Speak No Evil

I am having a lot of issues with my TMJ.  It feels physically impossible to relax the muscles of my jaw.  Some have told me that this implies I’m holding back.  I wonder about that.  Generally, I am an outspoken person.  But, when I think about the things I would like to say vs the things I actually say, I realize I do hold back.  A lot.

For example, when I’m at work on a call with someone who is preventing me from moving forward with a project and I can’t figure out why they are even involved in the decision making process,  I don’t say, “why do you think you have the right to an opinion about this?” or “I’m sorry, why are you here?”

There was a time in my life when I probably would have.

Acclimating myself to a career in the corporate world has largely meant learning how to keep my mouth closed.  Apparently, clenched tight.

Oddly, people seem to feel like they’re a “value add” (one of my favorite corporatisms) by pointing out any possible reason why we shouldn’t do something.  It’s rare to meet a person who wants to suggest how we could do something.

Even more oddly, this has been consistent across the companies I’ve worked for throughout my career; it is not unique to the company I work for now.  I wonder what it is about corporations that create the need in people to be gatekeepers?  Or is it that they feel that way their whole lives and a corporation just provides a place to express their inner selves?  Is there such a thing as a born gatekeeper?

When these people say “I’m here to help,” what they mean is, “I am here to maintain the status quo by causing delays so that we’ve completely missed the market before you can force any changes.”

In the meantime, I clench my jaw and try not to scream.

I guess I am holding back.

Thankfully, I now have Tisen to nudge me with his nose during the highest stress moments in my day.  Tisen reminds me that there are far worse alternatives to being gainfully employed and able to work from home.

Working from home also saves me an hour and a half a day that I get to spend on trying to become a better photographer.  So, who am I to complain?

On the subject of photography, this is the final edition of “Going Vertical.”  Today’s shots are, however, macro shots rather than landscape.  Well, at least some of them.  I’ve been told the official definition of “macro” means a 1:1 relationship between the size of the image and the size of the subject in real life.  Clearly, not all of these photos meet that criteria.

I had a lot of fun shooting reflections in the wetland area.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that how much fun I have while shooting is not a predictor of how much I like the resulting images.


The completely original 3 images processed into the horizontal shot:


11 responses to “Speak No Evil

  1. Well I can understand that always having to keep your mouth shut is not good for your stress level. But having a dog like Tison is good for stress! Also, you can unload on your blog every once and a while too. That may help you feel better. I noticed you have a leather couch, lucky you, mine is like velvet. You can imagine the hair!

    • He definitely helps a lot! It’s actually “pleather”–I think of it as a “dog couch” because it is perfect for dog owners. Cleans up easily, is comfortable to lounge in with the dog, and didn’t break the bank. 🙂

  2. Yep, I totally agree about the gatekeepers. People always willing to stop new ideas or new ways of doing things.

    On the photography side of things. I love the horizontal image of the item in the water. Did you desaturate the image or was that how it came out of the camera?

    Hang in there.

    • Thanks, Mike! I’m hanging–some days by a thread, but I’m still hanging! I can’t post pictures in comments, so I’ll add them to the end of the original post. It’s an HDR processed image–3 exposures combined, tone mapped, and then adjusted. The water came out quite foggy looking in most of the shots–I didn’t have a polarizer that would fit on my 100mm macro lens with me, unfortunately.

      • I don’t have photomatix, but there should be an option for removing ghosts. Photoshop has that and it does a great job of ensuring that the images are aligned and don’t have that soft focus effect.

      • There is, but it reduces resolution further so I only use it if my subject moved. In this case, I don’t think it’s a ghost that’s causing the soft focus effect. I shot this with a 100mm macro lens at f/2.8 with manual focus. When I look at the original images, it looks like a) I didn’t do a great job of getting anything super sharp, and b) the depth of field is so shallow that only the area closest to the surface is close to being sharp. Unfortunately, I have not yet trained myself to spend time in the field enlarging my images on the LCD so I can tell if I like the depth of field and focus or not. I guess I know what the next thing I need to work on is! 🙂

      • In the old days, lenses used to have markings showing the depth of field, so you could tell. If you haven’t learned it yet in your class, the lower the number of f-stop, the more shallow the depth of field. also remember that the zone of focus is 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the focus point.

      • That much I do know. 🙂 I get lazy about getting out my reading glasses to look at whether I like the depth of field and what’s in focus and what’s not while I’m shooting.

      • I’ve been thinking more about this problem. I think I’m also a little stuck in my learning process in the way that a child gets stuck on a new grammar rule and starts over applying it. I think I will write a post about this topic–thanks for triggering the insight!

  3. I know what it is like to hold in your thoughts and end up in so much pain-I thought I was the poster child for TMJ for a while. I have had to wear a mouth guard for years, but I tend to tell it like it is today though I don’t have to worry about consequences or repercussions now. It used to be I would play the game and be the manipulator–thank goodness I don’t have to do that anymore. Tisen is such great support. I still cannot get over the snoring video. And, it’s ok about the joke…we are still working on things. We will get back together eventually…

    • Ick! That would suck. I hope I am not heading down the same path! Tison really does earn his keep around here. Glad to hear things look optimistic. 🙂

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