Friday’s Grab Bag

Friday’s Grab Bag

Wednesday’s Dragon metaphor for resistance seem to hit a nerve. I am glad it did. I know that many of us find all kinds of reasons not to fulfill our dreams or pursue our creative sides. I have gotten further into Pressfield’s book, the War of Art and I can honestly say it is good. But, please do not confuse me saying this is a “good and helpful book” with complete endorsement. He is coming at life from a humanistic stance that I just don’t buy into. But, with his philosophical agenda aside and taking a strong grip on the values you hold dear, this book can really give you a wake up call on those things that are keeping you from fulfilling your vision. Get it and read it. But know where he is coming from. I press on.

Tomorrow is the Scott Kelby Photo Walk. If you are joining us, please meet up at the Kapitan Kling Mosque at 3:00pm. Then join some of us for the Japanese Bon-Odori Festival from 6pm till 10pm at the Esplanade.

There has been some heated discussions over at PixelatedImage Blog. Seems David hit a nerve about full sensor cameras like the 5DMKll vs the cropped sensors like the 400D. Check it out his post Sens(or) And Sensibility and weigh-in if you dare!

Speaking of David DuChemin and I was, he released the info on his new book this week. VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography will be released late this year. You can pre-order your copy at Amazon.com. I am looking at a draft of this book and trust me, this is another winner. You will want this in your library. Especially if you have any thought or dreams of going pro.

One thing about living abroad is that for many it is a trancient life. Those of us that are the expatriate community come and go from our host culture like a spring breeze. This weekend a very good friend and his family will be returning back to the US. Another casualty of the economy. His company needs him home. Bruce Watson has been a great source of encouragement, and inspiration. I hope that I have helped him even a little with his vision and passion in his family video production. I know I cost him a lot when I introduced him to the 5DMKll, but he will not regret it. Thanks Bruce and family for your love and never ending hospitality. Be good and let’s tweet!

I beat the dragon back on another level (note: I didn’t kill it, just made it step back) this week. I started work on a long awaited photo essay I shot in India last month. However, I am frustrated with Soundslides Plus. I like the results, just not the journey.

On a more lighthearted note. Please be careful where you tweet or text. 😉

TRAVIS, N.Y. (WABC) — A teenager is recovering after falling several feet into an open manhole. She was texting and walking when it happened. “I fell in a hole,” Alexa Longueira said. The Travis resident laughs about it now, but when the accident happened, it was a shock. She was walking along Victory Boulevard about to read a text message on her girlfriend’s cell phone when the sidewalk was suddenly gone. “Like, there was no warning about a big, open hole,” she said. It was a big, open manhole. Alexa tumbled six feet underground and landed in four inches of raw sewage. “A manhole. My kid falls down a manhole,” Kim Longueira, said. In a word, Alexa’s mother says it was horrible. “She was smelly,” she said. Alexa also had cuts across her arms and down her back. They know it could have been worse if the sewer had been full or if Alexa had hit her head. Workers on the scene told kim they had left the manhole unattended in order to get cones to mark it off. “DEP is conducting a full investigation of what happened during a manhole incident on Victory Blvd. where workers were flushing a high-pressure sewer on Wednesday evening. We regret that this happened and wish the young woman a speedy recovery,” said DEP spokesperson Mercedes Padilla.

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8 Comments

  1. Bruce Watson

    Thanks for the kinds words. Your family has been a blessing to us in countless ways. And as many folks can affirm, you are a creative inspiration. I believe you will continue to be a blessing and inspiration to us even when we are living on the other side of the world.

    Reply
  2. Matt Brandon

    Gavin, I might have been a little early in my reading to make such a claim. But in the chapter titled “Resistance and Fundamentalism” (pg. 33-37) he make some statements on humanism that are a bit tricky. A bit of a non sequitur. He states that the “humanist co-create the world with God and this is why they love life so much.” As if anyone who is not a humanist cannot love. This was just after he railed about how fundamentalist are out to destroy the world. It is true that extremes are always dangerous. But the way he put forth his argument it makes it sound (and maybe he doesn’t mean this) that if one has a conservative believe system or is somewhat “religious” that they are relegated to non creativity. That holding onto fundamental beliefs dooms one to failure. If I am reading this right and this is indeed his point, then what about some of the great creative writers, poets and thinkers of history? How did they succeed with this yoke around their neck? Even today we have examples like musicians Bruce Cockburn, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) writers like C.S. Lewis, leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and more. All of these folks have a deep faith that gives or gave them hope of some kind.

    Now with that said, I want to remind you and the others reading this that I agree with 90% of what I have read so far. All I was doing in my post above was stating that I don’t buy all his arguments “hook line and sinker” (as we say in the South). The concept, the overall goal of his message is right on.

    Reply
  3. Gavin

    Got you. Although what I’m hearing on the audiobook doesn’t seem to have touched on this – I don’t think it’s an abridged version but have nothing to compare it to at present. Anyway, that’s not important. I think you’re right, the message is spot on and, like you, I’ve found it really relevant.

    I think you might be adding two and two and making five because I can’t believe that he’s saying you can’t be creative if you’re religious. He declares his own religious belief early on so that would be pretty contradictory. Plus, as you’ve pointed out, it would be a premise that’s so easy to disprove that it’s ludicrous. I don’t think he’s saying that Matt but I’m going to listen to it through again when I reach the end.

    Kudos to you though for seeing something that you would heartily disagree with but for ploughing on and taking something from what else you’ve read. And thanks again for the recommendation (Dd too!), this book has been a treasure.

    Reply
  4. David duChemin

    There is a distinct difference between being religious/faithful and being a fundamentalist. In part that difference is in humility. Humility allows for questions which in turn allow for art. Fundamentalism in the sense in which Pressfield uses it is about answers and propaganda and does not honour questions. Propaganda makes lousy art.

    Remember too that there are both secular and religious humanist traditions. Humanism is not synonymous with atheism.

    Anyways, I think you’re reading too much into it. I think, rants about fundamentalism aside – and agree with his stance on this – that his paradigm leaves plenty of room for theistic belief. He believes in muses and faeries for God’s sake 🙂

    Pressfield, if you’re reading this – your book is a gift – thank you.

    Matt – in two months we’ll be in Ladakh!

    Reply
  5. Matt Brandon

    I admitted I might be. Let me read on and we will see. 😉

    Reply
  6. peter berg

    Nice one. From my limited experience, by far the best posture to adopt is humility. This goes for stepping into a foreign culture, meeting with a new client, or dealing with conflict in relationships. Fundamentalism restricts and defines boundaries. Humility allows for questions, dialogue and understanding…. and yes, (thanks david) then allows for art – both the creation and understanding of it.

    bring on ladakh… 🙂

    pb

    Reply
  7. Matt Brandon

    Thanks Peter for chiming in here. The truth is, the more I get into the book the more I like it. There is a tightrope I feel he is walking that I think we all have to walk; not being distracted, getting the work done and yet not become self absorbed. Some of his chapters on Resistance sound a little like, damn the family and the friends, listen to no one and follow your dream, let the pieces fall where they may. Again, I am not sure he is really saying that, it just might be my own demons speaking and I am hearing them through his words. Make any since?

    Reply
  8. DT

    On the slide show front – have you looked at the Proshow products by Photodex?

    I am using the Proshow Producer product for personal use – to make DVD slideshows of my trips using still images. Though it is possible to integrate video too. I believe its possible to make web based shows from the package as well though I haven’t tried it as yet.

    Their other product Proshow Gold does something similar but isn’t quite as sophisticated.

    You can download the trial from Photodex website as a trial and see how you get on.

    Reply

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