Not so missing links

Not so missing links

Having deep thoughts about the role of chains in life. I worked out I can link where I am now back to where I was five, ten, thirty years ago through a chain of events. It’s much like what Steve Jobs said here about connecting dots;

 

Then I was thinking about the function of those chains. Is the strength of those links to past events holding me in place like an anchor? Alternatively, is the inherent strength something I use to get to the next link, building a longer and stronger chain in the process?

The fundamental question from all this is, am I pushing on or be pulled by the chain?

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Tiny obsession

Tiny obsession

My ongoing quest to get closer and closer continues and I recently added more gadgets that have really proved themselves, a pair of focus rails and a magic arm.

The focus rails took me back to when I owned a set of macro bellows and let me move the camera forward or back and side to side very precisely. Getting the magic arm was inspired by this video and lets me place a flash exactly where I need it to be.

Here it is all setup.

IMG_1855Looks extremely complex and there is a bit more weight but that is offset by increased control of focus and light. Using a tripod makes it easier to manage but I will try this handheld outside and see what happens.

This setup gets me close but I can get even closer. that involves a step down ring to connect an old 50mm to the front of the 90mm macro shown in use. Here is an example with me just holding this all together by hand.

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This image provides an idea of just how close I’m getting.

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Making and managing a mess

Making and managing a mess

Right now my desk is covered in “stuff” and the rest of my study is not much better. I have been pulling things out of drawers and off of shelves to do a little reorganising of my workspace before Summer school starts next week.

Admittedly, I’m not the tidiest person in the world but I find a clear workspace is less distracting. That extends to things in the immediate vicinity “put away” on shelves or in drawers. The problem is I still know the stuff is there and that it represents something I haven’t dealt with. More than once I have found myself unable to concentrate because my attention is pulled towards items on a shelf nearby. A lot of it is just clutter, accumulated over the last few years because my preoccupation with study took precedence over everything except work, leaving little energy for anything else. This semester, the study and work commitments were less taxing so I decided to make this break all about working out whether or not I actually need all this stuff and how best to manage it. Once that is done I can look at making better use of the space freed up.

As I worked through this mess today, I also thought about the project this blog is all about and realised the monthly themes I use have served their original goal of making me use my camera more. They are now clutter, just like the stuff around me, distracting me from what I want to focus on next. This raised the question of what that next goal is and how to use this project to get the focus where I need it.

This is going to need more than a week to work through. It makes sense to stop using the themes after next week and use the next two to three months on planning that next step. Meanwhile, I will still get out and make images to share, so not much will change.

Under pressure

Under pressure

What are you like under pressure?

I think that pressure is relative to who you are right now and what you have experienced up to this point. It’s also vital to have a way to deal with the pressures of life that does not rely on sticking your head in the sand and avoiding them.

I am under a lot of pressure right now but I can see some relief on the horizon. While I’m being squeezed right now, I’m still open to and looking for opportunities.

I suspect I may have some obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to revisiting subjects. I can’t seem to help going back and re-examining subjects at different times of day or weather. The chain is there every day at the train station waiting for me to unpack something else about it. I have 5 minutes before the train arrives, so there is little time to think about my approach. Just get an image and avoid repeating exactly what I did yesterday. I do feel a little chained up at the moment so perhaps there is an affinity there that brings me back to this part of the platform each day…

The red door was freshly painted and caught my eye as a walked past it this morning. If I had been obsessively focused on my workload I would have missed it. Controlling where my attention is focused helps me deal with pressure. I choose to focus on the way over or around rather than the wall itself, To do otherwise is what will cause me to hit it.