Friday, June 10, 2005

Needles or Lenses

I'm making the last pieces of the bunny ears, using Colorado Jon's marvelous suggestion that I cast them on and work them simultaneously on one circular from two balls of yarn. This has at least three benefits:
  1. I am guaranteed (as Jon pointed out) two same-sized ears.
  2. I feel like I'm only making one, thus avoiding the "make two" nausea.
  3. I look like such a fancy, experienced knitter.
Focus, Please

Chidren in the Fountain, Millenium Park, Chicago
Millenium Park, Chicago, 2004

Meanwhile I've come to a realization, an important one. You can do many things while you knit, but you cannot work a camera. My revitalized interest in knitting is keeping me from working on photography. This will not do.

It wasn't until recently that I realized my lifelong habit of sabotaging myself - of getting to a certain level of proficiency with something, and then dropping it out of (I think) abject fear of rejection and ultimate failure. Usually, I substitute one mania for another. And that's just what I'm in danger of doing.

I've gone further with my camera than I ever did with writing or acting (both of which I have made money at, and considered pursuing as careers). But it's been a long time, too long, since I spent an evening working on prints instead of on knitting projects, or spent a well-lit day out on the move with one or more cameras.

If I'm going to continue to invest time and money in photography, I need to find out if I'm good enough to get my stuff on a wall somewhere. I think it might be. But I need to find out.

Why should I care? Why not just keep it a hobby and chill out?

Because I feel about photography the way Jon, and Marilyn (The Knitting Curmudgeon), and QueerJoe, and Yarn Harlot, and TrickyTricot and so many of you do about knitting. I love it. I get passionate over it. I wish I could do it all the time, every day.

My present occupation does not fill me with joy, nor does it make me passionate. Quite the opposite. Foolish as it may be, I dream about making more of my income - if not all of it - with a camera. And for once in my life, I'm not afraid to try, even if I do wind up looking ridiculous. I just have to know.

Expect, therefore, a little less knitting and lot more photography chatter in here for a while.

But the knitting won't go away, I promise. It, and y'all, are just too much damn fun.

15 comments:

markknitz said...

i totally hear you. i keep thinking, i need to write today, i need to write today, it's not real necessary that i keep cranking away on the bloucle in front of the tv, i need to write today. but it's hard. and writing doesn't zen you out and give you almost instant gratification. you are an excellent photographer and you should definitely be in a gallery, museum and collector's wall somewhere. just don't stop blogging because we, your fans, would miss you terribly!!!

Sister Sue said...

Back to the camera! Go! Go! I want to see your work on someone's wall somewhere (besides mom and dad's and mine) and say all casual-like and nonchalant as hell , "Oh, my brother took that."

Ok, so it's not supposed to be all about me. Sorry. I'm working on that.

Not sure I've ever seen you so excited over something as you are over photography. Don't let it slip. You have the talent--better than Uncle M. for sure. Love the photo on your recent post, by the way. Quite refreshing on this hot, hot day.

Jon said...

You know what I would love to see. Your photos next to Brian's art. Here's how I see it. You take a photo of some plant or something and then let him illustrate it. I think that would make a stunning show.

Have you seen his work? www.theplantartist.com

The piece, Eggplants, is hanging on my wall at work. He's amazing and so are you. You two need to plan a show together.

leah said...

I think you're good enough Franklin :) You can hang a picture on my wall any time (though I'm sure that's not what you meant by that).

I'm happy for you that you've found your passion!

JoVE said...

I've only started reading your blog (and am familiar with your commenting on Mar's and Joe's) and don't have the knowledge to judge your photography anyway. BUT if you are passionate about it and you think you could make a living at it (or more of your living than you currently do) then GO FOR IT. Too many people settle for jobs they don't like much.

If you were diagnosed with some terminal disease tomorrow (heaven forbid) what would you most regret not having done. Go Do That.

Mama Lu said...

