Saturday Evening Post #112: Staying Fresh

Been a bit of a review time this past week.

Among other things I came across a few blog posts that resonated with me at different levels.

One is from a local blogger. George Handel,  No not THAT one. 🙂 George and his family have been recording their walks, bike rides and explorations of places in our local area. (mostly).
I think one of the things the Corona lockdown did was to give us an opportunity to explore local parks and places that we probably would normally overlook. George takes us on a fine little visual journey through some of their family favourite locations.
The other thing the lockdown has given us is an appreciation for things local, and the chance to explore them.
It often concerns me that as birders, or photographers we travel for many hours to get to a spot, and on the way blindly pass by many other worthwhile locations that would no doubt yield many great sightings and photographs.
And finally George times many of their visits around Pie Shops.  No point in being out and about if you can’t find a decent pie, I always think.

Another came to me via a newsletter.  William Beem, talked about the sequels, using many movies as examples.
Star Wars, Lethal Weapon, Pirates of the Caribbean and Terminator, just to mention a few.
His point being if you strike an emotion with an audience visually, they want to you to keep doing it over and over again.

Which leads to the point, that sooner or later, there is no growth, and each shot is made to achieve the same emotional appeal, and your vision becomes stale and stunted.  Writers I think, call it “Writer’s Block”.

Does it happen to bird photographers. Absolutely, your current scribe stand as evidence for the prosecution.

But, we also have the seasons on our side as birds, and their behaviour changes across the seasons. Which I think makes it exciting to be out and about at any time. Hopefully that keeps us fresh.

Another interesting analogy came from Ken Rockwell,(Yep, the blog everyone loves to hate), where he was talking of complaints on the internet about camera colour rendition, and of colour perception.
He likened it to everyone’s ability to talk forever about how pianos are made, but for ordinary players the subtle variations of a concert piano are eclipsed by their own limitations of playing. To a Master the subtle variations are everything.

Reminded me of a scene from the movie “The Blues Brothers”. The band goes to Ray’s Music Store to pick up some instruments.
The keyboard player complains about the feel of a keyboard, trying to beat the price down.
Ray, the owner, steps out from behind the counter and proceeds to the keyboard, (Ray, is in fact Ray Charles, for those who haven’t watched the movie 99 times))

Ray sits down and belts out one of his famous numbers. Concluding that there is nothing wrong with the keyboard, and it might well be the lack of talent of the keyboarder.

As Ken finishes off, “Art its not the duplication of reality: art is the expression of imagination.”

9 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #112: Staying Fresh

    1. Hello George, thanks for dropping by. For various reasons we don’t travel about to much. Have had 45min travel rule for years. Makes us more appreciative of local spots.
      Loved to see some of the spots you have featured. Its good to see them from the eyes of someone how is not obsessed with photographing birds.
      I often feature, “Little Journies” stories the blog.

      You never know we might catchup down the track somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Definitely good to explore local spots, some real gems there.
    And I must confess to finding it challenging to stay fresh at the moment, perhaps I can put that down to the crazy year that is coming to and end, perhaps to just needing a break. Who knows!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t there some good little honeypot spots. I liked that we could visit them through the eyes of someone else and be able to see them afresh.
      Was talking about feeling fresh behind the camera the other day. I still find I’m excited or enthused about making an exposure that encapsulates that moment in the universe.
      What is getting to me a bit is that much of what I’m looking at on the screen is starting to have a ‘sameness’ to it. Could be we are only seeing a small number of birds, or a familiarity of place and activity. Had to search a bit through the files to find the Singing Honeyeater as a broader view than just a bird on a stick.
      Perhaps the lockdown as diminished the drive to create. Have to see how it goes.


  2. Loved reading your narrative David, and got a giggle or two. I did remember that part of the movie and gave me a laugh. Lovely shot of the Singing Honeyeater, we never see here. I did not think they are as far east as you, as we miss seeing them along the east coast. Enjoy your weekend !


    1. Hello Ashley, I have admit to not being a great Blues Brothers fan. Yet, it is such a classic at so many levels. The genius is in the way we can each interact to the parts that ‘zing’ with us. Other parts just leave me cringing hoping it will all move on.
      The final scenes with the boys running through the buildings with an ever increasing number of people after them gives me cold shivers everytime I see it. 🙂
      Singing Honeyeaters were a bird of my youth, remnants of them all across the Mallee and River country. You might imagine my surprise the first time I heard one calling locally at a beach location. But it seems they are all around the coastline to the west of here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “The time has come, the Walrus said” to read your superb posts, David.
    As usual I’m beginning with the most recent one and already there are so many thoughts in my head that I probably should just sit and let them be thought…
    Definitely the local patch is something I love the most, yet I went (more than 45 min. drive) to Werribee yesterday and I felt as much at home as in Braeside. It’s been so many months, yet most of the birds were in place 😉 Except for the ‘raptors tree’ – empty as a skeleton. And I spotted the kingfisher flying high in the branches close to the orchard. Then Paul the Ranger showed me three juvenile Hobbies up in a pine tree near the hotel. It was a great first visit after the release from our lockdown.
    As for the photographer’s block I’m fighting it with trials (and errors) in shooting against the rules, composing wildly and processing boldly – too bad I’m scared to show most of the results and face the music (meaning ‘criticism’).
    OK, I’ll let the other thoughts expand. Thanks for sharing yours.
    Oh – yes, the singing honeyeaters are abundant on the beaches near Warrnambool 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. G’day Adam,
    Glad you found the Hobbies. They have only just fledged. Must make some time to get out an have an hour or so to see what they are doing.
    There are secrets down near the orchard. Probably three pairs working in the area, along the river. But, like all things it is such a secret, hard to find.

    Don’t worry to much about the ‘rules’. No one ever erected a statue for a critic.
    I think I’m still suffering ‘Lockdownitis’. Not so much motivated to get out and about too much and mostly working in my 30 minute travel rule, It used to be 45 mins, but time has marched on.
    There are plenty of Yellow-tailed Blacks down on the pines at Point Cook homestead carpark.
    And George Handel has a few trips down there to show us what a fantastic area it is just to walk in.

    And of course you have had such a good run with the nesting Great Crested Grebes. Can’t imagine how much fun that would be.

    Finally. You didn’t miss much with the Kites. There are only a few lone birds at work anywhere around the area at present.
    I was hoping the Scarlet Honeyeater would be in the Mansion Gardens, but we’ve not had any luck there either.

    Thanks for the update and I’m glad Paul was able to pass on the location


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this year has taught us that we need to appreciate the small everyday miracles in life rather than to keep on yearning for the bird we haven’t yet seen or the place we haven’t been to. Like you, I have really appreciated being able to find good places close to home, to watch and appreciate the birds there.

    A beautiful image of the Singing Honeyeater – that rim lighting is so lovely.


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