How do you shoot koi? Somebody posted this in an on-line forum, asking how, exactly, one should go about photographing koi fish. I believe my response was something along the lines of “not very easily.” (They are tough little buggers to trap down believe me.) Other answers were more flippant-“in a barrel with a shotgun” was a popular response, along with “use a polarizer.” (That last one is actually sound advice for you photographers out there-so sound, in fact, I may have to just go out and pick myself up a polarizer before I go back to the koi breeders. They really do work.)
But, speaking of “shotguns” and the like, Chricel also sent me a link to James Nachtwey. While I love his work, and admire his stance, (“I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.”) there’s just something about war photography that really bugs me.
Call me crazy, maybe I’m just getting too old for all of this but, any hobby (or job) that requires me to not only wear a flak jacket and a helmet, but one that requires that I stamp my blood type on a label on my helmet is just not something I want to do. I mean, it’s bad enough when I have to wear a helmet but you want me to stamp “O Positive” right on the damned thing so that, in case I should happen to need a “sudden” tranfusion, you’re prepared? Holy Crap, Batman! Call me a sissy, call me a chicken, do a funky dance around my kitchen while flapping your arms all the while poking fun at me, I don’t really care. I like my bodily fluids on the INSIDE, ok? Especially the ones that, like, I’m not quite done with yet. Down, boy! You can’t have my life blood. I’m not quite willing to share. (I’m ok with a job where I maybe have to pee every once in a while and you’re more than welcome to that snot rag after I blow my nose, but blood? No way! It’s mine and I intend to keep it.)
Anytime I have to hide in a flak jacket, a blood type-labeled helmet, behind some good, old fashioned concertina wire, hiding, hoping nobody shoots back is not a job I want to volunteer for, ok? In fact, I’d go so far as to say, “you can’t pay me enough to do that.” Call me a wimp but, at that point, for a hobby, I’d rather take up knitting.
Sure, don’t get me wrong, his pictures are great, and they are worth looking at, and they certainly aren’t worth repeating but I’m just not willing to go there. Maybe that makes me extra happy that somebody else is? Maybe I can appreciate them all that much more because I know (a little) of what’s involved there. Maybe it’s just adrenaline and that rush just hasn’t hit me yet. Maybe, if placed in the same situation, I would just dive in and take the same kind of shots (I suspect I would actually) but we’ll never know for sure because, as you know, bodily fluids *inside,* thank you.
That full-contact knitting is starting to look oh-so compelling, isn’t it?
Until next time…