Two photography projects.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by tansy, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi folks

    I used to do quite a lot of photography and a substantial amount of my work was published. However, I finally had to give it up when problems with my upper limbs, eyes and brain became worse and so meant it was no longer feasible.

    This summer I felt ready to try again then inadvertantly caused a 100% ulnar nerve block; that's not back to where it was previously but has improved enough for me to feel ready to try again.

    I have had so much going on, and to think about, that I had not had time to get in some practice before taking wedding pics for my neighbours next Saturday. So I planned to take my camera out on Sunday just to refamiliarise myself with the camera controls and technical aspects again.

    Well now I have a different practice run. My hairdresser wants publicity photos of her creative colouring techniques for a local event in December, and after seeing photographs I had taken for a prestigious hairdressing group some years ago, asked if I would do some for her tomorrow.

    The best thing is she understands that I may not be able to do it on the day and she rarely uses chemical dyes, she's into organic and natural products.

    I cannot afford a digital SLR but will use my 35mm camera and her friend's digital camera.

    Now I am looking forward to this much needed distraction and having a specific photograpahic project is something I have always enjoyed in the past.

    TC, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 11/02/2007]
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    That's neat Tansy, hope you can do it as planned and all goes well... hope you post a photo or 2 or more too... would love to see some of the styles!


  3. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Victoria

    It's photos of musicians and comedians that established my reputation and taking those was an example of working with our disabilities rather than against them. I could not have done it every day; but it worked well with my ability to work best in the later hours.

    Photo passes have to be given and the rule used to be the first three numbers and no flash. This meant doing a lot in a short period of time and having to work intuitively; there's no time for thinking too much about what to do technically. In a funny kind of way this fitted well with my rapid loss of muscle strength and the cognitive problems many of us have.

    I needed a wheelchair then and had to use that or sit on a hard bench within the barrier. My view was often blocked by other photogrpahers but I learned there were so many potential good shots to just take photos when I could and try not to get too frustrated. Actually the most talented and confident photographers working at the same time always allowed me room to get a shot.

    A friend went to NYC some years ago and said he saw an exhibition of people pictures that were somewhat similar to mine; the photographer was Linda McCartney. I didn't see it myself until I saw one of her photos as a large backdrop on the music show Jules Holland presents on the BBC. It was of Chrissie Hind performing and my immediate thought was that if I'd been there that's the photo I would have taken. Later Chrissie Hind spoke to Jules Holland and mentioned who the photographer was; that's when I understood what my friend (also a photographer) meant.

    One of my niece's boyfriend plays in a London based rock band, when she first met him and told him what her name was he asked if I was a relative, she thought having an aunt who was a "famous rock photographer" was cool. She's that age. ;-)

    I am hoping to get back to some smaller scale grassroots music photography; even now, after not being able to do any for years, many musicians and promoters are keen for me to do so. That's feels really good but in a way anyone with these DDs understands.

    My last major project before I had to stop was a series of black and white cafe culture images; they were the second of my exhibitions and were later on long term display in the place where they were taken. By the time I did that project I could not focus my eyes and often had double vision so getting everything sharp was a real challenge.

    TC, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 11/02/2007]
  4. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    what a shame you had to give up the rock photography - it must have been brilliant meeting all those bands.

    I'm glad you're taking it up again and hope all goes well for you, such a boost to be able to do something you really enjoy.

  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    That's fantastic!




  6. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    It must feel wonderful to be able to get back a bit of your previous life this way! I do think trying to integrate ourselves into "normal" life, if we are able, is so very important for our psyches.

    How terrific that you will be working with someone who is sensitive to your needs, and will not force you to overextend.

    I would love to see one of your photos on your profile page, if you feel comfortable posting one!
  7. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Today was certainly challenging; and if my friend had not known that I had taken good photos in the past, she would have been very put off by my problems physically handling the camera, flash and lens.

    The digital camera was a bridge camera with an ergonomical grip, much easier for me to hold and use than my semi pro SLR.

    Music has always been a part of my life, but when things became very bad again, there was little I could tolerate. Thankfully on better days I can now go to small scale gigs and festivals; I appreciate them all the more now.

    I came to do live performance photography quite by accident, it was not something I was aiming for or had any ambitions to do. Musicians like that I am obviously a music lover and used to play guitar myself, appreciate their work, and take photos that capture what their music and performance is all about.

    Mezombie you are right; we really need to be doing something normal and feel we are a part of the real world. Unfortunately ME can take this away from us, as it did me and often for very prolonged periods. Fortunately most people I know understand this.

    This is a loaned computer; old, slow, and with little memory to spare. Later when I have more time, and the cognitive stamina, I will see if I can use my memory hungry film scanner. If I had the money I would have a new computer capable of dealing with large image files; but that's on my ever growing list of things to do and buy.

    I have my cafe society pics as large 16 bit tif files; the prints were the first B&W images I scanned from negatives and used the computer instead of a dark room.

