Wednesday, 25 January 2012
The Shrinking of the List
Today I completed the last of my 'for other people' tasks. Teaching over, I provided feedback on the last student story, and emailed it to her immediately, before I felt compelled to read it again and add to my comments. Jobs like this could go on indefinitely if I allowed them to.
And I, finally, finished editing the images from an overlarge, overindulgent, photo shoot.
Our local blacksmith plans to clean up the front portion of his workshop and turn it into a showroom for the stoves he sells. So he asked me, through Stevie, if I'd take some photos before he does so. Yes, I said, I'd love to. The place is astonishing, filled with all sorts of tools and boxes, old signs and crates. Buried amongst the drill bits I was sure I'd find the very story of blacksmithing. How could I say no?
But I'm no professional photographer, I'm just a woman with a camera who likes stories, so off I went with my non-professional camera, a tripod, and one light, and snapped away for about three or four hours. It wasn't until I uploaded the shots to my computer and looked at them that I thought, 'shit!'
It's taken me over a month to go through them all and decide on which ones to give him and which to discard. I'm crap at post production, photoshop fills me with dread, so apart from a little cropping and lightening/darkening if a photo isn't any good when it comes off the camera there's nothing I can do to save it. The other problem is I worry that the story in my head, and that comes out in my shots, isn't the same as the story in anyone else's. I worry that the photos I take will be boring for everyone else. So one of the reasons it took me so long to edit this batch was that I spent hours staring at each one wondering if this is what he, the customer wants. That I haven't asked for anything in return, let alone money, doesn't render an affirmative answer to that question any less important. I really don't want to give him a pile of disappointing images. But what can I do, the photos I took are the photos I took?
Now my 'other people' tasks are done I am free to do my 'me' tasks. Though tomorrow (actually today now I see the time) I have a meeting at the university about a research assistant position that has come up. If they feel I can do it, and I feel I can do it this free time will be short. While it lasts I'll come and read as many of your blogs as I possibly can, and finish my book (that's the one I'm reading, not the one I'm writing which will have to wait a little longer).
P.S. Did you hear that Pure by Andrew Miller, which I read during my book a day challenge (see last post) and loved, has just won the Costa?