Ok, so I'm going to post a response to our readings (and listening) for Picture Story this week.
First up: Lensworks (http://www.lenswork.com/lensworkpodcast1-3.htm) podcast entitled 10,000 hours.
Vince Lombardi said & Ansel Adams quoted - "Success happens when opportunity meets preparation."
Bumper sticker - "The harder I work, the luckier I get"
The 10,000 hour rule - to actually be really good at something you have to put in 10,000 hours of (my addition) - being not so good at it.
Ansel Adams - You cant make a descent photograph until you have made 10,000 negatives.
Well, I guess I should have about 6 or 8 good photos then. No, actually there is something really important that I realized by listening to this - I definitely feel, and quite frequently, that I should be making better images than I do, but I need to remind myself that this is all just a development faze - which bring us to a few select responses to Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird:
I read the reviews about this book before I bought it and couldn't help but wonder a bit, am I reading this for a photo class? Then I started reading it and was actully suppressed at how much that she has to say about writing translates to what I feel about photographing.
In the intro she writes that through her childhood years she felt like she could be a writer and in high school and college she had this thought, and "Then I wrote some terrible, terrible stories." She echoes this about several more of her stories and in a sadistic way it is refreshing to hear: I have long thought that I could be a good photographer. And I am. But so many times I pull out my camera for something and shoot and when I review it I just can't help but feel something to the effect of - So I want to make my living doing this but what I am seeing on my computer screen is just simply no good.
For an author - getting published is that bar that many measure themselves up to, by Lamott repeats her point that publishing isn't the goal - its writing. For a photographer - maybe landing that job is comparable to being published. We have all seen out work printed and published, but maybe its getting that real photo job where you can actually say - Yes I am a photographer and that is actually how I make my living. That, I think, is the measuring bar that I place upon myself. Maybe its validation - that someone out there thinks enough of my work to say - I will pay you to continue. But this isn't the goal. the goal is photographing and photographing well.
And to continue my analogy of Lamott's analogies - she quotes E.L. Doctorow on pg. 18 as saying "writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." This is something I really need to remember when working on photo stories - I find myself often planning what the finial piece is just as I am starting, and this is something I have to break myself of. Back to the Zen of Photography - I need to clear my mind and be present in the moment. Additionally, I do feel as if I can see about 3 feet in front of me as I begin to wind my time in J-School down. What are my next steps, where am I heading next, what is this going to open up to me? I don't know, but my focus needs to be on the few feet in front of me.