Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Status Report January 2011: I'm tired

I walked half of my run on the way home from the gym today. Those of you who know me, I'm pretty lazy. I hate walking. I'd rather run. And I hate running. I'd rather drive. So of all things, I decided to forego the drive to the gym and walk instead... there and back.

Something's wrong.

Only I can't figure out what's wrong. Deep down inside, I'm afraid that I'm going to get a physical and after all the tests the doctor's gonna tell me that there's something really wrong with me. Then I'll say, "Damnit, I knew something was wrong!"

Except it's not that severe. I just haven't been sleeping well.

I'm a big fan of sleep. I get a lot done when I sleep. I think about light, shoots, analysis, computers. Perhaps that's the problem? When your make an "interest" into a "living" there's no separation of "church and state". The church IS the state. I'll get off the computer at 2AM sometimes and expect to fall asleep. Is retouching that stressful? I don't think so. But at the same time, there's so much else going on in my head when I'm retouching that it's not really just retouching. I'm planning, analyzing, thinking, trying to be creative... AND retouching. So when I plop my head down at 2AM, sometimes I don't fall asleep until 3AM. And then I the hard drive in my head spools at 7AM and won't hibernate again...

Damnit. 4 hours of sleep. Truly not a good long-term proposition.

The thing is I've never had a problem sleeping. I'll sleep anywhere. I'll be asleep before the plane takes off. I'll be asleep in the middle of a baby-shower. I'll sleep half-way through a retouch. Seriously. It's never been a problem.

Until now.

Okay, I admit I might have bitten off a little more than I could chew. I think I doubled my shoots this month. That being said, work has been really good this month and it would appear that the economy is recovering on an exponential rate based upon my receipts. I have a hard time saying no when it comes to work. But how else are we going to keep the lights on at the studio?

What's the point of this blog post Charles? What are you trying to say?

I'm trying to say that I'm tired. I'm actually more than tired. I'm tired to the point where I have a hard time sleeping. You ever get that? So exhausted that you can't sleep? That's me. I'm also pushing up against a creative wall. I'm looking at my work and it looks lackluster to me. On one hand I think it's a great improvement over what I was doing before but it seems stale already... but how can it be stale already? I just made these pictures... Argh. (You know what's funny about the word "argh"? I pronounce it "Arg" in my head with a hard "g" like "golf". I don't think that's how the editors meant for people to read it... no one says "arg" to communicate frustration or pain or fear etc. At least I don't pronounce it "arf" in my head with a "f" for the "gh" ending LOL!)

All is not lost however. The purchase of the
Mole-Richardson Baby SolarSpot hath brought me 1,000W of continuous joy. (Did you know that the word "fresnel" has a soft "s" and is pronounced "fre-NEL"? Why doesn't anyone tell me these things so I don't sound like a complete jackass???) I'm rediscovering the trigger happy sports shooter in me. Bouncing off the buffer on the D3 while shooting 500 frames in 5 minutes is a joy :) Teaching private workshops (looking forward to the upcoming workshop this weekend) has been quite refreshing albeit draining. Shooting on-camera flash (aka my "polaroids") has been a treat as well. I suppose to anyone outside looking in, I'm not in a rut. I should know better by now that I'm not really in a rut either. But I feel like I am falling into one. I suppose it's this tree that I keep staring at which prevents me from understanding that I'm actually in a forest... ;)

All joking aside (really? Am I that funny?), I suppose there's a psychological push-back occurring where my fragile state-of-mind is upset that we have all this work to do. I currently have 4 shoots backlogged and as of this time tomorrow it'll be 5. With the upcoming workshop, it's been stressful trying to get all the post-processing out the door. While I've gotten significantly faster with processing, I've discovered that I haven't at all reduced the amount of time I spend per set. Which means the total time stays the same but the quantity of pictures retouched has increased. Again I shouldn't complain, but one could argue that I haven't gotten "faster" at all... Which would technically be true. To which I would respond, "You sir, are a bastard" and smile :)

In closing, I'm going to give you this little quote that I've always loved from Benjamin Button. I think it applies applicably to my situation. Perhaps you'll find that it gives you a little solace for yours as well...

For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

Cheers :)


  1. Charles,

    I know the feeling, buddy. I surely do. I hope your workshop goes well.


  2. You need to come to Utah and shoot here. The fresh air and altitude will make you sleep like a baby. A sleeping baby, not one of those crying ones with colic.

    Free place to stay, too. It will add some luster to any feelings of lack that you may have.

  3. Thanks for the kind words guys! :) I really shouldn't complain about living a dream!