Who am I? I’m just another aspiring photographer, writer, and artist, who also happens to be a full-time university student. I’m that person wandering down the street not watching where they’re going because they’re writing a poem in their head. I’m that person taking pictures of everything at the table next to you in the coffee shop because the light is so amazing. I’m that person who stares at you without realizing it because they’re thinking about what technique they would use to draw your hat. But I’m also that person who sits next to you in school trying to get an A in science. I shop in the stores with you. I work with you. I file taxes every April just like you. Sometimes I’m more that person than the first one. After all, stores don’t accept photographs as payment. So, I began this blog as my commitment to spend more time on my art, not just the art I'm required to create for school. I committed that at least once a week, I will give you a look through my eyes: it might be serious; it might be funny. It might be through writing, photography, or some other art form. That's not really the important part to me: the idea was really just this: Now that I'm committed to do this, I actually have to take the time to capture how the world looks to me, and that hopefully, while I’m capturing these views, I’ll get better and better at it. I think that the world looks different through my eyes, feels different under my fingertips, and sounds different in my words than it does in yours. This is mine. I probably don’t capture it the best way; I just capture it in my own little way. Enjoy.

 

Does everything need photoshopping?

Is it possible, that with our culture feeling the need to retouch everything to perfection, we’re actually losing sight of the beauty of imperfection, and the strength of a photo that shows reality?

I find it amazing to see how glamorous, ideal beauty can rip the heart and soul out of a photograph that we are all familiar with, yet we expect that same plastic beauty in modern photography, and are ready to cry foul if it isn’t there. 

What’s happened to all the real people?

The media is giving women images of unreal and non-existant ‘perfection.’ If Dorothea Lange’s dust bowl survivors can look like supermodels, so can any woman in the world: with photoshop. 

Why are we all torturing ourselves with this strange ideal that doesn’t actually exist in any woman, but in a computer?

Why are we not celebrating and marveling at the fact that not one of us looks the same, instead of all trying to become the same person? 

Why are we not celebrating the real people?

These women have more strength, courage, character, and life in their untouched portraits, than any supermodel selling perfume. 

Let’s bring back the real people. 

{Original images by Dorothea Lange (migrant mothers & daughters series). Retouched images by C.H.}

Art Classmate (looking at my drawing): That’s amazing! I love it!

Me: Oh you think so? Thanks! I kind of thought it looked like the dream you’d have after a chick-flick marathon and two bowls of chocolate ice cream.

 Classmate: (pause) Oh. Yeah, it kind of does. but it’s still cool. 


I was aiming for dramatic, artistic, surreal and romantic. Something went wopsy, and I ended up with amateur cutesy, cliche, and slightly chintzy-looking.

I didn’t like the assignment, (drawing from collage) but I still tried hard, and I didn’t like the product. Oh well. I’m learning I have to stop trying for and expecting to be perfect. (Why I haven’t already learned this from my photography, I really don’t know.) I’m learning I have to strive for my best, not perfection.

"But wait!" You say. "You’ll never get anywhere if you just do your same old, same old best all the time."

You’re right, you imaginary dissenting reader; you are absolutely right. I’m not finished - what I’m really learning, or have learned and am trying to apply is; to strive for my best, while striving to make my best better.

Because perfect? It’s unreachable. And while reaching for the unreachable might make you better (and make a good song), it’s also pretty painful, disillusioning, and can poison you to what you do that’s good. Because last time I checked, none of us are perfect, and it stands to reason nothing we produce will be perfect.

Me, my new goal is improvement: to just keep pushing my best closer to perfect, to make the next one, and the next one better and better. Even though there may be chintzy, cutesy disappointments mixed in, I can always strive to make the next one better through what I’ve learned from the bad.

This time: A bad best, but one from which I learned.

Next time? Next time, I hope, will be a better best.