Thursday, January 28, 2010

365/27 The Castle

365/27 The Castle

Take a look at a castle. Any castle. Now break down the key elements that make it a castle. They haven't changed in a thousand years. 1: Location. A site on high ground that commands the territory as far as the eye can see. 2: Protection. Big walls, walls strong enough to withstand a frontal attack. 3: A garrison. Men who are trained and willing to kill. 4: A flag. You tell your men you are soldiers and that's your flag. You tell them nobody takes our flag. And you raise that flag so it flies high where everyone can see it. Now you've got yourself a castle.

Irwin, The Last Castle

It has been one of those days where the afternoon of angry cloud fronts and the wet smell of rain have left me garrisoned inside my castle. Well, my home. It ended up being a quiet and sullen evening, so I slapped The Last Castle onto the TV, turned the volume down, and let it percolate through the air like bad lounge music. Only, with explosions, guns, and insurrection.

The lead-in narration to the movie has always inspired me, remind me that there are basics for everything that just don't change. Building blocks upon which your metaphorical walls and turrets, parapets and flags, soldiers and saints sit upon, ready to be assaulted by ... whatever. This time, it was self-deprecation.

I've been kicking myself today because I had the opportunity to shoot with a really good rigger earlier this week and I didn't. I couldn't re-arrange my evening schedule for even a single hour to pop over to where he was set up. I keep telling myself it would have been epic, but that doesn't seem to help my mood. It's not often that I get to shoot something that has been set up by someone else and all I have to worry about is my photographic vision.

This weekend, though. This is different. A local body painter and I have been playing tag for the last few months, talking about doing a shoot or two. He does excellent work. This will be my first time shooting something like this, so I'm really excited about it. He's going to do something inspired by Mardi Gras and Carnival. Should be fun. If it works out the way I expect and we're both happy with the results, we're going to do some more collaborative shoots in the future.

For now, though, I'm going to relax in my castle and think about what my photographic flag should be. Maybe that'll help steel my artistic confidence and keep me working against the lumbering hordes just outside the walls. Oh, and while I'm at it, I think I'll steal a few pieces of Pez from the dispenser so carelessly left on the kitchen table the kids. Pez makes everything right as rain.

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