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Kansas City MO 64131

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THINGS I DO WHEN I'M NOT HERE

Cindy Maddera

I have been making a real effort lately to get my Nikon out of my bag and just shoot. There's a sticky note up on my desk at work that says "shoot with a mindful eye". I wrote it down when I was taking an online class on black and white street photography. It is not that I haven't heard this tidbit of wisdom. It was just that in the moment of hearing, I realized that I needed to be reminded to shoot with a mindful eye. My photo editing tool is the one provided in iPhotos on my MacBook. Sure, I could splurge on some serious photo editing programs, get PhotoShop subscription, but I'm cheap and stubborn. I still cling to the idea of taking a good picture to start with. The camera on my phone makes it easier to take a decent picture and then filter it into something spectacular. Too easy. I have become a little bit lazy. 

So, I've been working on taking a good picture with my Nikon. I don't work on this craft every day and when I do, I feel like I don't work on it for very long. I've sort of approached it all as one would do when they first start exercising after a long recovery from a serious surgery. It is the getting the pictures from the SD card to the computer that has become the most tedious part of it all. As I wrote that sentence I immediately thought about all the times I used a film camera as a kid and how half the time I just wouldn't bother to have a roll of film developed because of the cost and the time. I had to have an adult drive me all the way to the closest Walmart with a photo center. Cut to the year 2017 and I'm complaining about manually inserting a  small disk into the side of my computer and transferring only the pictures that I want to keep to my computer. Free of charge. Of course it still costs money to print the pictures. The difference now is that I'm only printing out good pictures as opposed to twenty four partially overexposed pictures with my finger in the bottom left corner. 

I am not always shooting with a mindful eye in these moments as much as I am just shooting, taking pictures just for the sake of taking pictures. I do take a breath of a minute to be mindful of light or lack of light, but mostly I'm just taking pictures in hopes that I capture something interesting. I am looking at every day mundane things in hopes of seeing something unique and interesting in those things seen through the lens. 

This is what I am trying to do when I'm not here.