    The prints were produced on an old A3 inkjet printer; I changed all the ink channels to archival black inks. The funniest thing on the preview day was lots of people saying you could not beat hand printed black and white prints; they clearly did not look closely enough or were inexperienced so failed to notice the difference.

    TC, Tansy

  8. victoria

    victoria New Member

    you have had a lot of great (and impressive to say the least!) experiences, and I agree, it's so wonderful to be able to do something 'normal'. I'm extremely impressed with your fortitude in keeping on doing what you were doing even being in a wheelchair!

    It would seem it would take a lot more to do photography both physically and mentally than other things; that's great you could do it, and I'm so glad your friend knows you well and was ok with everything.

    My degree was in art, right now my studio is the 'storage room' ... haven't done anything there in 4 years, depresses me to even walk in there now it's such a mess. But I've been realizing that I NEED to get back to doing something, even if it's only 5 minutes a day... we all do I think.

    (And actually, I know that if I could start doing a bit, I will probably be able to go longer than i probably think; it gives me a lift mentally and, it seems, somewhat physically. The last thing I did was a 4x6 foot painting for a friend's wedding gift; altho it wasn't original, I did it all freehand, and that's how I did get it done - the "5 minute rule"!)

    Take care, would love to see your photos also; perhaps a friend who had better equipment could help you load it somewhere on a website? Or even a picture here in your profile would be great!

    All the best,

  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Rafiki

    I hope you are taking your own advice after Wednesday. :)

    I knew you would understand the joy at being able to do a little of this again; the African drumming is still on the shelf though.

    TC, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 11/03/2007]
  10. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Wow Victoria

    I am truly impressed: a 4’ by 6’ painting is really something. Doing things in little steps seems to work best for us; and even if doing more in one day, splitting it up into several short periods is preferable to doing it in one go. The five minute rule is a good one.

    Achieving something is uplifting. If there are upsides to these DDs; relearning achieving pleasure from seemingly simple things is one of them

    I am trying to make Xmas cards and have been finding it both challenging and frustrating; I ended up realising that I had to take it in baby steps. We read that learning something creates new neural pathways, but our brains don’t work the normal way, and we can end up with more Sx and being less able to function cognitively. This year my Xmas cards will be very simple, I am still struggling with getting my ability to see what works back. Using my upper limbs remains problematic. I find the upper limb disabilities more frustrating than my mobility problems that can be overcome by using a powered wheelchair.

    Photography requires multi tasking which we have problems with; I struggled for a very long time with the technical side and learning about light etc before I did any live performance photos. My attempts at studio photography were a lesson in our limitations; aside from the physical aspects it required too many factors and I’d end up just wasting my precious energy and time and then having the classic payback afterwards.

    Though I needed the money I refused to accept I would never be able to return to photography, so kept a basic kit. Likewise my art materials; though I gave some paints and good quality brushes to a talented and well motivated art student because I knew he was struggling financially. I still have one classic guitar but know returning to that is questionable due to nerve damage; now I understand why that may have to be I can accept it.

    I have photos on various websites; some credited to me and others not. A website would take up less room than all my negatives and prints. ;-)

    Now that we’re in the digital era I am happy to leave the quick turn around stuff to others; over time I hope to find my own niche to fund an activity that can be expensive.

    Do keep me updated on how things progress when you get back to painting again. One of the reasons I like chit chat is I find it inspiring; I love reading others’ accounts of learning new skills, writing about what they do, and when they post their creative work in their profiles.

    TC, Tansy
  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Thanks, but really my friend had the hard part - she had to find someone to stretch it for her and frame it, LOL!

    But truly I really admire you, I'm not sure I'd have been able to overcome the difficulties you've had as well as you have...

    something else I've been thinking about is that, that part of us, the "creative selves", also have to remove the stress (at least initially) of inadvertently trying to only do things that make money...

    I'd forgotten all about that aspect until it came up with our 20 yo son (who has chronic Lyme). He's self-taught on guitar, is/was very good at that and painting as well ... but couldn't play etc hardly for past few years due to carpal tunnel in both wrists. (Thankfully he has youth on his side, and it's gotten better unless it's a really bad herx.)

    And it's weird, as he has gone thru treatment, how when he's herxing he has no interest in music or much of anything... but when he's in 'rest periods' and the abx have been working well, he says that music and visually everything is quite different, it's much brighter and complex to him, and his interest in art & music are renewed.

    However, he's felt bad since he's still so dependent financially on us ... so was putting the extra stress on himself of trying to do things that would make $$$. Well, you know how THAT "minor" little stressor can put a damper on ANYthing...

    Now that we figured out what he was thinking and set his mind to rest, etc.... he's back to playing when he can... and enjoying himself. As we also told him, enjoying himself of course is one of the best states to be in for healing as well!

    I've rambled a bit I know, I'm sorry, but was just reflecting on how we all need to get back to things that delight us, & cause deep satisfaction, etc.... or find new avenues that do.

    Now if I could only run downstairs to my studio and start heaving stuff thru the door... or at least organizing it! Well, soon, very soon!

    all the best,

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