Along the old railroad path pictured in the last post were a few headstones. They were out in the middle of the woods not too far off the path. The woods is private property now and most of it is fenced off. Normally no one would ever see the graves as the leaves would conceal them. But since the leaves are long gone the headstones could be seen. They are a little hard to read but they listed three people:
An infant that died when it was delivered on October 23, 1836
Isabella Sedwick who died March 10, 1848 at the age of 7
and Marion Sedwick who died January 8, 1850 at the age of 15.
I have no idea who the people were, what they did, why the died or why they are buried in a woods and forgotten. But at least they are remembered here. Another note about this is that a friend of mine drove past here late one night and saw a little girl in an old dress running through the field across the road. Maybe it was Isabella.
Another day of photography class and today we got to use the studio. We set up the seamless and got some tota lights out. And we started shooting portraits. Sometimes it can be hard to shoot in class, because there are ten other people all trying to get a shot. Today was a little hard but I was able to slip in every now and then and snag a couple of shots. Emily was our model today and I was able to grab this shot.
“It’s all about the light”. That’s Professor Foley’s favorite thing to say. But it really is. Light is a photographer’s medium. He is always talking about good light and bad light, harsh light, soft light and learning to work with it. Whenever we shoot outside he says “God is our gaffer.” A gaffer is a person that sets up all the lighting on a set. And our assignment was take photos where we controlled the light. And I have to say, I think the light turned out well with this one.
Mirrors are lovely things. And I am sure I have talked about them before or at least alluded to them. And this particular mirror and this particular model have shown up before. I like mirrors. They allows us to see ourselves. This is pretty obvious, but they really do allows us to look at ourselves from the outside. A glimpse at ourselves from another perspective. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But the picture isn’t perfect. We see flaws that others never notice. We look at ourselves and are harsh. But we should remember that it is a reflection, an image, and it can be distorted, blurred, flawed and not fully true.
Today in class we were told to go take portraits outside. Now portraits are not really my thing. I’ve never been that good at them or that comfortable with taking them. But I’m starting to get better. And it was fun shooting different people today. Just as class was ending I asked Alyee (another person in class) to let me get her picture. And I ended up with this, which was my favorite portrait of the day.
This photo is not from today, but it carries with it some things I feel I should say. I’m just gonna go for it. I think we get to choose how we look at the world. We do not get to choose what happens to us and what life throws at us. Life is rough and it is dirty and mean and cold. It can get very shitty very quick. But it is also beautiful and warm and full of love and passion and goodness and ecstatic joy. I have known some extreme lows and some great highs. And I have learned a lot. I’m learning that we get to control how we perceive things. And that is powerful. We get to choose whether we will be happy or angry or sad or miserable. We all have bad days. I get it. I’ve had some bad days. Sometimes we just need a bad day. We choose it. We choose to be self-centered and feel low. We just do it sometimes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But all those other days. We get to look at them differently. We get to look at the joys and the beauty of this insane world around us. I went to the zoo and there were annoying, bratty little kids everywhere and stupid parents and unpleasant people. I could have let it ruin it for me. But no, I saw seals and birds and orangutans and fucking sharks and it was fun and I had a good day. It is to easy to have a bad day. It is so easy to get into that low, pitiful state. I know, because I did it all the time. I still do sometimes. But I have learned to look at things differently. There is a quote I am learning to take more and more to heart. It will be my final thought on this subject. It goes, “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” Go see the world because, my god, we don’t have much time and I want to have more great days than bad ones at the end and I hope you do too.
Today was a great day. It started out in a Waffle House early this morning in Pendleton. Me, Hannah, Brandy, Nick and Mary met up there and had breakfast. From there we headed to Gary. We were running on about two hours of sleep but we weren’t going to let that slow us down. We were driving all the way to Gary to shoot some abandoned buildings there. We started with an abandoned train station. The building was great, but very eerie. It was filled with graffiti and fliers of missing people. One bit of graffiti that kept reoccurring was “The Rest Are Dead” in red paint on the walls. There was also this very dark hallway that none of us really wanted to go in. That is where the picture above was taken. After walking on the railroad and watching several trains go by, we moved on to the next building. That building was an old church. We explored this large building for quite some time as there were several levels and a basement. It was perfect for shooting. Then we moved onto an abandoned theater, which was slightly terrifying. For some reason everyone got a weird vibe from the heavily decayed building. We got a few shots there and then quickly moved on to an old school building. A few shots there and then we wrapped up the trip by driving by a house that had apparently contained demons and the family that lived there was possessed at one time. It was a great road trip. We got some great shots, had a lot of fun, saw some very creepy things, and made it out of Gary in one piece.
“I can work with that”, I said, pointing to the sunset that was starting as we drove along a country road this evening. I needed a shot for today and it had been a while since I shot a sunset. “I hate sunset pictures,” she said. “They’re too overused. Unless you can make it interesting.” I stopped the car and we sat there for a minute. I just watched the sunset and her, studying both. I grabbed my camera and ended up with this. So there it is. Another sunset photo, but I think I made it interesting this time.