365.283 for lack

So I spent the whole day thinking about asking a woman I met last week to go do something friendly and nonthreatening (wander around a bookstore or something similar) with me this afternoon.

Needless to say, I just thought about it.

So about 3, after sitting pretty much in the same spot for roughly 11 hours—minus the 30 minutes it took me to drive to the pancake spot, see all the people milling about outside, and drive home; minus also the 40 minutes it took me to fetch groceries—I decided it was time to make the 365.

But what to shoot?

And what lens to use?

So I strapped on the Tokina—as the cheapest and most battered lens I own: it seemed like an obvious choice—and started shooting randomly.

I shot around, hither and yon (from the desk and its environs to the dining room, a distance of maybe 15 feet) and spotted some nice blurry shiny stuff: the comforter.

So I went into the bedroom and shot the comforter for awhile, with the camera on manual and the pop-up on ttl, and then had a flash of brilliance!

In 1955, Rober Rauschenberg made a rather famous combine painting called Bed. If you’re unfamiliar, go check it out. As I was shooting around my bed, this piece popped into my head (that MA in Art History & Criticism was worth something after all!), and I took a 15-shot panorama of the bed in all its unmade glory, in the dark, with the Tokina in macro mode and well defocused.

I loaded the entire bed-shooting series into Aperture, and spent the next 2 hours building—by hand, mostly—a massive panorama of my bed in Photoshop.

I twisted, stretched, blurred, distorted, and absolutely tortured the pixels. I created three versions, then ran them through Merge to HDR Pro, and then tortured pixels some more.

Every change I made took the piece closer to what I envisioned, but it all fell apart at some point (probably within the first 3 or 4 minutes), and all the torturing of pixels in the world wasn’t going to fix it: my photoshop kung-fu is laughable.

An interesting idea, perhaps, and I might go for it again some day. But not today.

And so I found this one. It’s pretty enough. It’s got something of the rule of thirds going on, and it has elements that move the eye around, but it’s not what I aimed for, due to a lack of technical skill to match up with my artistic vision, and the whole shooting session was not what I hoped for due to a lack of something else: call it guts or drive or verve or something, if you want, but it’s something else too.

So this shot all comes down to lack, is made of lack, by lack, and for lack.

It’s still pretty, though.

D7000. Tokina 35-200mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X, in Macro Mode. ISO100, 1/1.3th, f/4. Pop-up flash in TTL at -1EV. About 35 seconds of processing in Aperture, after 2.5 hours of playing around with various failures in Photoshop.

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