Photography and Comicon

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Status: groggy. head stuffed full of cotton. I slept heavily and for a long time last night, but still woke up feeling like I had a hangover even though I didn’t drink anything. I had zero forward momentum this morning. I was out and about on Saturday night, but didn’t drink all that much when compared to what I normally imbibe. So, feeling like this on a Monday morning was a little unexpected. When I get back to the island I’m going to retire this aspect of my life.

In the meantime…….

Photography.

Spent the whole weekend at Comicon taking photos and such. I can already see an improvement in the composition of my shots from the ones I took 6 months ago at the FanExpo. I seem to be gravitating more towards portrait style photography of the cosplayers – I like seeing the human element in the costumes versus the actual costumes themselves. I also found that I’m taking more photos of People Doing Things, or street photography as it’s referred to sometimes. Something to keep in mind going forward and as I continue to develop my style.

Another positive from the weekend: one of the guests at the event asked me to take a portrait photo of him and also offered to pay me for it. I declined the money, but took the photos just for the experience. I don’t need the money, but perhaps I can use this as a lead into a paying job? Hard to imagine, but we’ll see what happens. In any case, I’ll process his photos and send them over to him in about a week.

Dating.

Quite a lot to write about here, and I may split this into a couple of entries as I don’t feel like I have the mental capacity to tackle this right now.

The Jewish lady accompanied me to the Con on Saturday and I was really uncomfortable the whole time she was with me. I spent most of the time feeling anxious about whether or not she was enjoying herself – I mean, not many people are up for these kinds of events and I’m okay with this. It just means that I’ll go on my own, which is not an issue.

I have to stop here. Will pick this up again tomorrow…..

 

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Born Again

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Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

Status: good. need more sleep though. slept through the alarm again this morning, which is not very helpful because I have a pretty busy day ahead. I’m not exactly sure if the morning meditation is helping anymore. Maybe I should take the next step with it and see if that improves my focus.

Writing.

With everything that is going on, my reading has gone into the toilet. I just don’t have enough time for it, and I need to make some space to read because it does fuel the writing. Not sure exactly how I can do that; maybe dispense with the Joe Rogan podcast for now and get back to audiobooks. At least then I can “multi-task” and listen to it when cooking/eating and working out at the gym. That should be good for at least 2 hours a day.

Photography.

Went back through my older photos last night to see if I had anything worth editing and posting. Found a few, including the above shot. I actually quite like it, and while the composition is not the best, it lent itself to the editing processing quite well. The way the light from the sun plays off the eagle creates some drama, which is important for a black and white photo. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’ll spend a bit more time outside practicing street photography. I definitely want to get a bit of that done before I leave.

This weekend is Comicon and I’ll be there both days taking photos. Saturday I’ll have my Jewish wing woman for a few hours, but Sunday I’ll be on my own. This is a good opportunity to take a lot of portrait/people pictures in a space where they’ll be welcoming of the attention, so it’s a great place to get some practice without the fear of someone getting a little itchy that you took their photo. I’ve been challenged a couple of times taking photos of people on the street and it’s not a pleasant experience, for sure.

Date.

Connected with a part-time model on the dating app and we started a conversation about getting together. I was interested initially, mostly because she said I could photograph her for free, but then the convo veered off in a weird direction which then got my common sense tingling. Firstly, she will only correspond with me by email, she then told me about a hard luck story which centered around a rough relationship, her IG page links to some kind of Patreon page which has semi-nude photos of her, and she is stupidly covered in tattoos. I’m almost always up for going out with bad girls because they are fun AF, but this one looks a little bit too sketchy for me. The trust isn’t there and I think I’m going to listen to my common sense and give this one a miss. My instincts are typically pretty good, so I’m confident that this is the right move.

Besides, I have better options on the table. There’s no incentive for me to mess around with this kind of bad girl.

Nikon D3400
1/20 sec
f/11
40mm
ISO 100

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Captain Marvel and Neurokinesis

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Nothing lasts. You think it’s going to. You think, ‘Here’s something I can hold on to,’ but it always slips away. 

