Friday, February 19, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 50

Taken: February 19, 2010, approx. 3:30 p.m.
Location: Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA

It's day 50 and I'm still crossing bridges. How do you like that?

This here bridge is a new entry to the 365 Photo Project, spanning the Russian River on Alexander Valley Road just northeast of Healdsburg proper. I learned through the magic of the internets that it's a Warren Pony truss design originally built in 1949 and it apparently has historic significance. However, while it's been renovated, it's unsettling to read that it's structurally wanting. Oops.

As you can see from the background, there's storms brewing. Today was cold and dreary enough to make that bright warm stretch we had last week feel like a fool's joke. Two days ago, I left my jacket in the car but I had it on at the computer all afternoon. It strikes me that nothing plays Russian roulette with your constitution as heartlessly as the gods of weather.

I've said here that I hoped this project teaches me more about myself, but I realize too that the brave readers who hang on throughout the year -- even those who already know me well --  might get a little insight into me, too. I would hope the images and the words that accompanying say something about me anyway.

I've discovered, for example, that I'm a different kind of artist with a camera than I am with pen (and please where photography is concerned, I use "artist" lightly). As a writer, I know my best work is like little pieces of me spread out on a page, my experiences, my point of view, the pictures I paint are mostly places I've created in my mind's eye, people I know or I've met -- all filtered through my individual experiences. I tend to write what I know. Not know first-hand, mind you (I'm not that old) but basically, it's my world view, for better or worse. I sometimes liken writing to slitting my wrists and bleeding all over the page. I know it's a gruesome image, but I do not believe the words have true authenticity if I can't mine everything I have in my head, my heart, my soul. Once more with feeling, ya know?

Taking photographs is an entirely different experience for me. For one, I lack any real confidence so I take a lot of different shots and a lot of versions of the same ones.  Thank goodness for the digital age as it has saved me a ton of money in developing costs. I see it and I shoot it and I hope for the best, fingers crossed and all that. The results, I think, rarely show me the individual. I mean I know they show my preference for image processing -- more contrast, brighter colors that sort of thing. But rarely do they say that much about how I see the world, at least not nearly as much as my writing does.

This shot? All me. Open road stretching out into the distance, a foreboding sky, destination to-be-determined. This speaks to me of endless two-lanes and the promise of winding turns, bucolic landscapes and yeah, the music cycling through my iPod on loud. My idea of relaxing is taking car trips down roads like this one, hopefully with a tasty meal or morsel or an icy glass of handcrafted brew waiting for me on the other end.

I can't think of a better image for the first big milestone of the project -- Day 50. That's how long it took me to get out from behind the camera, figuratively I mean.

Wow. 50 days. Imagine: only 315 to go. Whew.

Taken with my K100D, 18-55mm lens with a polarizing filter and edited in Photoshop.

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