April 13, 2013

Focus on the Light

Tragedy strikes, but learn to focus on the light

My camera and I have been through a lot together. My little Canon PowerShot has scaled mountainous waterfalls, darted between the waves of the ocean, and explored an abandoned coal breaker in search of adventure and the perfect angle. My little Canon has put up with scratches, dirt, and drops without a single complaint. Until now...

It began as a typical day in the life of an average twenty-something woman with far too much to do and lacking the time to do it all. I had plans to work a full day, exercise, and bake a cake for a birthday celebration the next day. Since that certainly wasn't enough to do in one evening, I decided to bake two cakes for a recipe review I intended to do for the blog too. Easy peasy, she says with a manic grimace!

The first problem was that the workout was on the opposite side of town. Solution: bake and photograph at my parent's place. Next problem, poor lighting in the kitchen. Solution: flood lights! See -- I had it all under control as I balanced a spotlight in one hand and my Canon in the other while focusing and framing the bowl of batter to look just right...until...

Fumble! My camera hovered in mid-air as I swatted spastically for it. Why hadn't I looped the chord around my wrist? I always loop the chord on my wrist!  The camera arced and fell face up into the bowl of batter.

I stood dumbfounded, thanked my lucky stars that the beaters weren't running, and pulled my camera out by it's chord. The glow of the screen was still emanating through a layer of yellow cake batter now coating half the camera.

After some screeches attracted the attention of my parents, we arrived at the decision to wipe off the batter with paper towels, scrub it down with a toothbrush, throw it in a jar with uncooked rice overnight, and pray for the best.

Tip: Emerging electronics in uncooked rice will help to remove moisture. 
In photography, the best photographs are captured by paying attention to the light. A soft sun beam, a dramatic sunset, the angle of a ray of light: a good photographer knows how to walk into a dark room and find the best angle, the best perspective to highlight the subject of the photo with drama and clarity that will transform the photo from dull to startlingly beautiful.

Life is also about chasing the light, about finding the good in bad situations. So often a tragedy or mistake can be worsened by a bad attitude. The problem is often not just the problem, but more so your attitude about the problem, as they say.

Succeeding in life is all about searching out the good in every terrible situation, whether it is a failed creative attempt, health, job, or the stress of trying to do it all. Keep the bad in perspective that it could always be a whole lot worse and remember the positive instead.

A good attitude won't make the problem go away, but it will make dealing with a mistake or hardship a little easier and less stressful to overcome.

My camera was covered in cake batter, this much was true. I may never be able to recover some of the images from my memory card. But I focus on the positive. The camera landed lens side up, the camera didn't break on impact, and I was in a place where I could immediately clean the camera and soak it in uncooked rice.

Despite all odds, the camera still functioned when I turned it on the next day. While the memory card may be corrupted (still trying to figure that out), the camera itself had the will to survive!

Chase optimism. Follow the light in each shot.

And keep a jar of rice around for when accidents happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...