Status: good. overslept a little bit this morning. not fuzzy, sinuses are clear. My mood: good, not depressed and am generally upbeat.

Writing.

Sitting here struggling to write a review on Captain Marvel. I have that sinking unproductive feeling as I’m staring blankly at the page while intermittently watching the minutes tick past, and then distracting myself with a little YT dopamine loveliness to avoid experiencing that feeling.

I can charitably define it as a hit piece, which I’ve already decided I’m going to post to a number of different review sites. But, I’m hesitating. I’m thinking that this is overly venomous and negative, and at the end of the day I don’t know what I’m going to gain from doing this. Yes, I’m disappointed that they appropriated one of my favourite characters and turned it on its ear with a foreign narrative in order to sell more product. As companies do. However, my two cents won’t change that. Maybe it’s best to concentrate on more productive endeavours.

Fitness.

I’ve been struggling with shoulder injuries for years, tearing both rotator cuffs multiple times and then making numerous mistakes in both treatment and subsequent training regimens which have then perpetuated the injury cycle. Fortunately I’ve learned a little bit along the way, and I now know what to do and what not to do, so it’s not a completely wasted exercise.

Earlier this year I started to feel a pinching in my left shoulder when I raised the elbow above shoulder level. I’m not doing any exercises which require that movement anymore; a result of the frequent injuries and the implementation of preventative measures in order to enable me to workout normally and stay healthy. But I would feel it pinching when putting on a t-shirt or applying deodorant, and while mildly alarming, I did what I normally do: ignore it. As long as I can workout then I’m good, which is not the smartest thing to do.

I finally decided that it’s been long enough and I should probably have someone take a look at it before it get’s worse. (Side note: I need to start rewarding that kind of productive self-care type behaviour.) In any case, I booked an appointment with an RMT I’ve used in the past to see if the issue could be resolved.

Calling Tim an RMT is not the best descriptor. A kinesiologist by training, he’s also certified in a number of different techniques to promote healing and alleviate pain from sports injuries. And he clearly has a passion for what he does. I booked an ART (deep tissue massage) session online, but when I arrived he suggested neurokinetic therapy instead, explaining that this will permanently solve the problem.

It is honestly a very odd treatment; a combination of light touching, functional movement and viewing cue cards with either an ‘X’ or an ‘=’ sign on it. The end result however far exceeded expectations. At the end of the session, and even now as I write this, the pain is gone and the shoulder is moving freely. Tim explained that the muscles surrounding the rotator cuff had contracted and become “locked” in place which was preventing the shoulder from rotating properly when I moved it in specific ways. The end result of which was the rotator cuff muscle would get pinched between the bones in the shoulder, thus the pinching feeling. By releasing the “locked” muscles, the shoulder was able to rotate properly and therefore was no longer pinching the rotator cuff muscle.

It’s a fkn miracle. I’m so impressed with the treatment. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I move back to the island, because I’m pretty sure they don’t have this level of (cutting edge) sports/physical therapy there.

Photography.

Finished processing the food photos from my visit to The Chase last Saturday night. Other than the desert, the food wasn’t very photogenic. Despite my poor photography skills the end results were passable, but not great. I’m beginning to suspect that I don’t have the right lens for this kind of photography, but a poor workman blames his tools, so I’ll take it as a learning experience. I’m likely not going to post these to IG as I don’t think they’re good enough, but I will put them on YT for completeness’ sake.

Nikon D3400
1/80 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 1600

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Dates and Stuff

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The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.

Status: good. I’m actually okay this morning. Slept well. No brain fog or lethargy. Ticked off a few administrative tasks this morning. It’s better to save them for the afternoon, but it felt right to tackle them now versus later. I keep forgetting how much time they consume, but it’s done.

Dating.

The weekend is starting to take shape. I’m going to see the dysfunctionally compatible Jewish woman again this weekend. She’s expressed an interest in attending Comicon with me, which is surprising because it is a bit of an acquired taste, and I’m very used to women not really liking or even being remotely interested in these types of events. My plan was to really use the opportunity to take as many photos as I can, and having a wing woman might disrupt that a little bit. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe I can use this to my advantage. In any case, it should be fun.

