Medium

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I was so dissapointed in the series finale of the television show “Medium” this past week. I was really pissed.

And here’s why (spoiler warning!):

It was just plain sadistic.

Instead of giving us a good, well-thought out closure to the story the writer(s) decided to toy with our emotions for no apparent reason.

The show opens and Joe dies in an airplane crash. The whole episode is dedicated to Allison finding more and more evidence Joe actually survived and is living with amnesia in Mexico.

Then we get all the way to the end, Allison finds Joe … yay! Oh wait, no that was all the dream. Joe really did die. We get to see Allison’s heart breaking while ghost-Joe stands in the shadows. Then it jumps 40 years into the future and we get to see Allison die of old age and reunite with Joe in the afterlife.

I suppose the jump to old-Allison was supposed to be some sort of pacifier but it didn’t work. It was a shoddy, crappy ending which took someone all of 10 minutes to write.

The show, actors, audience and story all deserved better.

Taking the work out of work

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“Paul Valéry ws right about the modern tendency to avoid any work that cannot be abbreviated; computers are abbreviation made manifest. They take a lot of the work out of work, which may be fine in some professions or occupations, but for a novelist to try to take the work out of work is profoundly self-defeating: keeping the work in work is all-important. I’m writing this book with a pen, unlike my twenty-two previous books, because I don’t want the sentences to slip by so quickly that I don’t notice them. They need to be the work of hand, eye, and ear.”

— Larry McMurtry, “Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen.”

He’s referring to writing novels, but I think the same can be said of many endeavors, photography in particular.

Field Notes

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WordPress has a neat new feature, let’s see if it works …

http://twitter.com/#!/nickdavidwright/status/663665288159232

Yup, it works! Cool.

Seriously. Had some funny thought pop into my head whilst at the library. And I lost it somewhere on the side of Highway 71. Well, maybe someone walking will find it and get a good laugh.

I’ve always liked to have a pocket notebook and pencil with me, but it is a habit I’ve fallen out of lately. I found the good blog Pencil Revolution a while back and they recently were talking up the Field Notes Brand pencils and notebooks.

The Field Notes appear to be good high quality stuff and made in the USA to boot! Will be placing an order soon.

Tools of the artist

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Every form of art has its own tools of the trade.

Obviously there are the physical implements: pens, brushes, cameras, guitars, etc. But I’m thinking more of the techniques by which we use those tools to express our vision.

You can learn these techniques, but at some point during the practice of them there will come an “ah ha!” moment where you suddenly get it deep down. Then you will be able to really use that technique to create your art.

I remember my “ah ha!” moment regarding the relationship between shutter speed and aperture very clearly. I was a very green photographer. I “knew” what aperture and shutter speed did. But one day I was out and about with some friends and we came to a water fountain at a shopping center. For some reason, I decided to shoot the fountain at every aperture. From as wide open as the light would allow, to the smallest available on the lens. When I got the prints back and saw the effect, it was then that I really knew what aperture and shutter speed did to my photos.

I was lucky in my career as a photographer to get a full-time job making photos very early. I spent 40-plus hours every week for almost 10 years being paid to learn photography through a lot of trial and error. It is the very best way to learn!

I got to thinking about this recently having committed myself to learning another art form — guitar.

I’ve loved music for a long time. And this is not the first time I’ve been involved with music. I’ve “known” what music could do, and quite a bit about how and why it does it for a long time. But learning the techniques on my own, and hearing the results from my own guitar has led me to many “ah ha!”s recently.

And I find myself energized not only by the creation of art, but also by the learning process itself. I eagerly await that next “ah ha!” I can’t wait to find out what I didn’t really know before, and for that next horizon to appear.

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