(Both pics. snapped on 1/23/11)
I could not believe it when I checked the calendar and realized that three...whole...weeks had passed since I'd snapped my most recent self-portraits. The fact that I hadn't really noticed 'til then or even missed my fave hobby at all, seemed to indicate that I must've been even more burnt out than I'd initially suspected. I hadn't let my love of taking pics. go completely dormant, though. Thanks to my lovable little Holgas, and the panorama setting on my Cybershot - I'd spent most of the last three weeks (re)discovering the beauty of photographing things other than myself.
Following my brief hiatus from dash photography, I was well-rested, refreshed and ready to return to it - and I was in luck - because the urge to stage a new batch of self-portraits coincided with a surprise opportunity to do so, amid a glorious setting to boot.
Unfortunately, I cannot divulge the details of this shoot, since one of the owners of the property where I took these snaps - requested (not to my face - via messenger, of course) that I withhold any information that might reveal their identity. Why? Because they worried that local folks who came across this entry, might mistakenly perceive - allowing me to shoot on their land - to be an endorsement of what I'm doing as an artist...perish the thought. The other owner however, had been totally cool with me killing a couple of hours - tromping around his woods and fields and frozen pond, armed with my growing arsenal of cheap cameras. His only stipulation was that I please keep my clothes on - a request that I honored not only because I was so shocked by and appreciative of his generosity, but also because it was flippin' 26 degrees and breezy out that day...so the thought of being naked was slightly less than appealing.
This is my third attempt to write this entry the way I'd intended, before being restricted by that pesky gag order. Each time, I found myself succumbing to a tendency to vent my anger and frustration over cowardly, small-minded people. But the tone of this post was never meant to be negative or nasty, because the point has always been - to recognize and thank someone who has been candid with me about how he personally feels about my work, while consistently hearing me out and treating me with decency and respect. He is the "cooler" of the two property owners mentioned above, who (probably) against his better judgement - still afforded me the privilege of shooting on his beautiful back 400. He is the dreaded messenger - the person who most commonly gets saddled with the uncomfortable job of relaying to me - third party gripes, concerns and oftentimes ridiculous requests - in regards to me and my pics.. Which consequently makes him the poor soul who must bear the brunt of my ensuing, hostile tirades (I absolutely hate to hear myself yelling at him, over things that other people have said). Although he does not necessarily support or condone my chosen artistic path, his opinion (while definitely difficult to digest, sometimes) is one of the few that actually matters to me. He is forthright, honest and trustworthy - human qualities that I rarely see exhibited in tandem. But on top of all that - he's rational, sensible, gentle and kind.
He and I don't always get along, in fact sometimes we don't even really like each other - and maybe that's why I've been stubborn for so long, about letting him know how much I admire and appreciate his unflappable integrity. Mostly though, I want to apologize for the times that I jump down his throat, when he's only doing what someone else is too scared to do...and to thank him for always being straight with me, but at the same time - understanding and reasonable. Such a pity there aren't more peeps like him around here...