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.
I ‘ve been out and about with my bad motor scooter – taking the short bus to Freeport (home to Maine’s #2 tourist destination, L.L. Bean, and a very accessible little downtown), and to Falmouth, and yesterday into Portland for a spin around the Museum of Fine Arts (to be dazzled by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Florine Stettheimer, and Helen Torr) – and I was immensely pleased with the SmartDrive‘s performance at every location – brick concourse, concrete sidewalk, museum floor. The only hesitations were from my inexperience and lack of trust. Even when it popped off the chair, it was doing what it was supposed to do. It was easy to reattach, and each time I learned a little something new. Brilliantly simple.
There is always a “but…”. I wonder why there isn’t some sort of geared wheel hub that would offer a transmission brake to slow the chair when going down hill. Relying on my grip on the handrims is both difficult (was that smoke rising from the palms of my gloves?) and dangerous if my hand strength should give out – look out below! Bike mechanics, engineers, makers and tinkerers – can this be done?
Allow me one more ranty rave – the SmartDrive is a life changer. My solo outings I would never have even attempted under my own power, knowing how limited my strength can be. One of the things I used to love to do, and one of the dearest things I lost to disability, was wandering the streets with my camera. Thanks to the SmartDrive, I have that back again. Now I look at the bus map and realize that, theoretically at least, I can go from Yarmouth to destinations on my local route, including the Downeaster train in Portland, which offers me essentially…everywhere. That might not seem like much to most people, but as someone for whom those horizons previously came with enormous obstacles, being able to look at the map and see such possibilities is, pardon the expression, huge. A simple hunk of technology like the SmartDrive is empowering and liberating.
Discuss: “It’s exciting that a woman who is transgender can go to the bathroom that she identifies with, bizarre that the disabled community can’t.” (I cannot find the attribution for this.)
I feel like I have plenty to say lately – I have a growing list of prompts and drafts and notes to myself, lots of great topics – but when I sit to begin putting actual words together, I feel stumped. I don’t know what it is. I blame the easy scapegoat of MS for robbing me of my ability to write coherently. I’ll keep at it – god knows I have plenty of time.
I was awake all night – again – last week, so I sat up, took my phone camera and made this.
Problem: when you spend your days in a wheelchair, how do you carry your wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. Solution:
A hoodie, with kangaroo pouch pocket. Hip. And let’s face it, we wheelers are always on the lookout for steeze. Available in many colors and styles. Can be emblazoned with your favorite band logo or catch phrase. Downside – not so good in warm weather. My current favorite:
When it’s too warm for a hoodie – Cargo pants. I feel like a little cub scout when I wear them, but having access to pockets outweighs the style factor.