NaBloPoMo Day 31: Your Best Photo

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Free Write

So NaBloPoMo is done. What have a learned. Not much. A lot! Some.

Blogging, if no one reads you, is not constrained to any kind of discipline. This is nearly true. For example, I am writing this on Monday, not Sunday. And yet, for most of the month, I wrote every day. Weekends were the toughest, most apt to be non-writing days. But I was able to catch up during the week, so there’s that. Maybe writing is, for me, like running: not an every day thing. I wish it was. And unlike running, there’s no body fatigue to hld me back. But maybe there’s brain fatigue. Maybe that’s worse. Maybe if can accept that, I can be more disciplined. Three times a week without fail as opposed to seven times a week with frequent failures.

Extemporaneous writing is doable. Sustainable and almost easy. Almost. Right now, as I write these very sentences, I’m struggling with my thesis. But at least I have a thesis! At least I’ve got a subject to write baout— and on a free write day no less. Sure, it’s the last day, so it makes sense I’d write about NaBloPoMo itself. Still, I’m making this up as it goes along, which makes me not just the writer here, but also the first reader. Hey, me are you entertained? Yes I am, you egomaniacal conceited twerp!

And finally: of all the reason to not do this, none of them are very compelling. There’s not a very good reason to not write. Everyday, three times a week, whatever. I’ve got Postaday to keep me going for the rest of the year, so even though NaBloPoMo is done, that doesn’t mean I’m done. I’ll maybe be a bit more relaxed, since I’ll be writing less (maybe less— got some ideas for something else to do through June, so we’ll see).

Anyway. NaBloPoMo ends with a whimper. So it is like running then. You should have seen me at the end of my eight miler today. It wasn’t pretty. But then, we should leave pretty to the TV people. The rest of real people are too busy smacking keyboards around to be pretty.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Your Best Photo

Wenatchee sunrise.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

NaBloPoMo Day 30: Nightlife

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Free Write

Today is not May 30th, it’s June 1st. I am back-posting this or back-dating or whatever the @#$%^& you call it. Sorry for the French there. I’m a little frustrated. I got low blood sugar! No, I don’t. I wish I did. I wish I had low blood sugar. That would mean I hadn’t eaten MY ENTIRE @#$%^& HOUSE. Okay sorry, sorry, just a little melodrama there to get the blood pumping. The high-fructose corn-syrup-flavored blood that’s oozing through my fat, corpulent veins. Oh god. Oh god why. Why did I eat all of those fake tagalongs! They weren’t even real tagalongs! I don’t even have enough self respect to eat an entire box of actual tagalongs! What the #$%^&* are tagalongs? That’s what my wife calls them, I don’t even know what they are. But I ate ‘em! The fake ones I mean! Ate the whole dag-darn box of em! Ain’t and I ain’t even ashamed!

Except I am, deeply ashamed, deeply bitterly ashamed. I ate them and I missed writing this and posting it on actual May 30th. What a weekend. What a weekend! Me and the house and those nnnrrr nrrrrr nrrrrnrnrnr tagalongs. Nrrr indeed.

But you know what? It’s no big deal, right? No one reads this stupid blog of mine, right? And even if they DO, they CERTAINLY don’t read the stuff I back-day or back post or whtever the nrnrnrnrnrnnr hhrrmmm ggrrfggf….

I did go for a run today. I did. Eight miles, jack. There were even a few hills in there, I got to say. Did the conversion. Checked the box to see how many calories I ate, checked the mileage charts to see how many calories I burned, and! And! All I have to do! Is go for another run! To burn the rest! Just one more run! Just one more 254 MILE RUN!

I do this. I get all excited about a thing, like NaBloPoMo, I get all excited and write like a fiend and then when there’s only TWO DAYS LEFT I let a stupid little box of fake tagalongs SEDUCE ME and I’m wiped out. Done. Finito, as the French say.
Tail between my legs, back-posting this two days late. I’m not a man. I’m a fake cookie.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Nightlife

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

NaBloPoMo Day 29: Food

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: What do you think makes a good photograph?

When it comes to literary criticism, I am of the “reader response” school, which among other things says the reader brings something to a text, which can make it good or bad (or whatever). I’d say the same goes for photography. One man’s porn is another man’s who-cares

I use “porn” in the loosey-goosey sense popularized on Reddit with such photo-centric collections as “earth porn” (pictures of breathtaking landscapes) “abandoned porn” (pictures of decrepit, rotting interiors) and even “people porn” (non-nude non-erotic non-prurient pictures of human beings).

But that doesn’t mean any old picture is good just because someone might say so. At least not for me- I think some effort can be put into making a photograph better than just pointing and clicking.

Depth of field, exposure, saturation, color balance, all should be considered and either planned for or corrected. I’m a big fan of post-production work to make my photos better.
But framing is also hugely important, something that cannot always be corrected for. I’m always looking to make my photos balanced. Using the rule of thirds, and breaking it to make compelling shots.

