Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tempted to Revert

It started with a thought about photography. Now it's expanding rapidly.

The thought was this - maybe I should start from the basics.

In terms of photography, that would mean using only my cell phone camera, all 2 blurry megapixels worth from a lens the size of a ballpoint tip. Some would say go back to film, or even set up a pinhole, but I'm trying to be realisitic here. With a shitty camera and shitty lens, it becomes entirely about composition, timing, and lighting. The fancy camera stuff gets pulled out of the equation. No wide aperture to blur the background out. No master-slave flash configurations to create dynamic lighting rigs. No tripod and a long shutter speed activated by wireless remote to eliminate the moving parts of a scene. Just a small button to push and a grainy image. Anything worthwhile that comes of that comes from reality, not half a dozen settings.

Why? Because I figure it can only help when I climb back to the SLR with it's fast, zooming, or macro lenses. The thing is that you can take a professional photographer, and I don't mean some guy doing weddings in his spare time, but someone who's entire career, nay life, is pictures, and give him the crappiest camera available, and they'll come back with art. You can give the biggest poseur the greatest gear, and they'll come back with flat, uninspired, crap. I'd much rather be able to create art with crap than crap with science.

So then I thought, why just photgraphy? Why not poker? As I've stated, my game has sucked, so why not go back to basics there? Go to level 1. What are my cards? No bluffing, no tricks, no speculation, just top 10 hands and a lot of folding. Then move myself back up. Speculate a little. Draw once in awhile. Pay attention to pot odds. Then start thinking about my opponent's hands. Then maybe bluff a bit. etc, etc.. Rebuild from the foundation up. It shouldn't take THAT long, and gives me a goal. If nothing else, it will remind me how terrible poker can be if you don't put some damned effort into it.

Then I figured cooking could benefit from the same. I've got entire cookbooks of simple recipes. 3 or 4 ingredients, nothing fancy. Sure, I can do a steak with salt and pepper and hit the doneness most of the time, but why not aim for all the time? Why not force myself to use no more than 5 ingredients in a full meal and aim on getting it cooked just right and timed properly? Rebuild the base from there.

And in the end, why not rebuild myself the same way? Strip myself down the basic aspects of who I am and what I do. Figure out who I really want to be and work towards those goals in baby steps. I mean, I have a life that affords me that luxury, I should take advantage of it, right?

It's not that I feel I have gaping fundamental flaws in any of these things. I can take a pretty good picture, cook a killer meal, and even play some solid poker when I put my mind to it. I like who I am, and know full well what many of my flaws are, but sometimes it's good to start looking at everything from the bare foundations again. You find and fill more cracks that way.

1 comment:

Riggstad said...

You know... I thought the first line read, "it started with a thought about pornography."

And then just went down hill from there :)

*don't mind me, I'm feeling lonely today