I’ve also set up a coffee date with another prospective partner from the dating app on Friday afternoon. What did I do before this dating app made me so lazy? In any case, she’s a transplant, her written English is poor and she keeps subjecting me to nonsensical poetry. Based upon what she has written, she clearly she has her head in the clouds where unicorns and princesses live. I’ve seen this before and gather it’s a cultural thing. It’s also a sign that she’s impractical and likely spends more time daydreaming than actually working. I’m calling it now: I bet that she has some kind of non-job which in her words will, “allow me the freedom to make my own schedule and be my own boss, you know, so I can be all entrepreneurial and shit”. Which translates into “working” two hours a day and then spending the rest of the day painting her nails and posting selfies to IG with inspirational quotes and the hashtag YOLO.

So, why are you meeting her, bro? Because she’s hot. And I’m curious to see where she sits on the Vicki Mendoza diagonal. But mostly because she’s hot.

Career.

Working on securing living accommodations at the next destination. The tenant’s lease at one of my places is due to expire and they won’t be renewing it, so I think I’ll just move into the unit. It’s not really necessary to rent it out anymore. There is a bit of a gap between when I arrive and when the unit becomes available, so I’ll need to secure a temporary living space. My cousin has offered up a spot for me at his place,  but I think I’d rather do my own thing. That was until I started looking at the prices for short term rentals on the island. For something comparable to what I have right now, the cost is double to what I’m currently paying. Maybe I will take my cousin up on his offer. I think I’d rather use the money for photography equipment instead.

Nikon D3400
1/40 sec
f/4
26mm
ISO 400

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Slowly Making Progress

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My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Status: good. better than yesterday, but procrastinating heavily this morning. I was awake at 2:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so gave up and decided to start my day at about 4pm. Trying to work through a few items on the task list before I run out of steam, which typically happens when I get up so early.

Writing.

Not making great progress on this front, and I think I need to rededicate myself to the task. The process which I had in place before was working effectively, so I just need to pick that up again and drive this forward (which makes it sound less enjoyable than it actually is).

I received the edits on Weaver short story from the Editor over the weekend. Fully admit that I haven’t looked at it, and I’d like to start working on that today. The other item I have on the task list is completing the summary page for The Patriot story and then I can start circulating it around to publishing companies for feedback.

Photography.

Did some cost analysis this morning on buying a new PC in my current location versus waiting until I arrive at the next place before purchasing it. Along with the new camera equipment I’d like to start using Photoshop proper, or at least in tandem with Lightroom, and I need a more powerful PC for that. Surprisingly, it’s not that much more expensive here than there, but I think this is due to the sales which are going on right now.

The other issue I’m running into is on the warranty and support side. If I buy something here (or online from an unauthorised dealer like eBay or Amazon) and then transport it across international lines, I’ll lose the warranty. To get access to it, I’d need to ship the unit to someone here who would then have to get it serviced on my behalf. I think that’s more trouble than it’s worth and it may be best if I source a PC from a company which will provide support in my new location.

I also had another look at the system requirements for using Photoshop and I think my current rig is passable, at least in the short term. I’ll need to source a new PC eventually, but at least with this knowledge in hand there’s no pressure to pull the trigger on a more powerful rig now and I can look at pushing this out until later in the year. At the very least, it may be best start using it on my current PC and see if it meets my needs. If the answer is yes, then I’m good. If not then I’ll have a good idea what I need to take that next step and can then source it accordingly.

That’s another item completed from the task list.

Nikon D3400
1/80 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Wabi-sabi

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Imperfections are attractive when their owners are happy with them. 

Status: good. I mean kinda good. post weekend hangover which has left me feeling lethargic and apathetic this morning. That’s not uncommon for a Monday morning. Had a big Saturday night, which resulted in a slovenly Sunday recovering from the festivities. Fully admit that this is a big momentum killer and I seemed to only have the capacity for YT videos this morning when I woke up versus being able to engage with the task list. I think I need to retire this habit as it’s not working for me anymore.

Captain Marvel.

Very mediocre and forgettable. I think I’ll detail my thoughts about the movie into a separate blog post, but this was a very disappointing addition to the MCU.