Photos that capture a bit if history, photos that tell a story. Not in the plot, rising action, climax sense, but in the sense of “something happened and something else will happen.” that is what lets the viewer bring his or her own thoughts to the photo.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Food

Tuna mayo walnuts raisins dried cranberries red onion salt pepper sour dough.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

NaBloPoMo Day 28: Action

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: If you could pass along only one photo of yourself to future generations in your family, which would it be and why?

I picture of me as a baby, I think, because why bother with all the nonsense and silliness that constructed me, all the random ephemera, the scars and bruises that came to be my identity? Why not go with my potential? An old scratchy photo from 1971, yellowed from the passage of time, a pre-digital artifact the speaks of an era that, thankfully forgotten, nevertheless created damned fools like myself who created more damned fools.

There’s me on a velvet mat, chubby as all hell. My grin so wide it inflates my head by a factor of two. Not much hair. Cloudy blue background. What’s this little ball of fat going to do with his life? Sports? Business? Creative arts? Anarchy? Terror, doom and gloom, atrocities? So many doors to open, explore, back out of slowly, horrified, close and lock and nail boards too, weeping.

Best part of this photo is I had no idea what was going on. Didn’t know I was being photographed. Didn’t even know I existed! In every other photo you see of me, I know there’s a camera pointing at me, and I’m distorting my reality to be what I think I want to be for the picture. Disingenuous, I think, is the word for it.

Mitch Hedberg has a joke about how people show him a photo and say, this is a picture of me when I was younger, to which he replies, every picture of you is when you were younger. So no photo is accurate to NOW, so why not go ALL the way back?

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Action

Thwarted on my run!

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

NaBloPoMo Day 27: Portrait

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Which do you cherish more: old family photos or old family stories?

I guess old family stories, since those are more fun, easier to share, adaptable to the situation they’re told in. I don’t have too many old family photos though, so maybe I’m biased. Or maybe my old family’s not all the photogenic.

There’s old photos floating around, of course, and they get passed from one person to another on occasion. But not so many as to establish any kind of record. Not that way we do with the stories.

Perhaps I am having difficulty with that word “cherish,” when I don’t know that I put that much thought into it. (Thus starting this post with “I guess.”) As I’ve said ad-nauseum, I’m not one much for memories or nostalgia.

So, to compare the two, pictures versus stories, since I like to use photography to create, and I like to create stories too, as much as I want to be an artistic photographer, I’m much more comfortable and accomplished with stories. More bias!

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Portrait

#Selfie with suit, beard oil, hotel room lighting, 2015.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

Selfies are de facto portraits, right?

NaBloPoMo Day 26: Still Life

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Tell us about the first time you held a camera.

Can’t remember. My memory’s not so good in general. How the first time I held a DSLR? Or my first DSLR? Or the first one paid for myself? Want to go back further, to my first digital camera, a big old honking Kodak that I took to a nearby swamp to photograph old abandoned fire hydrants? Back then I was using bootleg Photoshop and trying to be artsy. The only difference now is I pay for Photoshop.

My mom has been taking pictures for 50 years or so, which means there was a camera there my whole life. I’m sure the first I held a camera was very very young. Probably a Brownie Instamatic or whatever they were called. One of those black boxes with the hard edges; you’d press a button and then wind the film with your thumb.

Remember, back then, you’d have to load film with a specific IOS, there was no auto-focus, no focus at all. Nowadays, the have filters to mimic the light leaks and bokeh and other issues we’d face. Nowadays, they have whole aps dedicated to making a digital photo look like those old shots. Faded and yellow and poorly developed.

Don’t worry, I’m not being nostalgic. Or wistful. Or even a Luddite. I’m just explaining why I can’t remember the first time I held a camera.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Still Life

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

NaBloPoMo Day 25: Nature

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: What is the oldest photo you own?

According to the folder where I finally got around to organizing everything, the oldest photo I own is a picture of my wife’s ex-boyfriend from back in 2000. Not very old. I took all of the photos off all the hard drives and old laptops and put them in one place. That picture of him, a self-portrait he took while holding up some painted ceramic thing he’d made for her, is the one at the top of the list.

This would be a more interesting story of the answer was “A picture from 1933 of my grandmother waiving good by to my grandfather has he goes off to war,” but then I don’t know what war would have been going on at that time if I’ve even got the right ages for war-going fathers of my mom or dad right.

But this just goes back to the idea that as much as I can I don’t like to keep things, and that includes old photos. But I fail miserably, and probably in some box somewhere there’s an old photograph from my youth. So this prompt has prompted me to meditate on the nature of clutter, more than the nature of memories.

Because, as you poor people who read this have read a hundred times before, I don’t take pictures for the sake of memory, but for the sake of making something. And making things leads to clutter, doesn’t it?

