Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fight or Flight

The best and the worst thing about the internet is that once you put something out there, it's there forever.  You can delete it, but in fact it's still there as back-up on the server level, and also often there are other trails that are easy to follow if anyone is actually interested.  That's why it's standard advice these days that kids be made very aware of what they are posting so that later, when they try to get jobs, what they are saying now is not held against them.

In addition, if you are using the internet, you can and will be found if somebody wants to know what you are saying and where.  It's not hard, and no blocks or filters can keep anyone out who is determined to peek into your life.  That's a fact, and you don't know who's looking, or for how long until they choose to expose themselves.

I have learned just how powerful and dangerous this tool called the world wide web can be.  Things written in innocence can be misconstrued and opinions can be formed about who someone is when you, in truth, really have no idea.  You only see what they write, and most people take on a persona of one sort or another when they are in a blog, on Facebook, or wherever.  You can't really know what the person is really all about until you get to know them in person, and sadly - for today's generation, most of their social interactions are over the computer and they really don't know who they are playing with!

There's another aspect, though, too.  As I mentioned above, the internet is forever.  The internet is accessible.  You cannot hide on the internet no matter what you might think.  If you don't want your friends - or enemies - to find you, you shouldn't be putting it out there in the first place.  But it's also a sad statement about somebody's personality that they feel that they need to even hide what they are doing!  What's so terrible that they can't stand up and let the world see?  Are they criminals?  Are they doing something outside of the social moray?  Are they just cowards?

I, for one, don't hide.  I don't block people from my accounts, I don't run and hide.  I am not an ostrich hiding my head in the sand.  I've learned some hard lessons from the internet, but I've faced them and stood up to them.  I continue to do so, and to take responsibility for my words and actions.  I don't always like what I've learned - about myself or others - but I know that to be sneaky and serrupticious is the hallmark of those who are not self confident; are not really interested in growing.... learning... changing, and I always want to do all of those things!

I pity those who can't come to terms with who they really are and feel the need to hide rather than stand up and be seen with pride. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Picture's Worth 1000 Words!

Right from the start, I struggled with taking pictures of my jewelry.  Step by step, I went through levels of discovery and started to put out pretty decent pictures.  But all of that changed about a week ago when I finally figured WHAT the different settings on my camera meant and how to use them effectively.  I'd keep writing but instead, I'm just going to share some older pictures (like a month ago) vs some I took today.  Amazing, the difference!!!!!

I was so pleased with these pictures when I took them.  But look what I achieved today!

Colors brighter; image sharper without any digital intervention at all!


Colors sharp, and you can see the depth of the focal bead!



You get a feel for the variegated colors within the focal heart, and also of the thickness/substance of this focal bead.  Also, this picture shows off the beautiful filigree bail effectively.

This quantum leap did not happen on it's own.  I am a huge believer in continuing education; not necessarily formal but steady and from a variety of sources.  I take classes, I get together with friends and compare notes, I look at You-Tube and other "how to" sites, and I subscribe to magazines.  The magazine that helped me the most with my photography was "The Crafts Report" which bills itself as "The Business Resource of Artists and Retailers."  It's a small magazine with a minimum of advertising and articles that seemed too simplistic as I first received this publication, but over time have come to appreciate the straight-forward information on a variety of subjects within the artist's world including how to set up displays at shows, pricing, success stories, and a number of other "departments" including my personal favorite of the moment, CRAFT Photography by Steve Meltzer.  The information is so easy to follow, the tips so simple and yet so profound, and the accessories he suggests to improve pictures are all so do-able that it was only a matter of time after I understood he was there that my pictures moved forward.

The only issue with this entire learning curve is now I am dissatisfied with many of my old pictures and hate to take the time to re-shoot jewelry.  On the other hand, the pictures I take will be of items not moved, and who knows if it was just because the colors were not good or they weren't sharp enough that they did not sell.

Oh, but to have 48 hours in every day!


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