We all would like to do the RIGHT thing

November 30, 2013

We all want to live right. We all know that right living produces the happiest and healthiest way to live. We don’t ever want to stray too faraway from right living – that’s why we make sure we go to right schools and if we don’t, we try our best to brush up on the lot life has dealt us – above all we want to live right…but…..

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“I don’t have a problem going up to strangers and talking to them if I happen to find them interesting. No. I’ve never had that problem. Not at all.

Other people may have a problem with that idea, but never me.

Recently when I was in the old quarter of Beach Street in Penang. I came across this woman who was composing pictures using an old film loaded Leica rangefinder.

I could tell she had an eye for composition, angles, proportion, scale and light. I could tell she was comfortable working with film and regularly shot only with fixed lenses.

So I found her very interesting – as its rare these days to come across people who still shoot in film. This may not be a big thing to people who grew up in the digital age, but since I did most of my growing up in the occasional only digital and mostly in rubber band, duct tape analog age – shooting in film is really quite another language that I don’t believe can be adequately explained to those who have never used a film camera before – it’s really another world within a world. A world of understanding the nuances of light and how it reacts to chemicals. How the different hues of colors can be caressed to life in only a dark room with a deft hand – above all, there used to be a time when a roll of 35mm only yeilded 36 shots.

And the idea that you really only have 36 opportunities to take a great shot – I think is a very powerful metaphor that imposes a sort of discipline to the whole idea of photography that today doesn’t exist at all. There’s mystery, art and whole idea of arcanum – today, if you want to take a picture at night, all you have to do is select an icon of the night scene on the camera and a microprocessor would probably produce a terrible shot – but in the age of chemical photography, it all has to calculated by hand.

It’s a slow and old world. Where the photographer is always struggling to find the best angle for the composition, light and color to produce just the picture he already has in his head.

I think if you can read to this point. Then you would understand why I ended spending the rest of the day and evening with this fascinating woman who I had just chanced upon.

We really have a lot in common. But I also believe to get to that point. Then you really need to make the effort to connect – and when you strive for that sort of commonality with anyone then I think they see the world slightly different from the way, they have always seen it.

And that is not a bad thing – not at all. The idea of reaching out, searching for and always being mindful of meeting that someone who may provoke you to think about life in a different way.

To always search for that nugget of wisdom to be able to live right by your and your terms alone and no one elses….to be able to set aside your pretensions, ego, lust etc etc to believe in the idea – when a man works diligently to find himself through others and NEVER himself – he will be less selfish, more forgiving and above all humanely grounded….when you see life from that sort of perspective, then I think living right is rocket science.

As it requires you to do so many things that you’re not really comfortabke with…..but I dont think that is a bad thing. Not at all….it just means you stretching that much further into the field of possibilities.”

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