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enlight1

When I took the above picture, my wife asked me why I took this photo. What would I do with it? I explained it to her and it occurred to me that behind every photo is probably a story. Of course, the length of the story would obviously vary but indeed, every picture has at least some kind of story. So let’s begin this one with a little history. It is essential to understanding how I shoot photos. Thus it must be told.

When I was a wee lad. Ok, I was not so wee, but I sure was young. I was 21 and very, very, poor. I needed a job but had no real skills. I discovered a program Iowa had at the time, that helped disadvantaged youth get the skills needed. I signed up and took a week long series of tests to determine my skill set.

The tests results were revealed on my b-day. Now I want you to understand these next few sentences are not about bragging, they are about helping you understand why and how this affected me. They threw a birthday party for me on the day of tests results which everyone enjoyed except for me. The reason I did not enjoy it was because of my results.

I was the last person they revealed the results for. The told me I received the highest score that anyone had ever received. While on surface this may seem like a great and amazing thing. But when you dig down into it, you can see how this would be bad.

You see, the purpose of the tests was to assess my strengths and weaknesses so that they could pinpoint the best training for me. You cannot pinpoint anything when your tests come back basically “good at everything”. My lowest score was manual dexterity, and thus, they told me that aside from a factory assembly line worker, I could choose any other career path I desired, and they would give me a two year free ride. They also informed me that my highest score was spatial reasoning. Sadly, there were no degrees at the community college that would make much use of this skill.

So I was left with a complete conundrum. I could go to college for free, but not be able to use my best skill. In case you are wondering, spatial reasoning basically means you have the ability to see things clearly, inside your mind, before they are created. Obviously, this is a great ability to have if you enter a career in the arts. Sadly, at the time, the local college did not have any 2 year degrees in the arts. The program was designed to put you into a practical career and even then the arts were not considered stable enough. Not sure they ever will be.

The point of all that is to show, why I have always faired well with artistic endeavors. For music, being able to visualize a chorus before even beginning work is powerful. In writing, the ability to be able to visualize a scene and even the ending before a single word is typed…phenomenal! In photography, being able to visualize all the possible ways a picture can possibly turn out, absolutely a must!

I hope you can see why it was essential for me to include that brief history story of myself. It was important that you understand that when I view a scene, many images slide by in my head, before I even consider taking the time to make that shot. The above picture is no exception.

Many images went through my mind, but the one that stuck and made me decide to snap the shot was something retro. But in the end, I always try to let the art take me in the direction it desires, so we shall see.

I think in the future, I will add a small story with each picture. I think it brings the picture from 2 dimensions into a realm tad closer to 3 dimensions.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the the subject of this post? If so, speak up! I would love to read any intelligent, well-thought out replies.

‘Till next I type,

JB

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