DAYS AND NIGHTS

We stay up late. We also sleep late. This is actually (sorry about the pun) a rather late development for me. I was always a “morning person.”

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Woke up early, got most of whatever I needed to do, done. Quickly and efficiently. Except now, although I get up in the morning, it’s the late morning. How much I do depends on how I feel and whether or not I got any good sleep the night before.

No matter what time I got up, I’m up past midnight and depending on what I’m reading, it might be a lot later. Sometimes, morning and night fade into one another.

I don’t have a work schedule, so it’s entirely possible I’m unsure what day of the week it is unless I look at a calendar.

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Days tend to be similar to one another, so recalling if I did that thing I do everyday today or yesterday can be tricky. I give Bishop his medicine, put drops in Bonnie’s eye, take my medicine, write that thing I’m planning to write. It’s a bit fuzzy around the edges.

Am I remembering yesterday or today? I have to try to recall a particular thought or event that pins the moment to the day.

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This isn’t a bad thing, mind you. Simple routines are not jarring, don’t set my teeth on edge. The absence of drama is a gift.

Night or day? Maybe once there was a clear line of delineation between the two … but now? It’s all life. It goes on 24 hours every day. For some of those hours, I’m awake. For others, I’m asleep. That will suffice.

NOT THE RULE OF THIRDS – DOWN THE MIDDLE

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CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK #11 CENTERPOINT – BREAKING THE RULE OF THIRDS

From Cee:

This week’s CCY Theme is Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds. For this assignment I would like to see at least 4-6 photos of photos taken with the center of your photo being the location of your main subject. 

When is a rule not a rule?

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I’m not a very good follower of rules. I think rigid adherence to rules — in art or in life — stifles creativity. Thus, although I understand the guidelines, I don’t think about them while I’m shooting. I look in the viewfinder or screen . When I see something that pleases me, I shoot. No matter where it falls in the picture.

It belonged in the middle and any other position looks weird.

The rule of thirds is a useful guideline — especially during editing — but it is by no means a law that must always be followed. Many pictures fall naturally into thirds. If you have to force it, the rule probably doesn’t  … or shouldn’t … apply.

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As Cee showed in her examples, just because you can crop and force a photograph to fit “the rule,” it doesn’t mean the result will be satisfying. Know when to follow your own eye and instinct.

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Macros often work out best place in the middle of the frame, at least in part because of the way macro lenses focus. When you are shooting very tight and close, you often don’t have much choice in where you put your subject. Or, more to the point, you may want your picture on the left, but your camera may have its own idea. I do not argue with my lenses because I always lose.

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Sometimes the middle is the middle and not the middle. This is one of those.

When the frame is completely full, your picture is by definition in the middle!

When you fill your frame completely, the subject tends to be in the middle by default.

The middle, but also the left upper quadrant and the right lower quadrant. When you work a diagonal, is the picture centered?

The above picture is centered … but it’s also on a diagonal. It’s not always a simple choice.

The street is in the middle, but maybe the interesting parts on on either side? It's not always 100% obvious where the main subject really is.

The most important lesson to learn is that rules are not rigid or mandatory. They are meant to be broken. Understanding why rules exist is dandy, but don’t follow blindly. Use your eyes, your heart, and your vision.

It’s rule breakers who are remembered as great artists.

WHAT’S THAT THING YOU’RE WEARING?

“How come Gibbs is wearing a coat in Arizona in the summer?”

I was talking to Garry. It was an NCIS rerun. We watch a lot of reruns, though this new fall season of TV is shaping up better than I expected, so maybe there will be new shows to watch.

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The question about costumes comes up often and on various shows. One of the more common “duh” moments is when the male lead is wearing a coat and the female lead is skimpily dressed. No explanation needed for that one.

More weird is when each cast member is dressed randomly, apparently without regard for the plot. One is wearing a heavy winter coat, another a light denim jacket. A third is in shirtsleeves. Some are clothed in jeans or other casual stuff while others look ready for Wall Street … or a cocktail party. Women are supposedly hiking. Or running from or after serial killers while wearing 4-inch spike heels. My feet hurt looking at them.

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Garry and I have done a tiny bit of movie “extra” work so I’m guessing it goes like this:  “Go find something that fits in wardrobe and be on set in ten.”

Everyone hustles off to wardrobe, which looks like a jumble sale or the clothing racks at the Salvation Army store. Most of the clothing in wardrobe probably came from some second-hand source or other.

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Everyone dives in looking for something that fits. As soon as they find an outfit … any outfit … they head for a changing booth, then off to be on set before someone yells at them. Stars get slightly better wardrobe or wear their own clothing. Wearing ones own clothing, both on TV shows and movies is quite common. I understand why.

The real question is not why everyone on a show is poorly or inappropriately dressed. It’s whether or not the people who produce the show think we won’t notice.

My theory is they don’t care if we notice or not. They don’t want to spend money on wardrobe. They figure if you and I notice, we won’t care. In any case, we’ll keep watching. And they’re right. It’s a bottom-line  world. Wardrobe is an area where corners can easily be cut.

The thing is, we do notice. You don’t need to be a professional critic or especially astute to see the incongruities of television costuming.

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It’s not just costumes, either. Sloppy editing, crappy scripts, stupid plots that include blatant factual and continuity errors. Ultimately, we do stop watching. Because it’s obvious they don’t care so why should we?

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You notice it on long-running shows that had good scripts and editing, but not any more. Quality slides. Producers are baffled when loyal fans stop tuning in. Obvious to a normal person, but apparently incomprehensible to network executives. Disrespect for viewers is at the root of much of the illness besetting the TV industry.

They should be nicer to us. We’re, after all, the customers. Aren’t we?