Saturday, December 18, 2010

Crawling out of the Woodwork

Best Lawn Display Ever!

My Christmas Tree!

It's December 18th, almost the end of the year, and almost the end of the Presence Process. Shayne is away in Vancouver right now, so I'm left here with some time to reflect, so to speak. It felt good to turn 32 this year, no particular reason, but it feels like it'll be a good year, and I actually feel stronger to turn older, proud almost.

Shayne took me for High Tea at the Windsor Arms!

This year was pretty uneventful, and pretty lethargic on my part. I think I may have strayed farther away from my creativity then I have in a long time, but I hope this will all change. I'm not expecting it to change on it's own, but rather, I have some plans to work on fixing this problem. I've been (nearly) completely alcohol-free for nine weeks now, one more week to go. This is a feat I am most proud of, as I never took myself to be a person who could manage in any social situation without alcohol. Honestly, in almost 15 years I haven't ever attended a function without a beer or a glass of wine in my hand, but these past few months, I've done this over, and over, and over again, and you know, it's not half bad. It kinda allows me to find joy in things that are 'real', the fun people around me, the jovial conversations and rounds of 'Mord le Sac' (played sober it is actually easier!) I have found that it's easy not to drink at parties and bars because there is certainly enough stimulation to keep my mind fun and active, alas I admit, I'm looking forward to drinking without guilt! One more week to go.


Was out 'acting my age', appropriately until 5:30am this morning (getting older and not drinking do not have any bearing on staying out until the wee hours playing crazy games). It was Daniel & Ryan's annual Christmas party which is always a blast, and always a very, very late night. Our traditional, and painful, party game normally doesn't even begin until round about 3am, when most of the guests have gone home.


A funny thing has been happening more and more frequently though, and this is what brings me to the title of this post. It seems that the world is shrinking, as I tend to run into people from my past in the most random ways. A good friend of mine brought her new guy to the party last night, and I did a triple take when I saw him. He used to live with another very good friend of mine, many years ago, and here he was, after so many years.


This happened on Halloween too. Before heading to Lee's Palace, I followed some friends to a house party being hosted by the cousin of my friend's colleague, totally random right? Turns out the 'cousin' (host of the party) is the best friend of an old friend of mine. We had an evening of beers together a year ago, and of course, his friend (my old friend) was also there, along with another guy we had hung out with over 6 years ago. There are random reunions happening everywhere to me these days, it's amazing.


Anyway, this new year will be starting off with a detox (I have never done one before), singing lessons (already paid for by Shayne, loves) and a 12 week creative process workshop. All I need to buckle down with after all of this, is my cello. We've been apart too long!

Daniel & Ryan's Wedding

Chanel No.5

I actually love this!
By Baz Luhrmann.




Friday, December 3, 2010

Wise Words From a Wise Man

I have often thought about the whole realm of commenters online, and it makes me crazy. I don't have to deal with it personally, as this little blog of mine is very obscure, but I know that many people out there do deal with this on a daily basis. There are negative haters the world over.

You could post a funny video of a cute kitten and there will be more then a few people who hate it and bash it. That's the thing with the internet, the anonymity brings out the worst in people, and they'll say the most negative things just because they can. It'll never stop. I understand that there is always room for opinion and debate, but it is so often directed personally at people, turning opinion into insult.

So why would a beautiful post on a very public forum, boasting HDR photography receive over 200 comments, many of which simply putting down the art-form as unaccepted and unrealistic? Of course, art will always be a matter of opinion, but that's what makes it interesting. Art is subjective. So why all the hate?

Anyway, this very impersonal rant of mine is simply because I wanted to share some wise words from a very wise man I know: my boyfriend.

HDR photo by Shayne Gray

So funny how people get so bent out of shape and borderline offended by HDR.

In the mid-1800's Gustave Le Gray (and others-see works by Oscar Gustave Rejlander for example) put negatives together to produce a single image. He overexposed for the water (with blown out sun and sky), then underexposed for the sun/sky (with water clipped in dark shadow). People have been debating the integrity and validity of these techniques ever since. 150 years later...here we are still mud-slinging over the very same issue!

funny that....

I personally think that HDR can definitely be overdone, though I think it can be a very cool effect when used "properly". But even if it isn't...why should we argue about it? Even if it's totally unrealistic...someone created that image because it was interesting to them. I think that should be valid enough whether I like it or not. If I'm a photographer why should I have to depict things exactly as they are? On the one hand, HDR can help us get closer to the dynamic range our eye sees, though it's still a long way off. On the other hand even if it's "unreal" or unbelievable, we can think of it as taking something out of nature and creating something new just as many other art forms do.

Other visual artists strayed from realism long ago, and despite heated debate, it has become now more widely accepted to paint vertical and horizontal lines filling the boxes with red, yellow and blue. So why should this not be accepted in photography?

Does a musician have to mimic the sound of the wind in the trees?

And speaking of music, if I don't like...say...Brittany Spears...what difference does it make if I publicly say how terrible I think her music is? Lots of other people seem to like it. I can still have my opinion and others who like it can have theirs - really it's a moot point to argue whether it should be there or not....

Does "the overuse have to end"? If I don't like...I won't look at it. When Brittany Spears comes on the radio...I'm well within my right to change the channel!

This really is an interesting topic and the discussion could go on all day. I'll try and post a discussion within the week for anyone who's interested at: www.shaynegraylearnsphotography.blogspot.com