Getting Out There: What I am Learning On My Break

One of the great benefits to working where I do is that in November I receive a 4 day weekend. It is a time that I look forward to every year, because I am usually wiped out and I really appreciate the time to myself. It is the one time of the year that I take for me; when you give time all year long, you also need to take time, too. I tend to spend these days walking the streets as a flaneur or trying to see my friends who might be neglected due to all of my busy days. Today, I spent a few hours scanning film and trying to take a decent self-portrait.

The film I went through scanning came from the pile of random left over negatives from my travels. The first one is a sign in Kyoto. It made me miss the Mamiya 645afd camera that I used to shoot in Japan, but I know that the nostalgia is illusionary, and that switching to Hasselblad was a brilliant move. The second photograph was shot in Madrid within a local park that featured an odd crystal palace. V. and I spent a morning here just walking around the city before the heat became unbearable. It appears to have been shot with the Hasselblad SWC. Next up was a shot of the Forum in Rome using the Hasselblad 501CM with a 50mm CFE lens.  The lines of the ruins are what attracted me to the four or five images I took there. Again, the heat was unbearable. Finally, I scanned a negative from Morocco wherein I used the same Hasselblad, but with the 60mm CB lens. It is a little out of focus because I was trying not to get hustled in the marketplace. I do enjoy images like this though that remind me of exactly what shops had stocked. These photographs become cultural lessons.

Beyond my photography, this month,  I have continued to focus on improving my health. While it might seem like I have gone a wee bit cukoo about health, I am really just trying to get my body to where it needs to be so that I can enjoy life for a long time to come. Frankly, it has been freeing to let me take care of myself, and exploring all of the new technological tools has been fascinating. Being able to track my progress and seeing the patterns have helped me remain focused on my goals and learn all about how my body reacts to activities and foods.

On Wednesday, the school sends me to Photoshop CS5 Power User workshop in Toronto. It will be a great way to break up an already short week, and to prepare for the hundreds of images that I will need to work on to complete the upcoming yearbook. While it is not as instructional as a $500 workshop with a group like PiKto, it is an intensive look at new ideas and options for working with the images I might shoot over the next year.

The day is coming to a close now, and I am grumpy. I feel like I should have been able to accomplish about thirty things this afternoon, but did not. I feel like the ProTools recording I did should have sounded much better than it did, but it did not. I feel like I should have gone for a ride on the bicycle, motorcycle and walked all over Toronto – time just slips away. Perhaps I should take a little catnap before I do a Qi-Gong video class and make dinner. V. talked about making muffins on the phone last night, so maybe I just need to bake a little treat for the week. If there is one thing that I have learned is the little treats can make a big difference.

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