Anyone still here?

If you’re still here, and wondering what ever became of me, I’ve moved over entirely to Captured Light. Take a look, drop a comment, subscribe if you dare. I’ll leave the porch light on for you.

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Sunbathing, and another change

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When I was in photography school, an educational foray that didn’t hurt me none, my first teacher, Fred Sway, made the comment that the term “shooting,” didn’t really fit with photography. Making a photograph is actually a pretty passive act, he pointed out, nothing more than accepting light. That has always stayed with me, as has Fred’s deep understanding of light. The photographer points the camera at something, adjusts what settings are at his disposal, light enters through his opened shutter and is captured by the film, or paper, or other recording medium in the camera. That’s all there is to it. The rest, the philosophy, technique, the fuss over lenses and cameras and film vs digital, that’s just logistics. In the end, photography is captured light.

So, long story (and I could easily make this story longer) short, I’m going back to my original photoblog, Captured Light (which, by the way, will be the title of the massive retrospective volume of my life’s work). I will continue to use this blog to post writings, few and far between as they may be. In order you don’t miss a single word or photon, you might could subscribe to both. I know I’m going to. I promise you won’t be overwhelmed.

Sit Down and Shoot

As some of you may have noticed, I don’t write in this blog hardly ever. I started out intending to write at least once a week, even relying on aggregating bits of news information that floated across my desk. It was going to be a journal not only of my life with multiple sclerosis, or my life in general, but the way multiple sclerosis has changed the way I look at life. Perhaps the most overarching change is the fact that I find it very difficult to come up with things to write about, and to actually sit down to write about them. Whether that is due to multiple sclerosis, or my inherent laziness rising to the surface, I couldn’t say.

I also post to a photo blog, Captured Light, and tend to do that for more frequently. Most of the images that I post are from an archive, from back when I used to be able to get out and about and walk around the city. I had thought that, when I was diagnosed, it would be interesting to see how the diagnosis influenced my photography. I think that the only real change is that I have been forced to explore photography in a small makeshift studio in my house. I don’t get out and about anywhere near as often as I would like. I’ve never done studio photography before, preferring to photograph things that I discovered as opposed to things that I created. I look at the studio work of photographers such as Irving Penn or Paul Caponigro for inspiration. I have yet to develop the patience or the sensibility to produce work even anywhere near close to the work that they have done. But in the end, it’s better than doing nothing I suppose.

I’ve even tried my hand at painting, but it seems that painting requires even more patience than studio photography. And I don’t seem to have that skill. Both the painting and the studio photography start out amusing, but end up being a little frustrating when I look at the results. Both pursuits just make me yearn even more for the ability to hop in the car early in the morning, drive into some part of the city, and wander around with the camera.

Aside from the shift from photographing in the world to photographing in my little studio, I don’t think my “disability” has showed up in my photography. I’m not sure what I was expecting to find – dark and tortured images perhaps – but so far my “vision” seems to be unaffected. I do make a point of carrying my camera anytime I go out the house no matter the destination. The camera usually stays in my pocket, but at least I have it with me just in case something astonishing appears in front of me. My goal for this coming summer is to make more of an effort to get into the city, and explore what photographing from a wheelchair is like. While it’s been done by artists like Patricia Lay-Darcy, Flo Fox and the Wheelchair Kamikaze, and many others, I’m interested to see what I come up with.

532In any case, between now and then, perhaps I will just begin posting photographs here that I have taken since becoming a non-driving, non-walking person. I don’t suppose there is anything particularly “disabled” about them, except for the fact that I made the photographs after becoming disabled.

And maybe I will actually find myself writing again.

settin’ the stage

OK, to clean up unfinished business from 2011 and to set myself up for 2012:

  • i got my freaky looking leg orthotics. they look a little like artificial feet when they stand in the corner sans shoes. my DW took me out shoe shopping, to find something not too geeky that would accommodate the orthotics and my big huge feet. we found something (i NEVER thought i’d be wearing boat shoes, but my hip daughter turned down my offer to allow her to make fun of them so i guess they are not too bad), but after wearing them a little, they hurt my feet. so i ordered a few pairs from zappos – abusing their offer of free shipping both ways. hopefully one will feel good and not look too horrid, and i can send the other two pairs back. despite my misgivings, they really do help, and i am looking forward to finding shoes that fit them.
  • my test of the injected baclofen didn’t go exactly as planned – what we had been led to believe (and hoped) would be a day in the hospital turned into an overnight, with a few attendant unpleasantries that i won’t go into (can you say “straight cath?”), i think i would call the test successful and, while i don’t think i am going to get the pump, i did learn several things that i would never have known otherwise. like, i had no idea there was so little strength in my legs, that i was relying so much on spasticity and rigidity to keep my legs from crumpling. i will freely admit to the fact that part of my reluctance to getting this thing is the whole idea of surgery and having to spend a week in a rehab hospital bed getting the dosage adjusted – not a pleasant prospect. and in the face of a possible trip to florida in march, and another to switzerland in july, i think it prudent to wait until after all that to delve into getting any implants. maybe that’s just rationalizing, but i’m sticking with it.
  • i’m hoping that the deal biogen idec has with the patriots ($100 to the national MS society for every completed pass) will continue into the post-season.
  • a little cross-polinization, i am endeavouring to post a new image every day to my photoblog, captured light. they might not all be brilliant ( i am limited by the fact that i am, for the most part, housebound), but i hope you will at least take a look and maybe even subscribe.
  • and hoping that 2012 brings each and every one of you lots of wonderful surprises and wishes come true. i hope to hear from all of you (or at least some of you…) in this brand new year.