When I went to put on my favorite turtleneck sweater to wear to the rally, I realized that I have had that sweater for over 10 years (gotta love The Gap). That's me in the sweater with my dad and brother right after the Pats defeated the St. Louis Rams to become one of the more unlikely Super Bowl champs of all time. The funny thing about this is that it's a terrible picture. We all look horrible, the background is an ugly, untrimmed window, we have red eyes and are totally pale and overexposed (oh wait, that's how everyone looks in the Northeast in the winter). You know what else about this picture? It is one of my all time favorites. I look at this picture and it brings back the emotions of that day. The fact that the Pats won the Super Bowl? Fantastic. The fact that I got to watch with my dad and brother? Priceless.
First off, I need to apologize to Wes Welker for leaving him off the interesting fashion choice list yesterday. I don't know how I could have missed those bright red pants.
I was kind of disappointed that we didn't get there early enough to get a better seat for pictures but then I saw that people had arrived at the crack of dawn or before. Like the one hardy soul that proclaimed that she spent the night at Bar Louie's and then slept in her car. Can you imagine the smell in that car??
The last time an ankle was featured this prominently in a Boston/New York matchup, it ended in a bloody sock. Where is Dr. Bill Morgan now when we need him?
My son, the one that proclaimed the rally boring when it was all over, was glued to the coverage looking for himself. Also every time that anyone mentions that there were over 25,000 people at the rally, he tells them that he was there, even if he's talking to the radio.
In my ongoing quest to ward off the blah of winter, I have resolved to force myself to do things instead of just complaining about being bored. Today I had a perfect opportunity to put this resolve to the test. The Patriots were having a send-off rally so we decided to go. A couple of things aided our decision: it was really sunny and not too cold, the stadium is only about 20 minutes or so from my house and, wait for it, it was FREE. And we all know that I LOVE free. So we layered up and headed out. I'm so glad that we did because it featured some great moments. And interesting fashion choices, my husband and I were wondering if maybe Deion Branch was making his First Communion and of course, nothing says Super Bowl like a pink suit.
We also saw Kid from Kid N Play, you know the group from back in the late 80s/early 90s. Just kidding, it was really Tiquan Underwood.
When we went to the Bruins parade earlier this year, I remember thinking that I love when players have cameras and seem just as excited about everything as we are. And yes, it was hard to write that sentence without feeling just a tad smug about the state of sports in Boston.
All in all, it was a great time. Go Pats!!
As so often happens (it's funny but I remember this phrase from an old SI article a bunch of years ago), after I posted the other day, I came across a couple of other posts about the topic that were written by some photographers that are much more accomplished than myself. Here are the links:
The online photographer
Someone sent me the link to the first one (thanks again, Carolyn) and it is kind of cool how similar it is to mine (actually how similar mine was to it!). If you get a chance, check them out. They are very enlightening and not just when it comes to photography.
***** Warning: Reading this post may negatively impact your mood *****
I hate this time of year, I really really hate it. It is so blah, there is nothing to do, it's hideously gray and ugly outside. I don't feel like doing anything so I don't which only makes it worse. Feeling blah is definitely one of those vicious cycle type of things. I'm bored and restless but can't think of anything to do or force myself to do anything which just makes me feel more blah which makes me feel even less like doing anything. UGH!! I know why Seasonal Affective Disorder got a name that can be called SAD because that's really what it makes me: sad. And grouchy and really hard to live with. Sometimes I'm shocked that my husband doesn't move out from January through March. Actually I do know why he doesn't, he knows I'll make him take the kids.
Well at least it's Friday but again not as fun as a summer Friday which may feature Coronas out on the deck. By the way, Corona's find your beach ad campaign is a nice try but it just ain't flying over here. My only beach is well the beach. Or at least beach type weather.
There was another really good thing about sledding the other day. I know, you're done with hearing about sledding but there really is nothing else going on around here, it's really boring around here in the winter. Anyway I loved the fact that I was able to get a good picture of each one of my kids without a big hassle. Well except for the 20 minutes it took for us all to get dressed and the calls of "Mom, I need gloves, boots, a hat, snow pants, etc." It would be nice to have gotten one of all of them together but for today, I'll just be happy with what I got. Plus there's always the roof again!
