Funtography and Other Guilty Goals

I’ve had this idea that I should upgrade my phone for no reason other than the better camera. I have the now ancient iPhone 3G. If Apple follows its normal pattern and releases a new version of the iPhone next summer, I will most certainly upgrade then. I’m trying to hold out until then. The little devil on the shoulder, though, keeps telling me I need a new phone now, now, now.

Here’s one of my attempts to silence it (yes, I did post this pic earlier today):

Check out this print I took with Retro Camera for iPhone.

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Just Haphazardry

If I can’t get the new phone with the slightly better camera, I’ll just have to settle for new photo apps on the old phone. I used the Retro Camera app in this case. Fun stuff.

This makes me think I can possibly pull off a photo-a-day project for 2011. I wanted the better phone cam because I knew I couldn’t do a photo every single day without relying on my phone. My heart does belong to my Canon Rebel T1i, but I can’t lug the big SLR everywhere I go. I can’t take “serious” pictures every day. In truth, I probably can’t take serious pictures ever. I’m not a professional. I’m not even a skilled amature. I’m just an enthusiast.

Thus, my goal for 2011 is to do a photo-a-day, but to do it by relying heavily on funtography. Phone apps with built-in effects are just the ticket then.

Also, I think some light editing of T1i pics might be called for. I played around with the online photo editor Picnik today. This, I think, was my favorite variation of the “Wild Things” shot:

Wild Things (Focal B&W)

Funtography.

I want to do the photo-a-day project for the levity, for the relaxation, for the chance to practice the craft, and for the artistic discipline. I’m not sure why I think funtography and discipline go together, but somehow it makes sense to me.

Still, I have the guilt. If I’m going to sink money into cameras and lenses, I tell myself, I need to take it more seriously. I’ve had the T1i for nearly a year now, and I still don’t understand all of the functions. I’ve just been playing with it.

Playing. Just playing. Should I let myself get away with that? Who cares that I bought the camera as a relaxation tool? I spent money on it. I use it often. Shouldn’t I make myself study it? Shouldn’t I make myself learn more about it before I allow myself to buy new lenses or new editing software or anything of that nature?

Um…yeah, probably. But I have neither the time nor the energy to get too worked up about that. I do have a goal to learn more about the functions of my camera in 2011. I do have a goal to learn more about the techniques employed by serious photographers.

I also have a goal to keep the camera as something that is simply for my own pleasure. It’s an expensive toy, but it’s still cheaper than therapy.

Today’s Reverb 10 prompt is “let go.” What I’m going to let go of in 2011 is the idea that every art form I adopt has to become a competitive sport. Funtography. That’s all I know and all I need to know.

Variations on Some Wild Things

Here’s an image I’ve been playing around with in Picnik.

Original

Wild Things (Original)

Sepia

Wild Things (Sepia)

Holga-ish

Wild Things (Holga-ish)

Lomo-ish

Wild Things (Lomo-ish)

Orton-ish

Wild Things (Orton-ish)

Focal B&W

Wild Things (Focal B&W)

Picnik is simple. Picnik is fun. I’m a real fan of the Holga-ish effect. I use it often. Normally with Holga-ish I fade the color out to pure black & white. This time I left a touch of color in. I think I like that even better.

I’m not sure what this exercise has accomplished, but I’ve had fun doing it. So there. 🙂

Let Go (Reverb 10, Day 5)

Today’s prompt: What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

The incessant question in every overworked person’s mind is “What can I leave behind?”

IMG_0366

I’ve tried to leave some things behind this year, to let some responsibilities go so as to salvage a little of my own sanity. I’m not sure I’ve been very successful. I’m not sure I have let anything go. I have abandoned projects midstream, and I have left people waiting for responses from me, but “let go” isn’t the term for this, not in any positive sense of the term. What I’ve done is struggle.

What I’d like to let go is my own idea that I have to be all things to all people.

What I’d like to let go is a big chunk of my overload work.

What I’d like to let go is my own frustration at not being able to tie all of the threads together.

It wouldn’t hurt if I let go of a few more pounds along the way.

I haven’t been successful at any of this. I’ve been anxiety-ridden. I’ve hit my own limits, and I feel there’s nothing I can do. The economy is bad. I have no choice but to take what work I can get even if it is too much. I could, of course, make life easier on myself by not blogging, not taking on projects, and not getting involved with groups and people and expectations. I could become the kind of person who just goes home and watches America’s Got Talent at the end of the day.

That isn’t me, though. It isn’t who I want to be. Thus, we’ve hit the conundrum faced by addicts everywhere. The one thing that could lighten my load is the one thing I don’t want to give up. In this case, it’s my own mental drive. Even when it exhausts itself, abuses itself, and drives itself to the point of despair, I have to have it to cope. Maybe my mental drive is nothing more than a hamster running on a wheel, but it is mine, and I will spin it and spin it until it kills me if I want to.

I can possibly channel my addiction to mental stimulation in healthier ways, however. I can learn macrobiotics and yoga. I can set more realistic goals. I can teach myself not to make promises I can’t keep. I can ease up on if not let go of my inner urge to prove myself.

At least it is pretty to think so this morning.

Yesterday, my friend said I needed more turtle in my post. Here we go.

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I’m probably not ever going to be the turtle who lines up in a row with everyone else, but even the turtle who picks his own path knows to take it slow. I’ll get there when I get there, and so will you, my friend. Until then, it’s turtles all the way down.