiting for the waves to hit from the passing ferry we kissed, laughed, swigged from the flask and I practiced shooting on the old pier. One thing I've noticed is the massive amount of noise from the D90 on the long exposures. I'm sure it's something I'm doing, but that's what this evening was about; testing the camera so I can learn.
Finally a ferry floated by and the waves crashed to the shore. I was able to fire only one frame off before the waves died down. Between the long exposure and the time it took to write to my card the waves were already a memory. I learned another thing: I need a faster SD card :)
I was so grateful to the tall one for pushing me to go out last night. I've been nervous to bring my camera with us because sometimes getting the right shot takes time. I don't want to burden him, or anyone else I spend time with, with waiting on me getting the perfect shot...but maybe I need to. It's the only way to continue to learn and maybe if they get used to me always having it around then perhaps I won't be so nervous all the time.