Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 3 - An experiment with a mirror

It's after 10 PM on Sunday night. I'm looking at the clock, wondering how it is I find myself on week 3 of the 2011 52 week challenge and still, I have yet to shoot anything. Like the first two weeks were better, but don't I learn?

The thought had entered my mind to just let it slip. This year we had agreed to a softer, gentler deadline. I could just shoot something tomorrow. Right? Procrastination.

But I reminded myself of an incredible speech I heard from a famous photographer. He had set out on a quest, to take one and only one photograph every day for 90 days. For most of us, that would be nothing, grab your phone, point and click once a day. Easy peasy. But Jim is no regular photographer, no sir. He was one of the few staff photographers for National Geographic. This guy was already a legend.

This is a story, as I remember hearing it, that he told at a speech he gave in the Twin Cities. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take it. He was outstanding and very inspiring. This story was from his adventure making the outstanding collection known as "Chased By The Light: A 90-Day Journey"

As the story goes, he spent the 90 days at his home near the Boundary Waters of far northern Minnesota. This is some of the most beautiful land you will ever see, but what he found was, some days, you just don't feel it or your busy with life's other challenges, like being married and needing to fix a sink. And after a long time of looking at what is usually described as God's Country, you just don't see anything that catches your eye. And remember, he's only taking a single shot. One click.

One night, it was getting very close to midnight. Scary close. He hadn't taken his shot all day. Since it was already dark, light was scarce. He got an idea, he would make a shot by enlisting his wife to hold a flashlight behind a waterfall. He had never said that none of these pictures would be staged, right? He took the shot and was able to continue on his quest, never missing a day and only taking one shot.

Well, if Jim Brandenburg can make it just one more day, damn, I can do it too!

I recently discovered a guy doing neat things with every day objects, his name is Terry Border. Check out his blog at Neat stuff.

I needed a shot, to get me through just one more week. Below is the shot I took tonight. I think the term shot has many meanings on this blog. Most of the time, I just mean photograph. Tonight, I think I mean, I took a chance.

My wife does a fantastic job of decorating our home. She finds the coolest things. Since Christmas is over and Martin Luther King Jr. day doesn't really bring about a great deal of home decorating, she goes with theme of snowmen. It's Minnesota and we do what we can. On the mirror in our entryway, she likes to put little nick knacky things. Bringing the two inspirations together, the first being, I just need to shoot SOMETHING and loving the little bent things, I turned the sign of the melting snow man towards a mirror and shot it's reflection. I suspect I could have just taken the picture without bouncing the sign off the mirror, but what fun is there in that? Besides, I may need it next week.

I took a shot.

As always, be sure to check out Flickr set I've started to collect this years challenge. And feel free to look around while you are there.

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