Old School Film Hack


Union Station -- Washington, DC (December 2015) Sony RX1R II + Zeiss 2.0/35mm

Union Station — Washington, DC (December 2015)
Sony RX1R II + Zeiss 2.0/35mm

42 thoughts on “Gritty

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Easy… just go down around lunch time when the foot-traffic volume is much lower than normal. Besides, people don’t like to hug the edge of the platform much, so I was able to frame the image such that it didn’t include anyone standing there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lekha murali

    Well, I hope you realize I was just kidding about the ‘great photographer’ part. But every once in a while when I take a picture, I would like for it to be just so. So this advice is a good one to remember. Patience is easy. Now ‘slight of hand’- literal or figurative would be hard for me.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Haha — no worries from my end, Lekha; I figured you made that comment tongue-in-cheek. 🙂

      Slight of hand usually goes together with patience for me. Many of my images are taken in places where there are lots of people, cars, trash, or other things that detract from the visualization I have in my head.

      So I wait and I look at the subject from as many angles as I can afford. When I get the framing I want, then I wait until the moving distractions are out of the frame and take the shot.

      Sometimes the photo — as I visualize it — is only available to capture for a few seconds before the window of opportunity closes again.

      Other times, it doesn’t matter how patient I am — the opportunity for a clean shot doesn’t present itself. When that happens, I either accept it and move on — or I come back at a later time when the environment is more to my liking.


    2. Lekha murali

      That is more than patience. That is an immersive experience in creativity, where one live and breathe and obsess over that one thing with nothing to guide except instinct and experience… and when it comes together just the way it should, there is nothing like that.

      That’s why some creative expressions are better than others, when the artist looks for the best expression.

      I normally do that with my writing. Now I am not sure if I can transcend that quality to other art forms. The little writing I do, tends to get obsessive and retreat until my brain cools down.


    3. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      It’s funny that you say that.

      Cindy is borderline obsessive compulsive with her art work; immersive to the point where it hurts for her to do it (aching back from being bent over a drawing table for hours at a time, burning eyes from the strain of peering at extremely tiny brush strokes for the same reason, etc.). She recognizes that visual art is unhealthy for her, so she channels her creative streak into music now.

      I’ve been immersive with a lot of the visual art work of my youth (watercolor paintings, mixed media, pen and ink drawings, silkscreen paintings, 3-point perspective airbrush paintings, etc.), but no longer have the time to explore it as I used to — I may re-explore that aspect again later in my retirement years, but it’ll depend upon the length of the list of things I want to complete in the time I have left.

      Photography allows me a creative outlet without the horrific time expenditure of my other visual art forms, though I still spend about an hour (or more) per image that you see posted here upon my website.


    4. Lekha murali

      Borderline obsessive hmm.. Is there any way you can forward just that part of the comment to Cindy without the context?

      Aching back and burning eyes… I can relate to that. There was a time when I used to do that.

      And yes writing is not very healthy for me. But not writing makes me miserable and restless.

      Over time I have learned to pace to myself as much as I can. Still the first new idea wakes me from deep slumber and until I write it down I simply cannot go back to sleep. I try to pace myself and find some balance. That’s the best I can do.

      I have a ramshackle system in place where I allow myself to get carried away by the first fresh idea(which usually does not pan out, but leads somewhere) and let it upset my circadian rhythm. While developing the idea, I try to keep certain fixed hours. It is hard because creativity and structure do not reconcile easily.

      The time I actually take a break is when my writing feels trite. Then I take a break and realize I have a life to live and come back to it when my writing calls me which usually doesn’t take that long.

      I wish you can pursue water colors and other paintings in retirement and all the items in the list of things to do.


    5. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Haha — she and I both have compulsive tendencies and we know it, that’s why we’re such a good fit for one another (she’ll be reading this exchange anyway, so don’t worry about that). 😉

      What you describe as your creative process is the same thing for me at times. I have to break away from the computer and do other things, otherwise I’d be melded with it, à la the Borg.

      My system is to do my photo efforts in the morning prior to work, that way I have a hard deadline to go by. Infrequently, I’ll work on them again in the evenings, but I usually try to reserve that time for other activities.

      We’ll just have to see about the activity list for retirement; I still have all the tools and materials required, it’s just a matter of setting aside the time to do them.


    6. Lekha murali

      I sort of realized that. Without a degree of obsession creativity is not possible. Keeping the balance is what is hard. You seem to have a good system going for you.

