Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beauty's where you find it

Sometimes I get a little obsessive about things.  Obsessive about things as they relate to my hobbies anyway.  I'll see a recipe on Food Network and suddenly I just have to make it and will start preparing for it.  Or I'll come across a new pattern of minky fabric and I'll suddenly have to get some to make a minky blanket for the girls. Or I'll see a stunning picture and suddenly I need to take one just like it.  I'll occupy my time preparing for the shot, deciding on location and equipment.

Once the recipe/blanket/picture is complete, I used to wait for the accolades.  Cudos of a job well done.  A satisfied diner or a blanket cuddler would fill that need.

But then the next thing would come along that I HAD to do!

One day I was obsessed with getting a sunset shot.  I had seen many stunning examples of sunsets online in various places, and I wanted to get one.  I knew I would have to find the perfect location and needed perfect conditions for the sky to light up for me.  Wouldn't you know that at the time of this obsession, we were having cloudy days filled with rain. It was agony!

Then a rainy morning became a drier and clearing afternoon.  Could this be the day?

This day was also my grand daughters pre-school graduation.  I would be photographing this milestone in the late afternoon and would have my camera with me and plenty of time to set up to catch a sunset.

After the ceremony, I headed for higher ground.  I knew where to go I just needed to get to a spot where I had an unobstructed view of the horizon, no power lines, no buildings in the distance.

I was driving down a country road, watching the sun setting in my rear view mirror when I saw a little building on the edge of someone's property.  I thought the little building would look good as a silhouette in my shot.

I quickly did a doughnut turned around and parked and raced to trespass position myself as the sun dropped below the horizon.

(It's funny how fast the sun sets when you're trying to get situated to photograph it!)

Even with the sun below the horizon, the sky was on fire! The color was spectacular!  Now to frame the shot.


Back home, I loaded the images on the computer and enhanced the color just a tad, oh! this was it! I created a fantastic picture of a spectacular sunset! the little building was the perfect touch! everyone's gonna just be blown away! Then I uploaded my masterpiece for the world to see.

And waited.


(crickets chirping)


It's funny how life teaches us.

I loved this sunset.  I loved it because I had built up the anticipation of actually capturing it, I felt a child-like sense of joy in my thought process of what I would photograph and then I acted on it.  I got a beautiful image that I enjoy.  I enjoy it not only because it is lovely, but because I dreamt of it, planned it and executed it.

For me to expect others to have my eyes is foolish.

But that's OK.  I got a few accolades for my picture, and I learned that isn't what's important.

What's important is to do what makes me happy.

If it makes others happy too, that's nice but it is not the goal and should not determine whether or not I create something or whether or not I share it.

I learned that I am happy creating for me.

That is important because I am important.

(I should have printed it a little bigger, don't ya think?)

Have you ever done something special and no one noticed? Share your story with us! Share your favorite picture! Tell us about it!

Since today is the last day of May, my sunset picture fits! The sun is setting on our monthy theme-the sky's the limit!  Be sure to post your sky shots in the flickr gallery! Tag your shot with TSTL!

Meanwhile, I'm obsessing over something new.  Have you seen my day lilies?

How about you?

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
 Andy Warhol



AFishGirl said...

Dang! I have 3 minutes before I play beat the clock to get ready for work. Yes. I have done mannnnny things that I thought would get noticed and have not. I'm sure the word allowance for "comments" here is not big enough. What I love is that you got it framed and hung it. Right. On. And that dude who said self praise is no praise??? Party. Pooper. Him. Yeah. We need to cheers ourselves on, every single day. Ta da! Like that. TA DA! I think it's vital. I have been known to say at work, "Good job, Pam!" People roll their eyes. It beats the years of self recrimination. Do kids celebrate themselves? You betcha. We need that disinhibited sense of joy within our own grown up selves. And I like the direct approach (versus waiting) wherein I prompt them for the praise. Just ask Fishboy. And understand why he has an eye that twitches at times. TA DA! You love it, right??!!!! CORRECT answer!!!!

Peggy said...