I wandered over to your blog a couple of days ago, and I checked back through your archives partly because of your writing (I read the Polish craft store lady exchange out loud to my husband, but I don't think he got it) and partly because of your photographs. The picture of the little bridesmaid and and the one of the woman at the Budapest market both make me smile, but for different reasons. I can also understand your obsession with public statuary.

I don't know if an excellent eye and a sense of humour are what it takes to have a successful career as a photographer, but if they are, go for it. You are blessed with both.

kent said...

Great picture...the rain is so heavy and the expressions of the sculptures are intense...as if to suggest a pain induced downpour

birdfarm said...

Franklin, your photography is absolutely spectacular. Literally breathtaking. Unbelievably so. I mean it.

It goes without saying that not all artists find a way to make a living from creating art. But I do believe that no matter what, the art of someone as talented as yourself is a genuine contribution to humanity--far more than the output of the majority of us at work.

So, go for it! I'll order prints, seriously. Do you have a photography website? Check out my friend's husband's site, if you want: Abstract Southwest.

For those who haven't, check out more of Franklin's photos on Flickr. You can get there by clicking on any photo in his blog. Then click on "Panopticon's Photostream" at the upper right--or my preference, click on "View as slideshow" just under that. (Oops, looks like the slideshow is broken at the moment? Well, look at them the old fashioned way then--click click click).

He has forty photos up there so far. Just incredible. And thoroughly professional.

The rodeo ones are particularly stunning in my opinion. (I know, rodeo? But trust me...it's amazing). I think the reason I'm so impressed with them is that Frank has created fresh, intriguing images of subject matter that all too easily lends itself to extremely hackneyed views.

Anyway, Franklin, the other thing that really struck me about your post was your comment about sabotaging yourself. I do that too, but I haven't come across anyone else who will admit to it.

Teaching is for me what photography may be for you. Something that I love enough to endure and overcome all the stuff my head throws at me to knock me off track. I know that doesn't make literal sense but hopefully you know what I mean.

I just saw a card today that said, "The seeker who sets out upon the path shines bright over the world. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds. Shine!" It was supposed to be a quote from the Buddha... Whatever. I like it.

Shine on, dear friend.

xmasberry said...

good for you! i am with you on photography, it's not my career, but i love it. i've been in a few juried exhibitions and an invitational and am now working on getting a group show and/or my own show. you have to do it. i am very happy for you.

Rachel said...

Hooray, more photography! You are very insightful. I've taken a few steps back from the knitting as well, realizing that as wonderfully relaxing as it can be, it is also one of my greatest diversions.

goblinbox said...

Knitting, photography, startling men in the sauna... I don't care what you blog about, as long as you blog.

Buzz said...

Absolutly nobody on here wants you to be happy more than me. If photography makes you happy...it's pretty clear you have acres of support on here alone. Do it for yourself, do it because it makes you happy, do it because you can, do it because nobody can keep you from it, do it because you cant imangine not being able to express yourself, do it because it makes people smile...and think...and wonder.

In the end, if it's ment to be be, you will do it because you can't not.

xoxoxox

Dan said...

I want to second what Mark and you have already shared. You know when we have a number of things that we love, we need to take care of them. We need to give them time and nourish them. For me its poetry and writing. Between the magazine I work for and the knitting, it has been hard for me to keep writing. And then there's songwriting which I was reminded of this weekend in finding a box filled with my old 8 track recorder and music items. Haven't touched them since I moved from Chicago. So, I'm elated you are taking the time to focus on your photography -- which is BEAUTIFUL! Make loveliness in the world with all of your heart! -- p.s, I added a link to your blog on my site.

birdfarm said...

Mushlette's comment "Knitting, photography, startling men in the sauna...blog...." started me thinking... how could you combine these four activities to economize (that all-American value) on time and hassle?

I'm still working on it, but perhaps you could place a webcam in the sauna and link it to your blog, where you could...knit a running commentary on what you observe?

No, that still needs work.

For starters, some kind of propagation of knitting across the blogosphere. There's an interesting thought in itself... oh wait, I think I'm trying to invent mechanized textile production. Right. Been done before. But probably not in a bunny hat!

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