Words in Boxes

Nouns, verbs, and occasionally adjectives.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Creativity and “Courageous Sucking”

From 43 Folders (emphasis mine):

I laid on the sidewalk. All the way down. On my gut on 50° of western San Francisco concrete.

And, I took my time, thinking about the aperture (all the way open for depth of field) and the available light (very little, so I put the the camera right on the ground to steady it). I snapped a dozen or more shots with slightly different settings. No idea what I was doing. People walked by, cars passed, the L barreled by, but I kept shooting until I was satisfied that I might have something. Then, I grabbed the shoe, stood up, and trotted back up the hill, triumphant, with a recovered piece of footwear, plus what I suspected might be at least one pretty good photo.

I like how it turned out.

Yeah, I know, it’s no masterpiece, but I’m proud of it for reasons of my own. Because, last night, as I was splayed prone in the fog along Taraval Street, I realized I was getting a little better at this.

Not because I’d been magically touched with mythical creativity and skill, but because for a moment I was thinking more about how to use what I’d learned to get a good photo than I was about how I might have looked while doing it. And, that felt like a small turning point.

I'm James Sulak, a software developer in Houston, Texas.

You can also find me on Twitter, or if you're curious, on my old-fashioned home page. If you want to contact me directly, you can e-mail comments@wordsinboxes.com.