Rebirth

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For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse.

So collapse.
Crumble.
This is not your destruction.

This is your birth.

Status: murky and muddy. My head’s full of cotton, which is all the result of a poor night’s sleep. Starting in January I’m going to start treating myself a little bit better over the weekend, so that I can reclaim my Monday. I seem to have more bad ones than good ones and I don’t like losing the day to behaviours which demotivate me.

Tasks for the week: complete selling the books, dispose of extraneous items which no longer have value and are just taking up space, complete the photography projects on my shot list, interview on Wednesday, reach out to select contacts from network……

And write. Everyday. 500 words per day is a realistic goal, and that will give me 2,500 words by Friday which is enough for the first draft of the short story to be called complete.

Nikon D3400
1/125 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 2800

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The Beauty of Life

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Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.

And I do a lot of dwelling, but not about the beauty of life. The opposite, in fact. My default seems to be dwelling on the empty portion of the glass rather than the full portion. I use it to feed my depression (or is it a result of my depression?), which is my comfortable space, my constant companion, and in a sick way I really miss it when it’s not around.

I’m fully aware that this isn’t healthy for me and I need to cultivate behaviours which will push me more towards positive thoughts and actions.

And that’s where I can use the photography. It forces me to look for the beauty in the most mundane things and then capture it on camera. The end result of which is incentive enough to focus on the full portion of the glass, I think.

Nikon D3400
1/125 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 4500

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Trials

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A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

Status: fucking tired. Wide awake at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so gave up trying around 4am and got up. Night terrors as usual, but these extended throughout the night which is unusual. Things peaking out from shadowy corners, movement across the room and from behind the drapes. My mind was obviously overactive last night seeing things which are not there.

Received odd feedback yesterday from an interview which I had two and half months ago. I’d long forgotten about it, rightly getting the impression during the interview that they weren’t really interested, which is fine. That said, the tardiness of the response and inelegant content of the message was a little off-putting and has left me wondering if I should seek clarification or leave it alone. Perhaps that’s all I need to know about the organisation, tactless correspondence as an indicator of the way they approach employee relations.

Still, is this an opportunity to make some changes?

Nikon D3400
1/640 sec
f/9
18mm
ISO 100

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Resistance

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It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

Status: procrastinating again. I’m at that part of the day, very early in the morning, where I’m full of hope about what the day could be, and then I sink into little self-indulgences designed to provide immediate gratification, but to also delay working on things which will give me fulfillment in the long run.

This is a hard one to get past, and I’m afraid I’m losing the battle. The day goes by, and then a week goes by, and then a month goes by, and I use that lack of completing things to self-flagellate. So, I’m stuck in this cycle of immediate gratifying dopamine hits which provide nothing of long term benefit, and then use that behaviour to beat myself up.

I’ve tried a bunch of different things in order to de-emphasize the former and focus on the latter, and nothing seems to be sticking. So, I have to ask myself: is this really what I want to do? Do I actually want to pursue photography and writing (because at the moment it looks like the answer is No), or should I set it to the side and focus on something else?

I’m being foolish. I think it’s time to make a change…..

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Neon and Early Mornings

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Lord, please help me find the strength to remain chaste…….but not today.

Status: tired, low energy. Awake at 2pm and couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to give up around 4am and just start my day. Upside, downside. The early start gives me extra time to work on my task list for the day, however because I’m dragging my feet I’m not really capitalising on the extra time, so it’s a wash.

Suspect that this is a “hangover” from yesterday, which was not a good one. I’m feeling generally better today, but yesterday my depression was getting the better of me and it usually takes me a day or two to pull myself up from the depths and shake it off when that happens.

White-knuckling it at it’s finest. I really shouldn’t do that, I think it’d be better if I talk to someone.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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Trial and Error

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“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.” – Seneca

I’m frustrating myself this morning. Reviewing photos from the last two weekends and not seeing in the photo what I saw in the subject when I took the picture. Not to mention the limitations of the camera in low light and high ISO settings being very apparent; I don’t know why I insist on asking the camera to do things outside of it’s capabilities.

And I think that sums it up quite nicely, I’m focusing a little too intently on the negative which is a reflection of my mood this morning. It might be best if I set this to the side for the moment, take a deep breath and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

In the meantime, what are the lessons I’m learning from this experience?

I definitely need to let the photos “marinate” and then look at them with fresh eyes and no expectations. I’m asking the photo to be something it isn’t and then getting frustrated when it won’t be that thing (it can’t be that thing).

Practice. Composition is the next thing I need to focus on. Photographing with intent. Minimal reliance in editing software to “tart” up a mediocre photo.

Stick with the camera’s strengths. A reasonable amount of light and keep the ISO settings as low as possible. The good thing about the camera is I can open the aperture to it’s widest setting and still get good depth of field.

Ok, let’s try again.

Nikon D3400
1/250 sec
f/8
18mm
ISO 110

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The Student

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

A wider angle on this photo would have been better, cutting out the buses diminishes the photo somewhat, in my opinion. A photographer I’ve been following said that he takes a wider photo – more than he needs – in order to have the flexibility to crop and/or straighten it later without losing any of the important parts of the composition. Lesson learned, will incorporate that into the next set of photographs I take.

So, I’ve learned this lesson but are there others sitting in front of me that I’m ready to see?

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/16
52mm
ISO 100

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