I have just read an online article about photographers being generalists or specialists. I am no expert, but I think there’s nothing wrong with being either.
I say this, because, I am now aware that I have started as a generalist. I’ve had the desire to photograph almost anything and everything; from the golden and blue hour subjects to moving objects or derelict buildings. But in so doing, I have learnt a lot.
Until I realised what definitely interests me.
Every time I sat still on a corner in a public place, my attention got drawn to how humans interacted with one another and with their surroundings. I was usually at a distance and could not hear anything. So, their facial expressions and gesticulations left me guessing. I found these fascinating and decided to capture the enigma with my camera.
My niche was born. Street Photography. I’ve got a lot to learn about this genre. Is this the path to becoming a specialist?
It is surely where my interest is heightened. For now.
We shall wait and see.
En route to a popular coastal destination…
I could not help but stop driving to take a snapshot of this idyllic scenery….or so it seemed.
I thought I was lucky to have captured this moment only to realize that I am one of the many drivers on this road who broke the aura of tranquility this vista exudes.
On Every Road Trip
On every road trip
you and I take
the eye catches
one beautiful place.
That city of old
it’s simple but gold.
A village in a country
seemingly full of naivete.
Must stop and watch
A breathtaking sunset
Or sit upon the hood
And marvel at the stars.
One may yearn to stay
The heart says nay
For there is home
Not so far away.
No worries just yet
Just steer and stop
At your heart’s desire
To bask and admire
One beautiful place
the eye catches
on every roadtrip
You and I take.
I sit and eat and
through the glass wall
I watch and see
all creatures, you and me.
Cheerful ones sprint
jump and run
Mothers and infants
twinned by prams
Slow and fast-paced,
some swift and rushed
All of them today
Apace on their way
Each with a purpose
come what may
Those steps and gaits
intent on a final end
All creatures, you and me
I watch and see.
through the glass wall
I sit and eat.
Inspired by observing people one fine day.
disguise your torment
for someone else’s joy…
rein in your tears
for someone else’s smile…
feign your bravery
to allay another’s fear…
laugh out loud
to shield a muffled cry…
abandon your beliefs
and let theirs flourish…
cease to exist
for another to thrive…
you despair to scream
silence is a must
your voice fading in a cloud…
fold your wings
for someone to fly, high…
let the other walk out proud…
where there’s love
you’d stop breathing
for a new life to begin…
I have recently joined an online photography community but got blocked without warning after posting just a few photos of my own. It was such a disappointment. I choose carefully which groups I want to join that is why I found it harsh that I was dropped instantaneously. Just like that. What have I done wrong? I had to find out.
Oh, of course! I defied its guidelines! Fair enough.
In my excitement, I got carried away and skipped reading through the posting rules and regulations.
Rules are rules. I get it. But, maybe a reminder first before blocking? Other administrators do that. They give a gentle reminder to those who have failed to comply and the member/photographer simply edited his post. It’s different for repeat offenders, of course. By all means, block ‘em!
It has been weeks since, but as of this writing, I am still blocked by the said online community. So, even if I want to, there’s no way for that mistake to be rectified.
I must admit though that being blocked taught me these lessons: what ‘street photography” is all about and to absolutely read and obey the community guidelines.
Have you ever been blocked? Just like that? Thoughts?
Here’s more of my photography journey: Finding My Place
Mental health. A condition we’ve become more aware of and try to better understand. Many are making an effort to be heard despite the stigma that accompanies their admission.
I am here to share others’ inspiring stories in the hope to keep the flame going for mental health awareness.
This is a mother’s story.
“Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Causes of death: Suicide by hanging. Three days apart. Unbelievable but true.
Depression does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, whether you are rich and famous or just an ordinary person, like my child.
These recent events on mental health have brought me back to a phone call that I will never forget. It was from my daughter who tearfully revealed that she was on medication for depression.
Since then, I have been living my life in constant fear of the worst.”
“Yes. I couldn’t even bring myself to say the word. And because my daughter was living away from home, that fear was compounded by my guilt of not being able to physically protect her. If it were up to me, I would have encouraged her to come home. But of course, that was not feasible. I cannot tell her to abandon everything, come live with me and then what? Make drastic changes to her career path and her future plans? I simply can’t do that. Besides, I knew such decisions were not up to me.
Then it dawned on me. I actually did not know what to do! Yet, it was happening! And to someone like me who least expected it. I was caught off-guard and felt like I was thrown into a battle which I was not ready for. I was at a loss. I got angry! What was I supposed to do?
I felt helpless. I found myself wanting and needing for depression to be a physical entity, so I could see and determine how to fight and keep it away from us.