I love how you have the ability to focus. Sometimes in life I get caught up in all the things that need to be done that I don't take the time to focus on my photography. That needs to be a summer goal. To shoot a sunset. And I love how you do it for you and no one else. That shows a lot of confidence. Keep shooting only for yourself. Peggy from PA

Dotti said...

Okay, Linda ... Here it comes ... SPECTACULAR SUNSET PHOTO!!!! I just love it. Seriously! So pat yourself on the back anytime you want. I do it all the time. As Pam says, we have to celebrate ourselves so some self congrats are in order. Then if anyone else likes it, too, well, that's just icing on the cake. (I'm sure you have a recipe for that somewhere.)

Deanna said...

Your sunset shot is stunning, and I am so happy to see that you have it turned into a true piece of art. And yes, we need to celebrate ourselves, pat ourselves on the back, love ourselves and our work. And as Dotti says, if anyone else likes it, that is an extra bonus. I posted a pic in flickr recently that I simply loved, I liked the colors and the subject, but not one single person commented on it's beauty. But that was OK, I loved it. Great post Linda!

heyjudephotography said...

Dotti is right. If anyone else loves what we create, then that's just icing on the cake. But to realize that what we enjoy and create is to fulfill ourselves, for us to enjoy and feel fulfilled by doing it, well that's the important thing. You are right, you are important. Your creativity is important. And you have most definitely captured one stunning sunset!!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love this Linda! You and I are so much alike. I love the proud look on your face standing next to your beautiful shot! Photography is something I do because it makes me happy, but it sure is nice to receive praise every now and then :)
and obsessions...yep I have lots of them too. Macro flowers, reflection shots, mug shots, from where I stand shots.....the list goes on and on!

terriporter said...

Oh, wow, I can so relate to this! It has taken me quite awhile to realize that my photography is what I do for me and if I love what I'm doing, that's enough. But, of course, it's always great when someone else thinks what I do is great too. When I show a photo to my husband that I think is particularly worthy of praise, he looks at it and says "It's a flower." But recently when I showed him a collage I did and had made into a poster of doors in the Barrio area of Tucson, he loved it and the next day he said, "You know, I've been thinking all day 'My wife is an artist!'" Wow, just the praise I was looking for! So I don't think we can ever get away from wanting others to see what we see in our art but we just have to remember that the underlying reason we do it is for ourselves. And don't even get me started on obsessions! Love that you have hung this photo for you and others to enjoy. It is definitely worthy of lots of praise!

Kim Stevens said...

It's a beautiful sunset and you captured it wonderfully - gorgeous colors and slightly silhouetted. And yes if we don't pat ourselves on the back every now and again it could get lonely sometimes. And not because others don't think what we do is meaningful, or beautiful, but because not everyone expresses it. Obsessions? Just this morning I was obsessing in my garden after watering, trying to get refraction in the water drops . . . and then it got breezy. I decided to obsess tomorrow.... ; )

Cathy H. said...

Gorgeous sunset!! I love that you enlarged it and hung it!! I, too, feel the little twinge of disappointment when I take a photo I LOVE and no one else seems to notice! Thanks for you reminder that I can pat myself on the back and enjoy my own photos!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I was just out side obsessing over a sunset. A couple of people walked by and said what are you waiting for? This isnt that great of a sunset... yet I knew there would be! I am going to post to our flikr pool cuz well, who cares if others didnt see it. I DID!!

Honestly I think as woman we are almost trained to please others -- we need to please our selves and be done with it! But like the others I really do like your finished product and from a balance stand point its nice-- ;)

Hugs --Claudia

Carol said...

OHHH! I LOve this advice! Ya gotta love yourself and celebrate your success! Ride on is right!

Carol said...

There's nothing better than a sunset. And I especially love it when you make something really mundane (like someone's old shack) and create beautiful art from it. Thats really rewarding. You've inspired me to print and hang! (pat,pat,pat to you!

Joddo said...

Awesome advice! I really need this. I tend to base my work on what others think and I have a very opinionated family. I'm going to do this!! I deserve it. TA DA!

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