Backlighting -AND- Sun Flare. I did it!
THROW YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR AND...
Well, read on..
I had just begun "GRAD SCHOOL" in Conflict Resolution.
I was amazed that someone let me in, that I'd gotten that far, that I was somehow working, raising Julia and figuring out how to keep going - AND LUVVING IT!
Don't get me wrong. There were many a time when I had so little money, I split my last item of food with Julia: a hot dog. And I was always tired from paying attention to everyone (Julia) and everything else (work and studies) before myself. I was stressed trying to get my reading in around a 40-hour work week. But I loved our little apartment. And I loved that I was doing it on my own. I loved the ideas proposed and what I was learning in Conflict Resolution.
I had begun reading this book: THE ART OF POSSIBILITY. And it SPOKE to me. In particular, there was this one chapter where the author, who was the conductor of the Boston Symphony, but who was also teaching at a local college, wanted to release his students' creativity and production. He told his class that everyone would be getting an "A." He said a lot of students had trouble getting their heads around this at first, but with coaching and understanding...they went free and accomplished levels they didn't dare dream of before. One of the tenets of this was him coaching everyone to not be so critical of themselves, and that when something that felt like failure happened, to throw your arms in the air - straight up above your head - and say, "How Fascinating!"
I really liked this idea and threw my new parenting technique at little 5-year-old Julia, full force. She'd start to fuss or cry at something she did or at something that happened and I'd throw my arms above my head and enthusiastically yell, "How Fascinating!" She'd eye me suspiciously at first, like she was getting her chance to whine and moan stolen. And then she morphed into just allowing me to practice my latest bit of antics without reaction---warily looking at me but making no comment. Well, I just kept it up. I didn't know if I was getting through to her. My god, she was only five, so I thought I had to be making some sort of impression, right?!
She had just begun kindergarten at Riverdale (rich, wealthy, insular school district in Dunthorpe, blah, blah, blah). I was told that the new mothers of children in the kindergarten classes were invited to a cookie exchange for the holidays. Well, try and picture how fragile my confidence was at this point in my life. I was nervous but elated to be included since I didn't "LIVE" in the neighborhood. Keep in mind there are ONLY palatial estates in this neighborhood. So I went to spend my very little money on new JCREW jeans and sweater. I thought nice jeans would cover all situations. Besides, it was a cookie exchange, for god's sake. How fancy could it be? I also handmade/baked my own cookies to bring. (How naïve)
WE ARRIVE AT THE ADDRESS
It's a fucking mansion. Someone greeted me as I pulled up in the u-round driveway and parked my car for me! Jesus, then Julia and I go to the door and the couple (not just moms, apparently) greets me at the door wearing a full tuxedo and beautiful ball gown. LORD. They look me up and down and then give me brisk smiles, run Julia upstairs with the nanny and kids and games and steer me into a (waiter?) dude with a tray and serving tuxedo with champagne. I gladly took it and tried to join parental conversations with friendliness and great jeans. LOL. Nobody would let me in. It was surreal. I am usually very good socially and can join any sort of conversation, but I was blocked out at every try. (Also my cookies were not looking that great next to everyone else's fabulously French and expensively frosted concoctions.) So I took another champagne and found a blessedly empty armchair and sipped quietly, alone until an hour and a half had passed. (I thought that would be enough time to then extract Julia and leave.) We left.
IN THE CAR RIDE HOME..
I started crying as soon as we left the driveway. I told Julia I was a complete failure, that I didn't measure up, that I looked terrible, that my cookies were dumb, that I ...tears were streaming down my face, mascara running down my cheeks. I had stopped the car at a stoplight.
I glanced over at Jules. She was looking at me so intently, I looked closer at her. She kept this very focused gaze on me. Then, she threw her arms up in the air, and said, "How Fascinating!"
I laughed and she laughed. And she totally got it and she was only 5.
I never really went to any Dunthorpe parties after that.
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ON THIS SHOOT: It took me four times to walk down to this park, with the sun out, with my tripod, hat and cameras and get this right. The learning curve is not glamorous and exasperating. But it's worth sticking with it, because I am learning how to be better prepared. Which way to point your camera in the sun, etc. These are more photos I took, playing with the light and throwing my hands in the air.
See how the color pops when the winter sun is shown ON the subject at the right exposure? And with the sun coming through the lens is a completely different effect. Also++ the color of the winter sun is much cooler than the summer sun. In one of these photos you'll notice how WHITE my skin is. It looks abstract almost, like a digital effect...But it was just the light and exposure. SCARY. More to come - I'm halfway done with the 30-days!
Once in awhile, well, BAM!