Thursday, August 20, 2009

Half a life ago when comfort was my enemy

Facebook allows me to play Scrabble with my sister, 1500 miles away, and my daughter, 40 miles, and for this one reason I accept this silly little social networking program. My life did not need social networking. I'm already busy with this blog and our food blog, Peanut Butter ´Etouffee, that is when I post. I give myself no deadlines because I lived by them for so many years. UGH. That's the sound they make, deadline, when they fall on your desk.

What I did find interesting is that "Six Degrees of Separation" thing. I accepted, as a friend, a past co-worker and on her list of friends was the brother of Tony, the best man at my wedding and life long friend of my husband. Then, I found on another co-worker's friend list a man I'd lost touch with, my photography teacher and, I have to say, one of the most influential people in my career, John Gray. Without John I would not have known the joys of photography or never made the career jump to computer graphics and web design. In 2005 I retired from a career I would have never had without his coaching.

John has created a site for John Gray's Photography Classes at Moorpark College to "Share ideas about Photography, Ask Questions, Find out what is happening at Moorpark College." This was a giant leap back in time for me; giant. When I stopped to figure out just when I was there I realized it was half my lifetime ago; thirty years.

At that time I was trying to work and go to school and be a mom so I usually took evening classes and it wasn't until the early 80s, when I quit work for a while, did I get a chance to take one of John's classes. I was hooked and should be honest enough to say I quit so I could take his class. There, now that little secret is out, I feel better.

John always let you go in your own direction; explore your art but reminded you when you became to comfortable in what you were doing. He never preached he taught by example and the critiques in his class by fellow students were the most beneficial lessons learned.

One of the best classes I ever attended was not in the classroom but in a Moorpark College van. Every week we'd go to a different destination to explore all types of photography, or art, and a bit of the local dinning. Exposure became not only light to film but different ways of thinking to eager minds. Most fun were impromptu lessons on depth of field or exposure where ever we happened to be. I cherish the photos I took that year.

Moorpark College drifted in and out of my life but a pivotal moment came when I visited John's classroom while I was taking a process camera class. He dragged me to a his tiny little Macintosh computer to show me I could do the same things I was doing with the process camera but quicker and without a darkroom. I quit that class and signed up for his Intro to Macintosh class and never looked back. Well, except to reminisce about what a great opportunity I had taking John's class.

No comments:

Post a Comment