Wednesday, September 26, 2018

SoFoBoMo: My Reflections

Red Blue Grey
I'm a hapless Gen-X fuck all. I'm grateful for both my identity and my world view which are both colored by, partly anyway, my generation. I believe there should be nothing but art. I believe that the pursuit of art is the only worthwhile endeavor a person should have. Art. Not money, not jobs, not god, not government, nothing, just art.

All that said, I think this SoFoBoMo program was a great thing for me to do. First, I got to think about a project as a whole, theme, tools, product. I got to learn, Open Office Draw and that in itself was worth the whole process.

I also think that I was completely unencumbered because of my lack of experience and my lack of education when it comes to photography and the whole process of putting a book together. I feel like this lack of experience made me more fearless. Sometimes it's the fearlessness that is so meaningful. Once we get more education and more experience, we become more afraid of making mistakes.

Even now, many weeks after finishing the project, I am still pleased with my results. If nothing more, the book is a tangible piece of my labor. Evidence of my work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SoFoBoMo: Choosing, Editing, Sequence.

Many years ago, I was talking with my Uncle Mark. I've always loved this man. We were discussing travel trailers. At the time I had a very small and very old travel trailer while he had a brand new one that was bigger than the house I had at the time. I had made some mention about my trailer being humble, nothing next to his. Then he said something that has stuck with me. He said, “It's not what you have, it's what you do with it.”

It's not what you have, but what you do with it. This statement is applicable to just about everything in life, I think. It's true. I feel this way about everything I do. I was once in a bar talking with someone who had a great idea for a screenplay but she was unable to write it because she didn't have a Mac. If it had been my idea for the screenplay I would have written it on beverage napkins. But that's who I am.

As I began to take images for my Solo Photo Book Month creative challenge, I went with what I knew. I knew my little Casio camera. I knew my town. I also knew that was where my knowledge ended.

Taking inventory of what I had, I didn't have much. Everything that I have is old. The camera is old. My laptop is old. My laptop is so old that it does not have a mirco card reader. I also use Windows XP. I would have to figure out how I would work my images into a PDF.

I had never edited a digital image. I had never made a PDF for pictures either. As far as I could tell as the project began, I would have to learn some new applications to finish my project. I also would have to get creative with it too as I was using older technology and I am generally resistant to buying software.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SoFoBoMo: My Concept. Ready Set and Shoot.

The first question before I began to do the Solo Photo Book Month, or SoFoBoMo, was what camera I was going to use. It is a good question because I have several camera: 2 Holga 120N, Holga 135BC, Pentax K1000, Casio Ex-10 and I have access to several more like the camera on my phone. To be sure, I spent several minutes deciding which camera to use. If I had ample time and ample money, I would use the Pentax. In fact of all the cameras I've ever had, and there have been dozens over the years, the Pentax is my favorite. And when you shoot on an old 35MM film camera nowadays, people think you're crazy.

Coming up with nothing, I decided to move on to the next question: what am I going to take pictures of? First of all, this challenge took place between July and August, so my time would be limited. I spent my summer days with my son, and the evenings took me to work. If I've learned anything about taking photos, it's best if done when alone.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

SoFoBoMo: Another Creative Challenge.

As Camp NaNoWriMo was coming to an end, I decided to figure out the next creative challenge to participate in. I mean, I had done NaNoWriMo last November to great success, and I did both Camps: April and July. The result was three manuscripts, not bad at all. The total amount of time for all three of these was somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 days. I know art cannot be tangible, and I know that there is no real way to gauge creative endeavors in a period of time. But I enjoyed the process all three occasions and if I could stretch those days on from 50 to 500, I would.

I don't know what it is about these creative challenges I like so well, if nothing more, it is a competition and I can work well with that. It could be that there is a built in deadline and that deadline is not only close, it gets closer with every moment.

So, there I was, finishing up Camp NaNoWriMo and researching other creative challenges.

They are many of these challenges. There are challenges for writers, filmmakers, musicians. They range in time periods from 24 hours to one month. I would love to get involved in the 24 or 48 hour film challenges, but alas, I would need a whole team of people for that.

When I found SoFoBoMo, I was sold. SoFoBoMo or Solo Photo Book Month, happens during any single 31 day period from July 1 through August 31. The concept is simple: take at least 35 images and put them into a PDF and your done.

Needless to say, I was up for the challenge.

I've been a shutterbug for most of my life. I've taken all sorts of photos and on all sorts of cameras. When I take pictures, it has always been a way to record a day, or in some cases, it has been a way to see a day. When you go out on a photo excursion, you purposefully take a closer look at the day: subjects, light, etc. And when this happens, you then record the day with the filter of feelings, longing, examinations