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Another semester is winding down, here at VTC. Another week of classes, then a week of final exams, and then a large batch of question marks (as I haven't figured out what I'm going to do for a living situation over the summer). Weary is one way I might choose to describe myself at the moment. Weary, perhaps with a smidgen of will-shattering stress and depression. It's just the way things go, I guess, when you let stressful things (like large, unwieldy assignments) slip and need to deal with a ton of them at the end of the semester.

Why didn't I do the assignments then, when they weren't overdue by a few weeks? It's a question I've been asking myself for as long as I can remember having any kind of responsibility, academic or otherwise. I've got two theories, involving tedium and inspiration. I hate cycles, which sets me up for having a hard time with cyclic things. We sleep, to wake up, to get tired, to sleep again. We do homework, to get graded, to get more homework, and then eventually a job that we'll end up doing work to get more work to get money to pay for things to sustain us so we can work and get more money to pay for things. Everything in life boils down to some kind of cycle, and I grow easily tired of the tedium involved in participating in these cycles.

Inspiration is another issue. I don't get "in the zone" very easily, and I'm completely unproductive otherwise. I can't just sit down and do something, it seems. I know what my motivation to do so is, that's an easy one. I need to get these things done so that I can pass my classes and end up with a piece of paper that provides credibility to my claims to future potential employers that I have relevant skills that I might contribute to the workforce. Motivation is a different beast than inspiration. Motivation is reason, which I have. Inspiration is the drive, fuel, or will to act on motivation. I seem to have run out of said fuel.

All this being the case, I've also run out of inspiration to do anything creative. It's been months, sadly, since I've taken a picture of anything. Months, still, since I've designed anything on my own time. I think I'm in a creative slump. A life slump, maybe. Rest assured, though, it won't last forever. I'll be back up and posting pictures of arbitrary things in no time. Until then, I don't know, forgive me, and/or show some support.
  • Listening to: Greg Maroney - Breathe
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
They call me stubborn. They call me chaotic. Maybe I'm a contradiction. Maybe I'm a hypocrite. The lunacy that has been my life to this day has taught its lessons, and set me in whatever ways I have. Without reason? No. I do most of the things I do for very specific reasons. My point of concern is when these things and the reasons therefor hinder me in forward progress.

I just built a new computer. I installed Windows 7, as I had on my old computer. This time around, I did not install Winamp. Winamp has been my defacto media library ever since I installed XP, and realized that their media player really wasn't all that spiffy. Winamp was lighter, blah blah blah, it was the acclaimed underdog of the time. Anything had to be better than Micro$oft's default software, right? The answer turns out to be not entirely black and white, these days. Windows is starting to ship with a lot of useful features, and default software. Using the new Windows Media Player for a few minutes impressed me more than Winamp had for the ten or so years I used it.

Now, change isn't bad. Neither is sticking to what works. It's only recently that I've come to question how much change I'm closed to. How many things in my life have I blindly clung to, without so much as exploring my options? I've got defensive reasons behind most of the things I like. Software Engineering as a career, because I'm good at it. Nikon, because they've got the best lenses. Intel, because they seem to have dominated the CPU market for a few years running, now. NVidia, because I hate ATI's drivers. ASUS, because they were awesome a decade ago. Democratic party, because it seems like republicans just make a mess of things. AVG anti-virus, because it was free a decade ago. Firefox, because it was better than Internet Explorer 6, and easier than Opera or Safari.

How many of my beliefs and choices should stand to be actively reconsidered? I think I'm about to enter a phase of second guessing my choices, forcing myself to research alternate ideas, even if these alternate ideas end up agreeing with a mass populous. Consistent rebellion is just as bad as consistent conformity.
  • Watching: ReGenesis Season 1
  • Drinking: Water
As a follow-up to my previous post, I've decided to remove quite a few deviations, all photography, that didn't quite "make the cut" - which is to say, deviations that got less than 10 views, despite sharing them, and which didn't quite meet my definition of good work. I've left a few, simply based on the fact that they've got a few favorites, but those might leave soon, too.

Being back at school, I really have very little time to dedicate to photography, unfortunately. I will however have access to a car in the near future, which should enable me to travel to places that aren't littered with power lines and shopping plazas. VT is great in the winter, if you know where to look. I miss being on the Randolph campus, sometimes, just because it was so isolated, and very beautiful in its own right. Too bad work and education had to take priority.
  • Listening to: Crystal Method - Smile?
So, from various forum adventures, talking to a few people, etc., I've come to realize that my technique needs a bit of... adjusting. I need to strive to be a better photographer. I've got most of the technical camera stuff down, but now I've got to start focusing on what I'm taking pictures of. I've read quite a few good theory articles on the web, and am pretty sure I get the point behind rules of thirds (or, the golden ratio alternatively), light/dark balance, color choices... but I'm struggling to grasp what makes for an interesting photographic subject/set of subjects.

I tend to take pictures of things that I find interesting, but can't seem to find ways to effectively convey that interest to others. I've received critiques on, specifically, composition and complementary subject choices. My pictures by in large lack focal points, or enough "interesting" stuff going on in the picture to capture people's attention. I guess my goal is, starting now, to choose subjects carefully with regards to their surroundings, and what perspective I give on them. I want to be good, not just mediocre. Maybe even great, if I find the time to dedicate to photography.
  • Listening to: Dub FX - Love Someone
  • Watching: http://vimeo.com/2707661