The funny thing about learning, is that it's so important to keep trying to learn, no matter what field, but sometimes you feel like all you learn is that you have a lot to learn. That there is so much that you don't know. This can be discouraging enough to want to discontinue the process. Basically what happens is that if whatever you're doing is not exactly what you envisioned or not coming out perfect, then you abandon the project or task. Dr. Kevin Leman actually came up with a name for this kind of person in his book "The Birth Order Book". He calls them "discouraged perfectionists". I struggle with this ALL THE TIME which if you read his book will make sense because it is common in oldest children. Whether it is cleaning my house, which I sometimes avoid because it is totally overwhelming and with 4 kids, often fruitless. Or my photography, want to talk about what I haven't mastered? Let's see Lightroom (haven't even attempted Photoshop yet), exposure, shooting manual, flash (ugh don't even get me started), the art of posing. What I have mastered? That's easy, nothing. Or blogging, there have been so many posts that I wasn't 100% thrilled with (including this one) but if I waited for perfection, then only my draft file would be full!
I have decided that good enough is just that, good enough. That perfection is something that I will never achieve. That I'm just going to put my best out there and hope for the best. And oh yeah, I'll still keep learning to learn because although it's frustrating, it sure beats the alternative.
Looking at my sledding pictures, I realized something that I'm sure that I knew but didn't know that I knew. I know that makes no sense but it's common for me to only make sense to myself (just ask my husband). My sledding pictures perfectly capture the emotion of the day. I look at them and they make me smile because it is so obvious that the kids had an absolute blast. I realized how little it matters if they are technically perfect because the important thing is what they make me feel. If your pictures evoke emotion, then they are perfect. Whether they are underexposed, overexposed, blurry anything, if they make you remember those moments or feel those feelings, then they are truly priceless.
What a great day I had yesterday. First, I met some friends in the morning to go sledding. It was so much fun because all of my kids went, they all had a blast and they didn't fight once (that right there is worth the price of admission). We also have the perfect place to go sledding, it's close by with a steep hill but not too long. So you get a good ride but you don't have to hike back up a huge hill. Although the kids may not have thought so since the whole group of them ended up sitting at the bottom and chatting for a while.
One of the the best parts about it is that when we got home, I could sit around for the rest of the day and watch football and not feel like a slug. And watch football we did. First we watched the Pats win a trip to the Super Bowl. Then we ended the day by watching a terrific NFC championship game that not only went down to the wire but offered overtime! Just a nice, relaxing (well the Pats game was anything but relaxing) day.
Part of the reason that I find the winter so tough is that there's not a lot of stuff or opportunities to shoot. Well actually that's kind of a lie. There really is a lot to shoot in the winter but I'm such a cold wimp that I never motivate my lazy self to bundle up and go out there in the winter. But this is my year to challenge myself so today I made myself go out there. It helped that we finally got a couple of inches of snow last night and today was just beautiful. It was one of those gloriously sunny days that had it been summer, it would have been perfection. It also wasn't too terribly cold out so I made myself go out there. And I'm really happy that I did because not only did I get some pretty good pictures, I found a new location to try for some portraits. Win/win and you know how I love those. Behold the fruits of my labor:
I am so happy that it's Thursday today because Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week. It's not quite the favorite, That would be Friday or Saturday. It was really close but in the end, I decided that the anticipation of Friday beats out the pressure of Saturday. All you have to do on Friday is imagine all the fun that you'll have over the weekend. On Saturday, you actually have to have the fun, much harder, I think. Speaking of anticipation, anyone remember this old Heinz commercial??
Be careful, you'll be dating yourself if you admit remembering it. Also for years I thought the song was Heinzticipation.