While I groped for answers, I suddenly realized that I was seeing it all wrong! This was not about me at all.
It was about my daughter, my child…
I relegated my own concerns, my anger, and especially my fear, to the background. It became a bit easier from then on. It paved the way for me to focus on the real issue and accept a painful reality; my daughter has depression. And she’s got to cope with it for the rest of her life. But, while I’m here, I’ll make sure she won’t have to face it alone. Ever. We are going to deal with it, together.
A friend has said to me. “You know, your daughter is admirable and smart. When she recognized that she was having problems, she did something about it. She decided to fight.”
I never saw it that way until then.
Indeed, when my daughter was struggling and having thoughts of ”it was better for everyone if I’m gone”, she knew she had to seek professional help. And I am incredibly grateful that she did. A life has been saved. My daughter’s.
I could imagine how difficult it must have been for her to make that phone call and open up to me. When she did, it has changed our lives forever. It has also brought forth a promise of unconditional love through whatever would happen as we live through this.
I still have that fear. All day. Everyday.
It is true. You can not fully understand until it happens to you.”
To follow: A Daughter’s Story
Please read: The Onlookers’ Story
I barely even noticed its first anniversary. Yet, it’s still up and running on its second year. That notification above is quite right,too. It is an achievement especially for someone like me who was unable to blog that much in a span of two years.
Good blogging? I am not sure about that. Apart from the stats confirming some long periods of inactivity, I must admit that I have quite ignored my site. Why? The concocted answers are in The Kind of Writer I Am, I would like to think that I penned it to know more about myself and not because I was making alibis. Whichever, it helped me to realize how my writing habits affected my blogging activity.
‘Opinions Matter’ has become a blog about anything. Because there is no limit to what I can write about. A lot of ideas could stem from the daily routine at home and at work, from a chinwag with a neighbour or from a meeting with a friend over a cup of coffee. I was able to incorporate my travel experiences, (Summer in and Around LLandudno), and yes, there are more to come!
The movies and TV programmes we watch and anything we read are also lucrative sources of blogging information. Not to mention those meaningful encounters with strangers (One Day, Two Stories). It is fascinating when these circumstances inspire topics that become alive in anyone’s blog. They can motivate, uplift and help raise awareness (Depression and Anxiety).
At one point, melancholy has not spared my blog and it was poignant in a poem, In My Arms.
The point is, and I say it again, the world we live in has so much to offer to the blogging world.
Two years ago, I knew very little about blogging. I started it to feed my passion for writing. Today, it still does.
Two years ago, I created Opinions Matter because I know I have something to share about life itself. I have never been and still is not driven by stats but every notification of likes, comments and follows I get brings forth a genuine gratefulness from my heart.
Well, you’re welcome WordPress and thank you for letting me fly with you. Though it’s a turbulent ride for me, I intend to fasten my seatbelt and enjoy the journey!
When depression or anxiety affects a work colleague, a friend, a friend’s family member or someone dear to your heart, it becomes surreal. Somehow, one begins to truly understand the kind of battle these individuals have to fight everyday.
May I share some stories of people I personally know who experienced these feelings or condition. Each story is individualized and as such, each person coped differently. I write these to help raise awareness. That’s all.
The Gamer’s Story:
“Did you know that I may have had depression? A few years ago, I left home due to a family misunderstanding. It was then that I started to be overwhelmed with feelings of being useless and that I was a ‘good-for-nothing’ human being. There were times when I found it difficult to get out of bed and do just about anything. Everyone thought I was just being lazy. I was hesitant to talk about what I was going through. I assumed that it would be dismissed as “just one of those days.”
It became worse when I was often left on my own in the house.
It hit me. I was all alone. Loneliness got real.
Thoughts on ending my life? They did cross my mind. But I could not bring myself to hurt my loved ones. Not that way. I could not let them suffer picking up the pieces and live with unresolved guilt forever.
I had to force myself instead to try to live a normal life amongst those around me. Life became a routinary blur of work to house and vice versa. During this time, I immersed myself into online gaming. Looking back, it has, in a way, diverted my mind off miserable thoughts. It still does. Suddenly, I was not alone anymore. I was talking to people. Online. But, I was communicating. More importantly, there was something to look forward to the next day…and the next.
Today, am I better? Maybe. My online gaming turned into a live streaming channel and has built a considerable number of followers. Some gamers became my friends. I was able to travel and meet them in person. To this day, we have kept in touch constantly.
I am back home. I still have those days when I get glued to my bed, but I would like to believe that I am now better equipped to deal with that. I have opened up to my family in the hope that they will have a better understanding when I fall into the dark again.”