Come Back Tomorrow: Photography Edition

aka Scenes From The Week Of

Monday I had to go to the dentist to get a couple of fillings done plus a crown. Yes, a CROWN. I guess probably the ultimate sign that you have failed in life and dental hygiene is actually having the tooth pulled, but I think a crown is pretty damn close. Anyway, it was a miserable experience (the first bit of Novocaine wasn’t enough, and the dentist made fun of me for complaining when I could feel the drill — “that can’t hurt as much as THAT THING in your nose,” she said, meaning my nose ring — she is kind of a mean person, I think). I not only spent the entire day feeling like a numb-faced marble-mouth, but I also now have this temporary crown in my mouth that in no way resembles a real tooth and also kind of tastes weird.

[3/365] Marble Mouth

[4/365] City Lights

Tuesday I ventured up to Atlanta to soothe my pain with some shopping from the Anthropologie clearance racks. I bought two new dresses and caused my debit card to whimper in pain a bit, but all for the good. They are work dresses, therefore necessary and unavoidable. So at the mall, we were sniffing some perfumes at the Dior counter when the makeup artists working there accosted us, picked me out of the group, and basically gave me an entire makeover. It started with the fact that I needed some mascara to show off my “great lashes,” and included some “airbrushing” foundation that turned me into a fresh-faced teenager, a bit of brow filling-in that called to mind the great Brooke Shields, and some, like, lipgloss and stuff. I don’t know. At some point, my friend B. grabbed my camera from my purse and started shooting.

Lipgloss

Seriously, check out my brows and lashes. This lady was not joking around!

[5/365] Irrigation

Wednesday I spent pretty much the entire day lounging on the couch and trying to fight off this mysterious non-cold I have. It’s, like, trying to be a cold, but it just can’t achieve full success. I have commissioned an army of vitamins and fluids and even a neti pot and such. I seem to be holding it off, but the stupid sore throat and random nose-drips linger. I’m sorry, there is nothing worse than a person describing their illness symptoms, unless it is a person describing their dreams. WHICH REMINDS ME! I had this wacky dream the other night….

[Actually, I did have a wacky dream, but I’ll keep it to myself.]

Vlad

Today I spent the day gathered around a conference table with some colleagues for a work training session, but thankfully this conference table happened to be located in the library. After we were finished I had occasion to roam the stacks, check out my favorite sections, and then spend some time in a comfy window chair reading. I realized how much I miss spending time in the library. Ours has a wonderful book delivery service for faculty, which means I can quickly and easily order whatever books I need, have them checked out in my name and delivered to my office. But that means I never go hang out in the stacks! I need to remedy this more often.

[6/365] Dave

In other news, I am participating in Project 365 again this year. I am actually kind of proud of completing the project last year. Last January, I had just gotten my new DSLR, so taking photos was going to be happening no matter what, and a daily photo project was a great way to guide my exploration of the new camera and make sure I was practicing every day. Even on days when I didn’t have my camera on hand, I was able to snap iPhone pictures and managed to get something “on film” every day for the whole year.

The thing with Project 365 is this: every day is not exciting. Every day is not an adventure. There is not always beauty or even interest apparent in each day. The goal for me is not necessarily to take a beautiful photo every day or even an interesting or good photo every day. It is to take a photo every day. A photo, period. Many of my photos are repetitive: dog, food, book, bike, running shoes, bed. Last year, I often only managed a photo as I was getting ready for bed. There are at least 3 photos of my pillow in last year’s set. But there are three hundred sixty-five photos, dagnabbit.

And you know what? Even the most mundane or unskilled or artless of those photos is an interesting memento for me. When I look back on them I remember my year in an entirely different way than I am used to. I am no stranger to the way that writing about my life can preserve and shape my memories, but photography has added to that in an incredibly interesting way. As alive as the moments of my life may be in my own mind, it is another thing entirely to see them captured, in the smallest degree, as pixels.

I look at this as one of life’s situations where the most important thing to do is keep showing up. “Come back tomorrow,” as Mr. Miyagi would say. Some days will produce boring, repetitive photos of my tofu and collard greens and lattes and running shoes. But if you keep showing up for long enough, there may be beauty waiting in the most unexpected places.

[14/365] Waves

[120/365] Totally Tubular

[167/365] Bicycle Fence

Come back tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “Come Back Tomorrow: Photography Edition

  1. clarabella January 7, 2011 / 12:40 am

    Gah, I was just thinking today how many of my pictures will be of The Boy. Or the dogs. Heh.

  2. Kate January 7, 2011 / 1:05 am

    Yeah, it can get a little tough when you are looking for subject matter — but even if you take a million photos of the same thing, you will have the same chance of some of them turning out brilliant. Just keep shooting! This is also why digital is awesome. That 35mm film back in the day was EXPENSIVE!

  3. K January 7, 2011 / 7:23 am

    I love this post! I’m doing a 365 project this year too. I’m starting the year with an online photography workshop (that I won in an online contest) with daily photography prompts. Your “waves” photo would have been perfect for yersterday’s “cracked open” theme. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I can’t wait to see how my photography develops over the coming year.

  4. LizScott January 7, 2011 / 9:03 am

    I’m doing 365 too! Of course, my camera is with my husband and neither will be back in my possession until next week, so the first month is going to be a little bit of “iphone photo of dog, iphone photo of desk, iphone photo of….” But that’s ok – like you said, it’s such a different way to archive a year – I’m really looking forward to this.

  5. Brandon January 7, 2011 / 11:32 am

    I have the same problem at my dentist, maybe worse. No amount of Novocaine ever seems to be enough to keep the pain at bay. Anytime I need a filling, the dentist is inevitably skeptical of my desire for painkillers. I feel like I’m giving them the impression that I’m enjoying the experience a little *too* much ala Bill Murray’s character in Little Shop of Horrors.

  6. Rose-Anne January 7, 2011 / 1:55 pm

    Very well said, Kate! I’ve been making some sets on my Flickr page for the first time, and I’m struck by how much of my life is visible for all to see, and how much of it I just adore. Like you, I tend to take photos of the same subject matter, but to me, it just shows my affection for having a sense of place in the town where I live. And I love coffee so much that I made a set for that subject ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Happy photo-taking! And keep showing up ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Kate January 9, 2011 / 10:18 pm

    K – Very cool! I’m not sure I could stick with daily prompts but I bet that will add an extra layer to what you do. Have fun!

    Liz – Awesome! I am looking forward to seeing your pics now that we are flickr contacts.

    Brandon – I have always had that, too. I remember getting stitches once as a kid and having to get an extra shot then, too. They treated me like I was being the biggest baby.

    Rose-Anne – Thanks! I kind of like it, too, taking pictures of the same things over and over. It’s never really the same picture, of course, and it gives a sense of time, too.

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