Thursday, February 11, 2016

It is currently a sunny, albeit blistery, 22 degrees in Chicago, which means it's a perfect time to look through old photos that I've never posted here and took with a used camera I bought about a year ago. Photos of my street at the peak of summer's golden hour or during that quick season when yellow and orange leaves gather in the curb. It's all mostly foliage, really.

Like many of my purchases, my camera (a Sony NEX-3K) is not very fussy and reasonably priced because I'm not a very extravagant person. Lately though, for my job and for personal reasons, I've been reading up on shooting manual, styling photos, camera lighting, design and marketing, pitching story ideas, optimizing websites, analytics and SEO, content promotion, etc., etc., which makes me think I should upgrade and spend my next paycheck on a Canon DSLR.

But really, I'm happy with my Sony, with its giant lens and in comparison, dainty camera body. I'm happy with how it takes photos that remind me of warmer tones when I look through on a frigid day in February. 

In my constant attempts to mejorar, or keep getting better at what I do, I think of Patti Smith, who I saw this fall in a church during her book tour for M Train. An attendee asked about the photography in her book, and she said, in a very Patti Smith way, "Oh I never bother with F-stops or any of that. I just look for beautiful things. I do it to create something for the day."

She's wise, that one. 

And while I'm excited to learn more, to shoot manual, to post more, to write better, I'm also heartened by Patti Smith's words (always) in M Train about her days and years when she never went anywhere with her writing: "I wasn't anybody," she said. "I worked in a bookstore and took leave to write a book I never really wrote." 

I'm heartened, I guess, by the idea of doing but never worrying about where that will take you.

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