Monday, January 23, 2012

My Five Obstructions

Underground Reflections

Underground Reflections

The picture above is the one chosen for me by my project partner from Flickr to do my "Five Obstructions" on. But let me back up a bit and explain....
Recently, I started (for the first time) a Flickr group based on the concept presented in the documentary "The Five Obstructions" by the controversial movie director Lars Von Trier.
In summary, Lars challenged his friend and mentor film maker, Jorgen Leth, who made Lars' favorite short film "The Perfect Human" (1967), to recreate that film five times, each time with a different obstruction (or obstacle) given by Von Trier. The results were really fascinating. I would recommend seeing this movie to anyone who is interested in the creative process even if you are not into documentaries or reading subtitles (the movie is in Danish).
I always wanted to try to do this myself. Of course I needed a partner. I suggested the idea on a message board for my current 52 weeks group (which had a lot of my 2011/365 group members) and I found a few people who are willing to give it a shot so I started a new Flickr group.
The group is still new--only a few members are currently active. I hope it will grow in activity and membership. After pairing everybody who was interested in trying this, leaving myself out, I finally found a partner this weekend. She picked this photo for me to recreate 5 times with 5 different obstruction, coming one at a time.
At first, I thought it would be impossible. This photo was taken on the tube in London, and I live in Houston, a city that does not have any public transportation to speak of. I have never used the buses or the short metro rail that connects the medical center area to downtown, which is more than 30 miles away from where I live.
Then I thought to myself, this might be a much more interesting challenge. After all, the first obstruction made by Lars Von Trier made to Leth is to remake the movie in Cuba.
I already received my first obstruction. The results will be posted on this blog (in addition to Flickr) as they come out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's 5 am…. Rise and Shine!!

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to think, to breathe, to enjoy, to love." 
                                               - Marcus Aurelius

It's 5 am…. Rise and Shine!!

This photo was done for round 16 challenge in Get Pushed

For my very first push, I was paired with the talented Jill [ ] . If you have not done already, please check her photostream for some excellent nature shots.

Her push to me was "For this challenge, I have this quote that I love that I would like to see you interpret into a photo.. let your creativity flow with this one, no rules or restrictions :)

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to think, to breathe, to enjoy, to love." - Marcus Aurelius

This push delves into a personal portion of you... capturing what it is that makes you feel alive :) Have fun & can't wait to see the results!"

(I wish I could have the reader/viewer read the challenge before seeing the photo for dramatic effect). I chose to go the ironic way. I hope it's not cheating, since there are no rules or restrictions. Also, i think I fulfill the second part of the challenge that goes in to "the personal portion"

Living 30 miles away from work in a city like Houston, famous for horrible rush hour traffic, I have to wake up at 5 am in order not to be stuck for 2 hours on the road. That's at least two hours before sunrise. If it wasn't for the rush of getting ready to catch a van pool, and for the prospect of a 10 hour (at least) day at work, I wouldn't mind waking up that early. What adds to my problem is that I have sleep apnea, which is only one of my sleeping issues. (I even tried using a CPAP machine, without success). Many days I have to force myself to get out of bed at 5 (after tossing and turning since 3) and go to work with only a few hours of sleep, if that. So I'm sure you can see where I found the inspiration for this photo.

That said, I am grateful for every day. I'm very blessed and lucky in my life. Killer (the nicer of our two cats) reminds me of that every morning when he jumps lovingly in my lap and rubs himself against my dark dress pants making sure to get as much of his white hair as he can onto my clothes in the few minutes I have to drink my quad-espresso while trying to wake up.

From a technical POV, setting up this photo and having many tries with varying success was great because I always wanted to do a motion freeze photo. I tried a time or two in the past with no success and never had the patience to follow up. In this respect, I think "the push" worked exactly like it should. Driving me to try a new thing.

Thanks Jill. That was a lot of fun. Looking forward to the next round.
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