Capricorn: Structure, Buildings &; New Year- ChatterLog Jan 2014
Greetings everyone – welcome to the January 2014 ChatterLog, and what will be my first newsletter in a while. Some of you may have noticed that I took a break for a few months and much of the reason as to “why” ties in nicely with part of this month’s theme, which is Structure. January is the sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by the Planet of Saturn. Saturn gives us Discipline, Rules and Structure, so Capricorn is the sign associated with building and construction, whether it is building a big business, an empire, or the Empire State Building itself!
I have literally spent the past six months of my life dealing with finally rectifying the unacceptable conditions in my apartment, taking my landlord to court, and then living through the actual renovations, which I’m still reeling from. For those of you who know me well, you have some idea as to just how many years I have had recurring damp in my walls. And for those of you that don’t know – it makes a pretty good story – and I have the pictures to prove it! In fact, when I started to write this newsletter, the story of my apartment saga was simply too long for the ChatterLog, so it turned into its own beast and I am creating a new section on the Blog called ChatterStories. Watch out for the full and fabulous story as well as all of the juicy photographs and in the meantime, here’s a little sample for you…
Continuing on with our theme of Structure and Buildings – last October/November, right when I was in the middle of all the craziness that comes with construction and the work that was finally being done in my apartment, I received a portfolio edit & sequence request from eyeist. At that time I was literally camping on the top of my loft-bed with all of my belongings packed underneath in boxes, including my big computer, so I contacted the photographer to ask if he would be at all willing to wait a couple of weeks for his edit?
Ironically (or not) the photographer was Maryland-based Architectural shooter Tony Ventouris. In fact, it was perfect for me really, because not only was Tony a very patient guy, but he also comes from an entire family of builders, so he totally (not partially, but totally) understood what I was going through!
On his website Ancient City Photography he says, “Born into a family of contractors, Tony Ventouris has been surrounded by architects, developers, and artists since an early age and has naturally developed a deep appreciation for the art of building.” I mean how perfect was that? I was also really hoping that Tony would turn out to be a Capricorn, but no, he’s an Aries, who are not usually the most patient of people!
With the pressure taken off me, I really enjoyed editing Tony’s work once the majority of the apartment renovations were done and I could set my desk and computer back up again. I knew that in order for me to a good job for him, I needed to be able to look at his images on a big screen – I really don’t like editing on a laptop or iPad! I loved the retro style of the building in the image above, and there is something I found very endearing about the blue & white checkered garage floor in the residential image below – it drew me in. For some reason I have always enjoyed working with Architectural photographers. Maybe it has something to do with the subject they photograph – less drama than shooting people perhaps?
Speaking of Architectural photography, my aCurator friend Julie Grahame is now writing for Rob Haggart‘s A Photo Editor’s sister blog entitled Photography and Architecture. And just the other day, I received an email from The Lucie Foundation, reminding me of the upcoming deadline for the International Photography Awards, and this was the image they used by Belgian photographer, Eric de Ville – interesting, right?
Something else I wanted to talk about for this ChatterLog is the somewhat confusing notion of New Year. Notice how all of the emails and cards you received over the Holidays are wishing you a “Happy New Year” but it is really only a new “Calendar” year – a calendar that is not based on nature, but was created by man, for his own convenience. If you think about it man has actually set himself up for a fabulous failure. We are being asked to make New Year’s Resolutions in January (and stick to them) during the time of year when we have the shortest days, and the least amount of daylight (and therefore energy). It is the middle of winter, when most (sensible) animals and plants have slowed all the way down and are resting, so of course you’re not going to stick to that diet or keep up your gym membership!
The notion of Structure doesn’t have to be limited to physical buildings of course, and this brings me back to the Planet of Saturnagain. Saturn challenges us to set up a suitable structure that we can not only follow but also stick to, so that we might accomplish our goals and solidify our survival. Saturn is neither emotional nor sympathetic, that’s not its job, but in the end, Saturn does reward hard work. So from that we can perhaps apply the same sense of Structure to all of those New Year’s Resolutions after all?
One of my photographer clients, Art Murphy, even began one of his January blog posts “A New Year Begins” by talking about how he was still suffering from the “Winter Blah’s” – which was such a great example of what is naturally going on with us at this time of the year! And his photograph conveniently contained a “structure” albeit a very small and cute one. In fact, it is his little cabin studio up in the Catskills, but it is nonetheless, a building! New Year, according to Mother Nature (and she should know) is in the springtime, when all new life technically begins. Aries is the 1st sign of the Zodiac, not Capricorn! So if you want to be more successful with your resolutions, make them in April when you have more energy, or better still, keep making and renewing them all year round!