      I wish I could do it that way. But there is no telling when an idea pops up and the rush that comes with it.

      I am sure Cindy would read the thread. But that would be within the context and the whole thing will make sense. You take some of it out of context and then things get interesting.


    7. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Heh, heh — oh, I think I’ll leave it in for all the context.

      I like things better on an even keel, rather than having to explain why a strange woman wants me to spring something on my wife out of context and to stir things up to “get interesting”. Oh — and heaven forbid the fun of having to explain why I would even think of such a thing as being a good idea.

      Cindy is genuinely good-natured and friendly, but she does have a formidable temper when riled — a temper I’ve only seen twice in our marriage, and I’d prefer to keep it that way.

      Would you spring something suggested by someone on the Internet like that on your spouse, if the tables were turned? If yes, then you like to live more dangerously than I. 😀


  2. Lekha murali

    Well, once again I got the foot in the mouth disease. Maybe, I should have explained better.

    The angle I was going for, when I said ‘interesting’ was that, this is how I write stories. Just cook stuff up from one thread of inspiration, which could be anything, like in this case, taking ‘obssessive compulsive’, out of context and just throwing it out there, before you know it, I would have built a couple of characters and woven a plot which would have nothing to do with the source of inspiration.

    I cook stuff up about anything and everything that strikes my fancy. That’s what happened when I read the comment. I just imagined for a moment, what would happen if only that part of the comment was taken out of context, and how it would morph into something all on its own. Since I was sure my hypothesis would not translate into reality, I just went right out and blurted it out without thinking things through. But when you thought it through for me, I got the point, like I did last time. My apologies, again. I guess its been a year.

    This is what I do all the time when I am not writing. Mostly, Murali is held captive, or if its a close friend, they have suffer this too. Over time I have come to realize that this is a big part of the process of what I love to do most. I have one friend, who is actually on the exact wavelength, most of the time and I can blurt out anything she will run with it seamlessly. Just one of well over a dozen friends.

    I should have really clarified that, especially, since I live in a world all my own. Next time I will think it through or talk to Murali who saves me from several faux pas. Apologize to Cindy for me too. It was a bit too much liberty taking. And thanks, once again, for putting things in the right order for me.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      No worries. I knew where you were coming from and I enjoy our exchanges here. No offense given and none taken. 🙂

      Sorry I didn’t respond earlier to your nice response, but I’ve been under the weather since about noon yesterday. We went to the funeral of Cindy’s sister at the beginning of this week (she died suddenly from complications due to pneumonia just before the New Year), and we appear to have both caught something during the trip — probably during the flight out. As a result, I’ve been out cold for much of the past 24 hours.


  3. Lekha murali

    Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Last month I heard about quite a few people losing close relatives. It was a heavy one.

    I hope you get well soon. The fluctuating weather is not a big help either. One day it’s winter and the next day its closer to spring.

    It was after reading your comment and writing that response I came to a realization as to why I blurt out so many dumb things. Turns out I have a tendency to go off on a tangent and just blurt out that thought, without realizing how easily that could be misunderstood by the other person, since there is no context or explanation.

    I never knew that before, even though it bothered me for being so tactless. Now thanks to this exchange I am aware of this and hopefully in the future I can reduce such instances dramatically.

    I am also glad that you came out and pointed out my blunders without much wishy-washness and with tact.

    And yes, I do enjoy these exchanges too. The topics are wide-ranging, I learn about a lot of interesting things.


    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      We’re all better here; nothing a few days of rest couldn’t cure.

      I’ve learned that there’s a lot of wisdom in the old saw: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” I hated hearing that phrase when I was growing up, but it’s served me well through the years. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lekha murali

    Keeping quiet and ignoring is not hard for me. That is in a negative scenario.

    My blunders largely happen in a relaxed setting. So the apologies I have to make are to people with camaraderie and that’s why it’s so hard for me live with that. So that’s what makes it pure blunder, because it is unintended. I never knew why I was doing it.

    Now after this exchange I realize that I have this tendency to take off on a tangent and say things from where I am in my head, without realizing how easily that could be misunderstood.

    I was not aware of that, until now how I tend to mix my imagination with reality, which is when these things happen. Now I know. Next time I shall keep these thought fragments all to myself, because they are irrelevant.

    And thanks for your candor, which is why I have come to this realize this. I hope I can make it work.


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