Do I carry a camera with me everywhere, at all times, or even have it in the car constantly?

I confess that I do not!

     Partially from the fear of having my ‘tools’ removed from my possession…(I’m not big on ‘spreading the wealth’ in that way)…partially because I sometimes suffer from the worst ailments that an aspiring craftsman can suffer from… Burn out?…not exactly….lack of interest in shooting for no monetary compensation?…Sometimes…passions filtered through so many other life and family activities that I lack the proper drive?…maybe… …laziness? Could be that at times, also.


     Stuck in the rut of ‘making’ photos instead of ‘taking’ photos…that, too. I ofttimes want to exert more control on a subject than I should.

     I have regretted in many instances, NOT having the tools of my trade at hand. Not seizing the moment.

I’m getting better, though.

I’ve let too many get away…!!

     The great photographer Jay Maisel would say that if I don’t carry a camera with me constantly, then I’m not a real photographer. I might beg to differ, but I certainly understand the sentiment.

     When I was a Senior in High School, through some scheduling quirk, I found myself in a Physical Education class by in, the only person in the class! . 6th Period P.E. was only for the football team, and I didn’t play football, but because of my other class schedules, I couldn’t switch. I was to report to the Assistant Principal every semester and tell him how I did….(I did very well, by the way)

I would ‘dress-out’ and find something to do.

     On Game days, the football team didn’t have their regular work-out, so on those days I would wander onto the football field for my ‘class’.

    One day I was catching passes thrown by the first-string quarterback, and I must admit, I was catching everything he threw…(Disclaimer—-I will NEVER, EVER say, “Boy, if only I had…”, or, ” I coulda been….”, etc. I never tried to make the team…I never tried to catch a pass while wearing all of the required accoutrements… I can imagine that if I had, the first time I got ‘hit’ I would probably have been chewing grass and saying, “I’m not sure this is where I’m meant to be…! You guys go ahead…”)

Anyway, the point….

     Coach Cummings happened to walk by, paused, watched me catching passes, and asked, “You wanna play football?”

I nonchalantly replied, “I dunno”

His response was, “YOU DON”T KNOW?!?…THEN GET OUTTA HERE!!”

And he ran me off the field !

     Last year, at Coach’s 87th birthday celebration, I recounted the story and he said, “Well, if you don’t want it, then you’re wasting everybody’s time”

Here, here!!

     The passion that he has for football, still, is the passion/drive/love that we all strive for in, hopefully, everything!

If it ain’t there, it ain’t there..

Move on or ‘get with it!’

But KNOW which you want

     I think though that sometimes we grow complacent, or bored, and that ennui can temporarily become a larger force than the passion…it hangs around MY neck in place of a camera strap and I find that I have to force myself to DO something….experiment, pull up old images and hone my PhotoShop skills…even sometimes study other people’s works and words.

     I have read other photographer’s blogs where they suggest that if you are in a rut, shoot everything vertically for a day…or from ground level…or use only one lens, or one f-stop…limit yourself technically to loosen your creativity. Like taking a different route to the grocery store. Just something to stir the cob-webs up a bit.

     I guess, to go back to football, I can’t expect every play, (every photo), to be the perfectly executed ‘touchdown’ game-winner. I need to embrace the grinding, two yards at a time, straight up the middle plays that open a hole for the big ones. ‘Coz if you can get 3 yards with four 250 pound linemen trying to stop you, then you can certainly scoot 50 yards when you leave the ‘weights’ behind.

And, I certainly am not yet ready to Punt!

     The above picture was one of those caught while doing something else. I was finishing up a CD package shoot for Trout Fishing In America (the duo, NOT the Richard Brautigan tale) when I noticed this scene… Had I told myself, “I’ve got clients waiting, I’ll come back and get this in a few minutes”, I would have missed it.


I had the camera with me..!!  Funny how that works!


~ by rkpowers on April 23, 2010.

One Response to “Confession”

  1. p.s. I DID return to this spot a few minutes later and sure enough, the ‘sleeper’ was gone, and in his place were about a dozen leprechauns cavorting with some ‘ladies’ around a pot of gold….but who needs another picture of THAT?!


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