Thursday, July 31, 2014

That Inner Critic

So I bought a new camera yesterday.

I've been on a quest recently to rediscover who I am and who I want to be in the future. Part of that quest has led me to photography. I've always loved to take photos but since the advent of the mobile phone, it's been too easy to just point and shoot, with little thought to what I'm taking a photo of. The result is that I have hundreds (literally) of mediocre photos that clog my drive space. Honestly, it has allowed me to be lazy. Recently I keep hearing a voice (not a literal voice) that is urging me to start taking photos again. For about 15 years I've longed for a really nice camera; one where I can add a different lens and play with filters and lighting. It took my breath away at the expense, but I did it. I bought a camera and that inspired me to get out and take photos.

 It's been difficult to take time for me lately. I've either not given myself permission or I've simply been too busy. This morning I stopped the madness. I put my puppies in their crate (I try not to do that on my days off) and went to my favorite local park. It has rained for the last number of days and I wanted to try to capture images of water on plants.

It was eye-opening how my inner critic immediately jumped to the forefront to remind me that I'm just an amateur, "no one will ever buy your stuff," "they can do the same thing themselves if they have a good camera." I was a bit shocked because while I wouldn't mind becoming good enough to have my photos hanging on people's walls, it wasn't really the focus. My inner critic was desperately attempting to get me to give up and stop before I'd even attempted. It was difficult, but I shut that know-it-all up. I told myself that it doesn't matter if anyone likes my photography because it's about representing what I see... what my vision is and figuring out how to bring it into still life. I told myself that the one area where I'm truly patient with my own process is when I'm trying to frame the "perfect" shot or capture an image just right. Because of those two things, I'm not going to stop. You, my fantastic reader, will be forced to view what I find out there to capture in image.

Once shut-up, here is what I was able to capture...

The following are untouched.

 Needless to say, I LOVE my new camera!! That inner critic be damned!


I am missing. 

I have been missing for a long time. No one seems to realize that I'm gone. My image does not appear on a milk carton; nor is it on a flier taped to a shop window with a date indicating when I was last seen. No one is looking for me.

You might ask when I first disappeared. I cannot say for sure. I believe it to have been a gradual thing. At some point I decided to explore a path looking for a Grand New Adventure and, well, with one thing leading to another, I have wandered too far. Taken too many wrong turns. I no longer know where I am. Why I am here.

Who I am. 

I look in the mirror and I don't know that face. I squint, wondering if the distorted image will morph into something I recognize. I smile, baring teeth, the top lip slightly bigger than the lower, but that is only noticeable when I don't smile. A hint of dimples that I'd hoped would deepen, but didn't. I smile bigger and lean forward to stare into eyes so dark there appear to be no pupils. There is such sadness that lives there. So easily missed by the smile. Are those my eyes? Have they always been this way?

I look around me and think, "this is not my beautiful life." This world I have created around me is so far from what I had imaged. And I think, "I am missing. I have lost my way. Who am I? Where do I go next?"