Just another balmy day in paradise.

 There's one fun thing about being freelance (well, there's probably more than one fun thing.....) and that is the reality that you can "call" the holiday vacation whenever you darn well feel like it.  Our last job got delivered on Sunday along with an invoice.  At that point I started telling people that we were done for the year.  And what a great day for it.  It's the winter solstice and it was also 80 degrees (f) here in Austin today with a blue sky full of sun and long, lingering shadows and caramel colored sunsets.  What a perfect time to ditch work, grab a camera and go for a walk.

I haven't played with the Canon 5D2 enough so I pulled it out of drawer and stuck the 85mm 1.8 on the front.  I walked around from 3:00 pm til 5:00 pm and I only shot stuff that I liked.  Which brought me back to a basic truth about my kind of photography.....it's little more than an excuse to stare at stuff with an intensity that's otherwise frowned upon.

Rational intention ruins art.  Or something like that. I've found that you really can't go out with an agenda and come back with anything close to what you had in mind when you set out to shoot.  Or as Woody Allen once said, (paraphrasing from a monologue in Manhattan) "Nothing worth knowing can be understood by the mind."  You really just have to be there.  The image above is the front door of the Red Fez, a bar in downtown Austin.

So I walked the route I usually walk and I looked at a lot of stuff I didn't photograph.  I wish more people spent time outside in Austin.  We're great for concerts in the park but not so great for the passagio.  Lots of cars but not a lot of foot traffic.  I spent time looking at windows. And doors.

And sometimes I found seed pods on magnificent trees against French blue skies, just begging to be photographed.  And aluminum windows with cool and warm tones, framed by black.  And I was happy just to be outside and moving.  And the camera in my hand felt like a tether.  Keeping me connected with everything I was seeing.

Belinda asked me to be home on time.  We were having a Mexican chicken soup with squash.  White cheese and tortilla chips on the top.  Garnished with fresh avocado.  Quesadillas on toasted whole wheat tortillas and a bottle of Cupcake Red Velvet wine.  I paused as I walked back toward my car, over the pedestrian bridge.  I was loving the contrary rhythms of the city.  The worker bees commuting home, air conditioners separating them from the warmth and vibrant glow of the outside, while the free spirits docked their kayaks under the bridge to frolic in the cool water of Lady Bird Lake.  And I was somewhere in the middle.  Vaguely trapped by the idea that I should be doing something "productive" but all the while knowing that I was already on vacation in my mind......

Life is short.  And can be sweet.  And all I really want for Christmas is the time and energy to enjoy it fully.  I wish the same for you.

Tech:  Canon 5D2.  85mm 1.8.  That's about it.


Oscar said...

Oscar Wilde said: "Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." - Oscar

Dave Jenkins said...

Business hasn't been so great the last few years, but I do well remember that wonderful "Okay, that's it until after the first of the year" feeling. Especially when I had a studio. Not so much, now that I work from home.

A merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Special thanks to you for your blog, which I always find encouraging.

Ezequiel Mesquita said...

Thanks Kirk for your wishes and cheerful post. I wish you, Belinda and Ben a merry Christmas and happy New Year. And a great 2011, healthy and full of the kind of work you love to do most.