Monday, February 21, 2011

the privilege of following your dreams

After I got the camera with one basic lens, I have been spending a lot of time learning about other lenses and their prices. I can't afford any of it now, I hope I will be able to save for a macro in a few months.
I felt a bit of self-pithy for my poor self, that I had to wait so long before buying a decent camera, even though I love photography and have been told to produce quite good photos.
But then... I do have the camera. And before I could play with a pretty good point and shoot. It's hard, I can't get the high-shelf or multiple lenses... But I have it.

I can only imagine how many people in this country (so OMG developed and rich) can't follow their dreams, passions and talents because of their financial situation. There are no photography classes in public schools where kids could borrow a camera to learn. Free art classes with supplies provided. Free sculpture or lithography classes. Free dance classes of many kinds. My mom dropped out of Academy of Arts because she could not afford the supplies (the school was in Poland, for free, but the supplies not provided). My father dropped out from full-time chemistry studies, because of financial situation. He had to go full time work, and was studying weekends for more profitable industry - mining.

It pains me that access to art and self-expression is still a form of privilege. As if the poor had no passions, dreams, talents and visions. We, as a society, assume they are born to work physically, know their place and keep their heads down. We assume the poor cannot be sophisticated, sensitive, visionary, genius, fascinating human beings. The poor are not allowed to worry about arts or higher thinking. That's luxury. They are not supposed to want to live in a nice places, to have access to beauty in many forms. They are forced to live in ugly housings, ugly and dirty neighborhoods, grey and sad schools.

So I will keep on enjoying my new camera, rejoicing with the chance I have to live my passion. And remember how privileged I am to have it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Downtown Baltimore











new camera

I love photography. I love looking through the view finder, the sounds, the images... I love the emotional security that hiding behind a camera offers. I love the passive capturing of reality. I love how an image stays frozen, holding to time and space long gone.
I have a dream that one day I will be able to support myself through photography... I don't find it realistic, but it would be so wonderful.

Last week, after a few years of trying, I got myself my first digital SLR. As usual I feel guilty, as there is so much other things I should rather be saving for... But it was from the tax return, so it was a bit as if I simply never got the money.

I got a canon rebel T2i. For the time being I can afford only one lens, I already want one more macro and one telephoto for better candids.

It's been just a few days and I've taken already a few hundreds photos. The love came back. like a strong wave in my veins. The excitement, the anxiety to catch the flying away moments. The anxiety over my subjects not noticing me taking the photos. Playing with colors, monochromatic images and various options. It was weird that no one was paying attention to me, I felt that I must have been radiating, shining from inside.

the thing about insecurity

Yesterday I've been the second time to the local bi/gay women support group. I think it's a great thing for me and I really need it. I am proud that I made this step as it's a tremendous anxiety causing event. But I went, I talked, I listened, I felt I belonged. I am coming back in two weeks.
Each time I've heard something on what kind of qualities the women liked or disliked I automatically heard this voice in my head "oh-oh... that's me! oh no!". One of the women said how insecurity is a turn off, that she wants the women to be able to do the first step, speak up, be assertive and even a bit aggressive. And I kind of sunk inside, as I'm nothing of that. I almost wanted to negate all I am just to get her approval. But then I started to think: What is the chance we would ever hook up? Yes, she is damn cute, but she is a totally different personality, too confident, to much oxygen-consuming type to my liking. Why do I have to always look for approval? This is hard. I am really proud that I was able to speak up for the introverted types, that it's not so easy to just speak up to people, go out, hang out, do the small talk. I was actually pretty open, which I think is good for me.

But all of that got me also a bit sad, because in a way it just proved to me how difficult it is, for a lesbian, to get with someone. I guess shy guys might feel similar. Among heteros there is accepted patriarchal push for men to be the ones to start, and for women to be shy and playing cold. I hate this, but in a way it's useful. I am working on my shyness, but still it's dreadful to even imagine myself approaching someone I find attractive and chat. It's a nightmare to do it with someone I don't care about romantically, how much more with a potential love object? I am too much in my head, it's difficult.

I try not to be too tough on myself, I know I've made a great progress dealing with my anxiety and insecurities. but there is still so much to do...