Friday, November 19, 2010

What Took Me So Long

I have always loved photography. I have always enjoyed creative pursuits. Alas, I have never had the confidence or the risk tolerance to pursue these things professionally. I haven't even been willing to enter a lousy photography contest. Ever. The first time I shared anything creative that I made (outside of a classroom setting where it was required) was earlier this year on still life 365.

But I could only share pieces of mine because Angie started actively asking for work. As a part of her effort and for the success of this amazing project, I could put aside my own ego/insecurity/vanity and participate, but on my own, I  never could. I posted that first submitted piece, a sestina, on this blog months after I wrote it and then only because the blog was visible solely to me at the time. For some reason, on sl365, I don't see the work I submit as about me at all, but rather as a part of a dialog among people who share the experience of babyloss and who use a variety of media to work through that experience. At the same time, it is as though a switch was flipped and I can and want to do more creative stuff! In front of others (potentially)!

From where I sit now,  my earlier reticence seems awfully pathetic. Not because I am great at any of this stuff. I recently had a revelation that someone's greatest talent might not actually be that great in the grand scheme of things. We have such a hard on for fame and greatness in our culture that it is easy to lose sight of how truly rare those things are. If the thing I am best at is photography, well, I am keeping my day job.

But I have hampered my own progress along the continuum of mediocrity by not exposing myself to greater scrutiny. That is, until this week!  I recently joined the local photography club. One of my neighbors is a member and I like her a great deal. I started going to meetings with her early this year and last month, I joined. This month, I entered the competition. The theme was water.

This image was eliminated in the first round because it did not adhere closely enough to the theme. I wasn't surprised, but I thought I would take the chance. Still, it got a laugh, which was a very nice reaction. I was hoping for a bit more feedback from the judge, but the judge actually didn't do a lot of thoughtful critiquing in my opinion.

The second image, which you may recognize from my masthead is one I have played with -- cropping, adjusting the sharpness, exposure and contrast. This is the most recent incarnation of the shot. I think it is more powerful without the other boats. It got an honorable mention.

And I owe it all to the inspiration I have drawn from others in the community.


  1. let it flow, I like both your photos very much and hope you will post more.

    To me creativity is a way of speaking a language and art is a form of communication so any piece of creativity will "speak" more to some than to others. I don't think it requires anybodies feedback as such, I just listen to your art, to the inner voice. Maybe or if you share your wonderful work others might take something away from it that is far beyond a picture or painting or piece o music or whatever else. I did. Thank you for sharing you photos.


  2. I've been following your blog for a while, and was really drawn to your creativity. I saw it in your writing and your photography. Good luck with your new endeavor! I also want you to know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award :-) Check out my blog for the details.

  3. Good for you for joining the photography club! Though you are looking for critique and feedback, 'let it flow' like Ines said. Look forward seeing more of your work if you decide to share!

  4. I love this post. This is amazing, truly. I think what I love about it is the bravery. It really is about learning when you ask for criticism, and ego just clouds all that crap. At least for me. I do think Lucy's gift to me was a freedom from self-doubt, or as I like to say, she gave me permission to make an ass out of myself. And what an ass I am.

    Love. xo.