Back to the days of the week, I think that Tuesday is my least favorite day. I picked Tuesday over Monday because at least Mondays have Monday night football during the season. Sunday is not as high on my list of favorites as it should be. It's actually tied with Thursday behind Friday and Saturday. Again it's the anticipation thing, only this time it's a negative. The anticipation of the week starting all over again kind of ruins the fun. Few things are as depressing to me as a Sunday night.
See this is what I hate about the winter, I actually spend time thinking about this kind of stuff. And more time than I even realize since this pretty much emerged all thought out. Happy Thursday, enjoy my tied for 3rd favorite day!!
I've mentioned that my husband is my son's basketball coach and I need to note once again what a great job he's doing. One of the mothers told me last week how much she's enjoying the games. And it's true, the games are really fun because the kids are playing as a team as well as playing some great defense. When the kids aren't in the game, I've noticed that they are really engaged in the game and actively rooting on their teammates. Slowly but surely, they're learning that playing like a team not only helps them win but maybe helps ease the pain of losing a teeny bit.
He's also done a great job of holding his tongue when a call is missed or doesn't go his way (not always his strong suit so maybe this is good learning experience for him too). We, as parents, tell our kids over and over (and over and over) that life is not fair or that people make mistakes but we all know that actions speak louder than words. And coaches having screaming matches with referees over a call, well let's just say that's sending the wrong message.
All said, I really am thoroughly enjoying this basketball season even though I'm still not thrilled with my pictures. The weekly games have become a bit of a bright spot in the otherwise blahness of winter. As for the pictures, I'll keep practicing.
I'm in the middle of reading the book, The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam. It's about the importance of visual aids in presenting something. I haven't gotten very far but it did get me thinking about better ways to explain things. My sister-in-law, who happened to be coming for a visit yesterday, often picks my brain about photography and how to do certain things. But she told me over the summer that sometimes when I explain I get too technical and in depth. This is what she hears: Aperture is important because blah, blah, blah. Basically, I lose her at aperture. The book made me wonder if maybe there was a better way to explain exposure to her. In my frequent blog stalking, I have come across many metaphors for exposure and thought one of them might help. They include a bucket being filled by a hose, a window and a day in the sun. Since we both love the beach, I decided to use the last one.
I haven't read enough of the book to know if I have the concept exactly right but I love the fact that the book even got me headed in this direction. All I really ask of a book is that it gets me thinking and gives me some ideas. And this one has already done both of those things. Please feel free to save or print a copy.
So last week, I blogged about how I'm hating the winter and what happened?? It got COLDER!! Much colder, like temperatures in the teens. Hmm, maybe I should try a reverse jinx and blog about how much I love winter so it warms up?
For kicks (yeah in the teeth maybe), I just looked up the temperature today and it says 14 degrees with a real feel of 6 degrees. 6 degrees, that's just absurd plus what does real feel even mean? Well here's their explanation, "It is a composite of the effects of temperature, wind, humidity, sunshine intensity, cloudiness, precipitation and elevation on the human body -- everything that affects how warm or cold a person feels." Well here's mine, it means it feels really flipping cold out there!!
Actually never mind the reverse jinx thought because I need to talk some more about how this cold really stinks. My daughter wanted to make brownies the other day but we were a little short of sugar. I didn't want to bring her to the store (too cold!) so she went across the street to the best neighbors in the world and borrowed a cup. This picture would be so much better if I moved my sedentary self and went outside to take it but it was too cold!! Love the slippers, the hand covering the cup and the head to toe color coordination!!
The kids are off today for Martin Luther King day so the fact that it's so cold out means they don't want to go outside and I can't say that I blame them. So they're bored, I'm bored and none of us feel like doing anything because it's too damn cold!!
Speaking of Martin Luther King, I have kind of a funny story. I was a substitute library teacher the other day so I read a book about him to a fifth grade and one of the illustrations showed him kneeling and praying. So what do the kids say? "Hey, look he's Tebowing." Pretty funny especially since genuflecting has only been around for oh, a couple of thousand years or so. Try to stay warm today. If you happen to be reading this in a warm climate, please don't take this the wrong way but I kind of hate you right now :)