Maybe I'm not totally the worst!

September 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Given my personality, I am from time to time, prone to self doubt and self deprecation. I think about my work and think, I'll never measure up. I'll never get "THERE"!  

"THERE" can be pretty ambiguous. I look at the work of shooters like Jamey Price, Josh Rud, Joey Tichenor, Andy Kawa, and Camden Thrasher and it's pretty easy to get reflective about my own work with all of the shortcomings that I can conjoure up. But, then I take a look at the photo's in my Face-Book albums. I see what worked and why. I see that the victories become increasingly closer together, and I realize, that I can indeed get "THERE", and maybe in the not too distant future.

I'm always experimenting with my techniques. Trying different lighting, different lenses, different vantage points, all in an effort to push myself and my knowledge just a little bit farther that the last time. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does NOT work.

I was at a Sprint Car race this early summer. A very wet early summer. On the infield there was a bit of a little lake that had formed from all the precipitation that had come the day before the event. There were 5 or 6 other photographers shooting from the edge of the infield, filling their frames with cars sliding through the corners, clods of clay shooting from the rear tires of the 700 horsepower earth shakers. I spied this body of water that was taking up space in my shooting zone. Instead of cursing my now limited space to roam freely, I carefully made my way into the ankle deep water. crouched down till my butt was almost touching the surface and began shooting across the plane of water, quite a long distance for the lens I had at my disposal. What I got were some images where the cars were sliding through the corner, with a mirror reflection of the car on the waters glassy surface.

Glad I brought extra socks for the drive home. My boots were a mess.

Point is, I had to take a risk to get something that those around me were not getting. I had to risk, my dry feet, I had to risk looking like a fool. I had to risk, time wasted while the cares were on the track. I has to risk the possibility of slipping and falling into the water while holding some very valuable camera gear. I could see some of the photographers, out of the corner of my eye staring at me in wonderment.

I could stay safe and dry and get what everyone else was getting, or, I could risk getting a "Ruddy Bumm". I challenge you to recall, Who ever became famous for never risking anything? 

It's crazy how many hours I spend, how many times I wake up in the middle of the night, and my mind starts racing with the thoughts of "how I can make my images better that they were last year, or last month, or even last week". What new lens will get me where I envision? What lighting scheme will allow me to reach the standard that my fevered brain imagines? 

My work was good last year, but it's even gooder this year. 

A hobbyist at the races told me once that they don't like the "Artsy racing photo's that are showing up lately". Those "Artsy " photo's are the very thing that I am building my reputation on, That is the battleground that play's host to the thousands of psychic wars that rage in my mind, often between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am. 

My work was good last year, but it's even gooder this year. 


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