The latest photo challenge on the Stuck in Plastic blog was more about writing and thinking than about “doing photography.” At that same time, it was perhaps more about doing photography than the physical doing of photography. You can, do photography, for an extended time by walking around with a camera and capturing moments with the lens. It is very satisfying to do this. I believe though that eventually you need to start thinking and swimming in those thoughts if you want to continue on and not end up putting your camera on a shelf somewhere. There’s not “About 68,300,000 results” for the phrase “photography composition” because nobody wants to think and talk about doing photography.

I did this exercise and came out of it with my focus word of “fracture.” I even had a recently taken and unpublished photo to sum up my experience. I really, really want to tell you about my experience because I really, really want you to do the exercise as well. I probably would not have tried this if not for reading about Shelly’s experience. Shelly’s experience was a fascinating read and it helps me to understand her work better, having this little glimpse inside of her head. I cannot think of a better way to tell you about my experience than to allow you to read my free flow of thoughts that was the first part of this exercise.

From this burble of thoughts I distilled the word Fracture.

When I am out doing photography this is what I hear mixed in with the birds, the rivers, the leaves, the cars, all of it.  I hope this helps you to understand my work better.

Here is 25 minutes of my thoughts courtesy of 6:30 AM:

Exhale. start here. start here. start here. keyboard. blue. black. pause. coffee. sip. blank. nothing. writing is hard. or thinking is hard. or not thinking is hard and it’s only been one minute. each photo printed as many as there are participants. microwave. coffee. space bar. or spacebar. or space-bar. air. air. air. air. air. thread. thread on or in the air. unravel. fly. lego me 2 or don’t because oppositional defiance. cough. mad hatter in scarf on hatter mad scarfer. usb. samus. ship. zebes. bank. should I do this later? three minutes. morning is supposed to be the best creative time for writing. or maybe a kind of writing, the kind I don’t want to do. spaces and punctuation. memory. memory card. surprise. spawn. cold and cold and cold and little light. and kingdom death. a lonely tree. go back and delete what you saw but should it still count for the exercise when the paper is on the left? the physical left, not the political. feel the bern. Krylon, so many choices in a seal. you can’t touch something if there isn’t a seal without taking a piece away eventually. eight minutes. I’m supposed to fine something here though, maybe questioning, that will focus me. that would be good, some focus, a goal, to know what I try to think about each night. What’s the goal, is there one? toys. toys. toys. toys. have always been there. so have the photos. 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 sequence. sequence but not series? figma. bioshock. funko. orks. five. odd numbers. coffee. blue mug. furnace. it’s crazy that we live in places where we need a furnace. what were we thinking taking off our animal skins? chesire smile. alice. alice 1 alice 2 alice 3. bloody alice. satin finish. finnish. saints. 12 minutes. tabs, refresh, pause, stop look. far cry primal open world. Bethlehem. 75,000 people a lot of hours. to think to do to learn fourteen minutes. new things extend your perception of life which essentially makes you live longer. and space. what, 32 billion year old galaxy? that’s far and old and old far and far old. a penny in all the coins ever minted. coins. old coins. mercury dimes, buffalo nickels. morgan dollars. cloud wrench cloudy down volleyball drive hooray note pill volume screen paper clock calendar these are the symbols at the bottom of my screen. I am better at clearing my thoughts than I knew. seventeen minutes. counting. list, counting, series, numbers, chapters, stories, space. space. started there end here. inhale. end here in a while. goodbye furnace. left side justified. black words on white paper all digital. 446 words prior to here. hear. 1 of 1 pages. literalness. so much literalness. nineteen minutes. countdown, like they do before going to space. 03/05/2016. can you think a date or has it already been thought? coattails. star light star bright first start I see tonight I wish I may I wish I might, hold up, the start is 32 billion light years away and even if wishes travel at the speed of light it would pretty much never get there before I died. so it’s futile. my dog just chewed my bags, but they weren’t real bags so it’s not a big deal, but the dog is real and essentially just forced his way into my thought project. my dog, put himself in my mind. that’s actually kind of like a super power. my dog is kind of scary in that regard. because if you stop to read this, you’ll see my dog, having forced himself into my thoughts, is the only subject to really get fully formed sentences. my dog, Tweedle, would probably be really good at psychic warfare. end there. end there. end there. only 24 minutes. looks at clock. dog. blink. cursor. green line under sentence fragment. 25 minutes.


~ AliceinCleveland


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Leila (Brickandmordor)

Thanks for actually sharing your stream of conscious thoughts with us! I love how you go from pondering the age of the galaxy to Madonna lyrics to Tweedle’s super powers! Haha! I feel like I know you a tiny bit better. Will definitely take this into account when looking at your work. What a fun exercise. I have been eager to do it myself but just haven’t had time. I’ve got some travel and downtime coming up this week so I may just give it a shot!

8 years ago

I am in full support of making time for this exercise. It’s a bit of a commitment and can be hard to find the time and space, but it’s well worth it. Even if you don’t go past the first part of the writing I think you’ll still come away thinking about your photos differently. One thing I realized about myself from this is that while I feel like I have a thousand things running through my head, I actually simply don’t. I have about five things running through my head at any time but I am thinking about those… Read more »

8 years ago

Wow, what a great post, and shot too!
Congratulations Alice! ;)

8 years ago
Reply to  actiotos

Thank you! Do you, or have you done, any of the photo challenges?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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