Monday, June 18, 2007

I felt a little dizzy

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Oh lerd. The Fair. Who would think that going to the fair to look at my photo and eat fried whatevertheyputinthevat would make me have so many feelings. Feelings that are barely contained and spill all over the floor in a big feeling mess. Don't step in the pile of feelings!! Someone get the paper towels!! And a mop!

It's a well-known fact my brain is broken. I have the Edsel of skulls. The new Coke of minds.

I entered that photo contest saying that I'd be thrilled if just one of my 6 photos made it onto the wall, the hell with getting a ribbon. One of my photos made it onto the wall and didn't get a ribbon and I was thrilled. For about a day. Then I was bummed. Then excited. Then irritated, followed by happy, then back around to bummed. Then anxious. See? Broken.

I was so excited and proud of myself until I started thinking, which is what always gets me into trouble. The photo that was chosen was, in my opinion, the worst of the lot I turned in. Not taken with my most expensive camera, reflections spots all over the top, so how in hell was it picked? Were the others so horribly bad? What was the criteria? Should I throw in this towel before it's got a drop of sweat on it?

It's so dumb, but gets dumber, just wait.

After fighting the crowds just to get into the damn place, walking around a bit and eating crap we finally made it up to the photography exhibit. Upon seeing the first display I slowly developed a teeny tiny anxiety attack. The photos, one after another, BLEW ME AWAY. They were unbelievably beautiful. Impossibly amazing. Staggeringly awesome. All over the place! Everywhere I looked I said to myself, holy shit, what the fuck am I doing here?

And occasionally I was like, dammit, I should have submitted that other picture, or, hey, I turned in one almost exactly like that, why didn't mine make it? But mostly I just crapped my pants and felt unworthy and impressed beyond belief at the same time. I mean, these people had talent. Assloads of talent. Talent I thought I might have sometimes when the moon is in the 7th house of Jupiter on the 4th Thursday in the second quarter of the year.

(I'm not always chock-full of confidence ready to kick ass and take names. Sometimes I'm a big old crybaby with very little self-assurance and a abundance of self-doubt. This was one of those times. I'm human. Occasionally.)

As we were walking around I wasn't finding my photo and thought I could be all cool about it but finally I couldn't take it any more. I wasn't going to be able to concentrate let alone process oxygen until I found it. We booked it to the other side of the room and there, right in the middle of the wall was my shark. I squealed "there it is!" And smiled and jumped a little off the ground, then noticed IT LOOKED LIKE CRAP.

I thought I'd mounted it OK since I was ignorant to such things and didn't know anything about the process and it was too late to get it professionally dry mounted so I was stuck using artists tape and apparently did a shitty job paired with gravity which equaled a very wrinkly slightly embarrassing display and I wanted to cry through my pride. It felt like I sent my kid to the first day of school with miss-matched shoes and a lunch of peanut-butter & mayo on rye carried in a full-sized grocery bag.

These pictures are like my little children. I feel attached to them and responsible and it was a vulnerable thing to go through, especially when want to lick your finger and smooth out that wayward hair sticking straight up. But then I was also proud and wanted to tell the strangers milling about that hey! That one's mine! Although I didn't because fucking hell, my poor little pocket-camera shark was flanked by stunning portraits from the sea and not 1 but 2 merit ribbons!

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Oh, the drama. I was splashed with emotions, a little indigestion from the fried Pepsi, and I've spent the last 2 days vacillating between thinking I'm a dork who doesn't compare to knowing that I'm just starting out, know virtually nothing about photography or my camera and gawd forbid I can fucking remember what aperture means so pull my head out, what do I expect?

Such is the pattern of so many minds, I think. Bouncing between the I sucks why bother and man, this makes me want to learn and strive and go as far as I can go. Frankly, if you concentrate on the former and not the latter then you're kind of a jerk and I'm no jerk. Cranky, yes, jerk - no.

I will also take my own advice I gave out recently that change is supposed to hurt. Some learning experiences are uncomfortable so we can recognize the hard work put into it. (Which, btw, SUCKS.) But, I will deal with my pulses of displeasure and moments of pain and get a grip on my feelings of lame and push myself to be better. As Big Black would say, "Do WORK, Betty, Do WORK." Which I will.

And next time I'm getting that shit properly mounted. Oi.

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Avalon said...

Oh Betty,

I so orefer my art somewhat wrinkled. It adds such a flair.

And seriuosly, now that my wonky computer is again allowing me to view your photos............they are beautiful!

Avalon said...

And Betty, thankfully, I am a better bitch than I am a typist.

Truly said...

Your photo looks stupiendous, and your skills will only improve with time and experience. This is your first competition! Be proud of yourself!

Joan said...

Your stuff is GOOD! You might want to take a course in "pitcher takin" just to get some tips and shit.

red said...

"It felt like I sent my kid to the first day of school with miss-matched shoes and a lunch of peanut-butter & mayo on rye carried in a full-sized grocery bag."

i can see this. i can't read the name on the bag, but i can see it.

Bitter Betty said...

Thanks y'all. I'm still having the anxieties but drowning them with chocolate. It's helping. And I do plan on taking classes, just as soon as I find one not entitled "Be a Pro in a Day for only $1200."

Dharma said...

I know that place SO well. I majored in photography in high school so I know a little about what you mean. Your work rocks. Merit ribbons and all that stuff- so subjective. Your are awesome.