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Nature

Wenatchee sunrise.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

Took this one just a few days ago.

NaBloPoMo Day 24: Upside Down

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Free Write

Roadtrip! Went on a roadtrip. I’m writing this on Friday in advance, in case I don’t make it back. But since it’s posting on Sunday, I’ll write it in the past tense, as if the road trip happened.

Left the house in 7 minutes I mean last Friday at about 3 PM, right after I wrote this post. Went to the gas station (reminder— need to go to the gas station) to fill up and get some road snacks. But then as I’m writing this I remembered I’m fat and so I won’t get any. I mean I didn’t.

Listened to some podcasts as I headed down the stupid-busy highway 5, and then highway 90, which was also busy but not as bad. Destination: Winatchee. Which I think I just spelled wrong. But that’s okay. Headed there for a bachelor party, some white-water rafting, beer tasting, rock n roll good time.

Or should I say young country! For the bachelor’s best man’s his younger brother, an Okie (respect) and I’m sure a fan of the old C&W. Which I don’t mind too much, as long as I don’t have to listen to it.

Oh right, past tense: so we camped and rafted and drank and farted around, and then I drove back early on Sunday. More podcasts. That is, if I remembered to take the car charger. (Note to self).

All in all a very good time. And if my wife is reading this: yes I took sunscreens, no there weren’t any strippers. I don’t think.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Upside Down

How can anyone disagree with this? #leslieknope #Bellingham #butseriouslyhippies

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

I don’t have any Instagram pictures of anything upside down. So I’ll show you the what’s down about the upside of something. Fame can be good. But it can results in asshats writing graffiti about it. Destroying public property. And that assierhats photograph it and post in on Instagram. Tools.

NaBloPoMo Day 23: Outside

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Free Write

Big ol fat dude. Not really. That would be too easy. Be 300 pounds, lose 50 pounds, do it in a weekend, feel motherfuckin’ triumphant. Or be 400 pounds, lose 100 pounds, do it on a Friday, beer n wings to celebrate. Life is sweet. Friends buy me new shirts. Old pants are a novelty; post before n after pics on god damn Instagram.

But nope. Not that fat. Just a little fat. Fat enough. Got the gut, can suck it in, so if I do, then forget, the before n after pic’s a sad one. There’s poetry in failure, right? I’m a limerick. There once was a dude in his forties. Who longed to be fit and play sporties. But those rough twenty pounds filled his poor ears with sounds of laughter when he wore those tight shorties.

Not even a good limerick. Twenty damn pounds, that’s it. At least there’s a kind of panache in fighting those last ten pounds. There’s books for losing those last ten pounds. There’s fitness instructors in early 90’s spandex with amazing hair who explain how hard it is to lose those last ten pounds. That’s veteran-status suffering, friends. That’s tragedy unto an existential scene in a drama comedy on HBO.

But twenty? Slob. Put down the Coke, then, slob. Another night in front of the computer scooping spoonfuls of peanut butter into your gob, slob. Go to bed early, get up early, jog a few miles, eat a healthy breakfast. That’s not working on the atomic bomb. That’s basic human shit. If you can’t do that, you probably can’t vote right either. Your shirt fits a little snug because you’re a horrible American. You’ve only got one pair of jeans left and that’s why our country is going to hell. Thanks. Slob.

At least I had a triumph today. A beer for breakfast. And one for lunch. Even if beer is fattening, it’s not, not all by itself. Tequila for dinner, I think. I’ll be skinny in no time. I’ll stand next to 2004’s Jessica Alba and say sweet things like “Don’t worry, you look just fine in that size.”

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Outside

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

Kauai, Hawaii

NaBloPoMo Day 22: Inside

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Tell us about some of the photos you keep on your phone.

The only photos I keep on my phone are the ones I’ve taken on my phone spontaneously, and have not bothered to move or delete. The detritus of laziness. Begs the question: what inspires me to take a photo with my phone in the first place? Something novel or unique. A surprise of some kind. If ever I anticipate that there will be photo opportunities, I take along the DSLR.

But then there are some photos that, once taken with the DSLR, I’ll transfer over to the phone. This is merely for the purpose of using Instagram. I’ll keep a handful of photos that I think I’ll want to share, and then in bored moments waiting for something, I’ll bring one of those photos into Pixlr, mess around with it, move it into Instagram, mess around with it, and the publish. Call it “filter doodling” if you like.

In this way I may be, in some respects, ignoring the whole point of Instagram. There’s no “insta-” in my use of Instagram. But if there’s one thing Jurassic park has taught us: nature finds a way.

You can see how seriously I take all of this, since I’m quoting an action adventure film from 1993

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Inside

Did you know that when you go to Gasworks you are required by law to take this picture?

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

This picture was taken outside.