Date.

Had two dates scheduled over the weekend. The lady I met on Saturday was actually quite nice and engaging. Very quickly realised that the reason we got along so well together was because our dysfunctions were compatible. She has almost the same background as me, and it looks like I’m a good fit to help her recreate her childhood environment. I could see through her body language that she was recognising characteristics in me which are similar to her primary caregiver.

The smart move here would be to run, not walk, in the opposite direction. She reminds me alot of Thais, and that was a fkn disaster which I have no interest in experiencing again. Still, I know this is a temporary situation because I’ll be leaving in two short months, so perhaps I’ll entertain a few meetings with her while I explore alternative options.

Second date for the weekend was due to happen yesterday, and she pulled a no-show. I’m vacilating between indifference and annoyance. She showed signs of enthusiastic interest leading up to the date, which at times felt a bit absurd that someone would be that interested before meeting in person, so I was a little surprised when she failed to show up at the cafe and also that she ghosted me. Part of me thinks that she revealed her true nature by not showing up, and therefore I’m better off having this information now and before I invested any more time into this. The other part of me just wants to send a ‘thanks-for-being-an-asshole’ kind of text message to her, but I know this likely won’t make me feel any better and it will just give her the opportunity to play the harassment card, even if my text is relatively benign.

It might be best to just leave this one alone. I mean, I now know everything I need to know about this person. There’s nothing more to be gained here.

Photography.

In a developing trend, the model I was due to shoot on Sunday decided to cancel at the last minute. Gave me an excuse which may or may not have been the truth. At least she didn’t stand me up, and I had enough time to make alternative plans.

I’m thinking that I may just make arrangements with alternative options, so I’m not wasting any more time with this one.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/7.1
18mm
ISO 100

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Poor Start

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Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.

Status: good. awake at 3:30am and then couldn’t get back to sleep. Drifted off just as the alarm rang, hit the snooze button and then slept for another hour and a quarter. Good grief. Need to work on recovering from poor starts like that. Was able to accomplish a few things this morning, but nothing of substance (I think), and the writing……

Writing.

Poor week for writing. Period. Because I didn’t know what to do next, I gave up yesterday and started working through the task list. Was able to tick a few boxes, but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them. And the poor start to the day today didn’t help. Need to regroup and try again. That said, I am going to set this aside and bang out a few items off the task list rather than let this hold me in place. Maybe I’ll be able to build some momentum this way.

Photography.

Finished processing all my photos from the last few weeks yesterday. I have a few good ones, others are WTF, but that’s okay. It’s all a learning experience. Will be going to The Chase on Saturday night, so good opportunity for food photos. And then will be working with a model on Sunday afternoon – two locations: street and boudoir. Curious to see how this plays out.

Did some cost analysis yesterday on buying new photography equipment here versus waiting until I arrive at the next place before purchasing it. If I wait, I’ll save almost $700, which is nothing to sneeze at and given the cost of the equipment, it’s a significant enough savings which will provide me with enough to spend on peripheral equipment like tripods and such.

Captain Marvel.

With a certain amount of trepidation, I’m going to see this movie on Saturday. Cautiously optimistic that it’ll be okay. Based upon the events in Avengers: Infinity War and what I know of the comic books (which is significant), Marvel is going to have to make some significant changes to the character’s origin, backstory and journey to get it to fit into the movie universe they’ve created. There was a bit of foreshadowing in Infinity War, which is in line with the comic, so I’m aware of one aspect likely to appear in the movie. But the rest is up for grabs. This is unlike any other Marvel movie to date, they’ll essentially be creating an almost brand-new character for the big screen, with the possibility that the only thing recognisable will be the character’s name. Everything else might be different.

Couple that with some rumblings I’m hearing about the potential political leanings of the movie and I’m not sure that I’m part of the target audience for this film. I just want to see an awesome Marvel superhero movie based on the comics I read as a kid. I have little interest in patronising someone’s self indulgent opportunity to do a little axe grinding. Which is what the filmmakers did with Black Panther.

Ok, let’s get on with it……

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 100

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