Thursday, January 31, 2013

Making Better Alternatives

Bicycle commuter shadow with canal creatures and cactus shadows

Sometimes it seems as if I find myself in a situation where I have no better alternatives. Perhaps there are alternatives, but on evaluating those, none are better than the current situation. It can seem, at that point, that I'm stuck. Indeed, if I stop there, I kind of am stuck. Stuck going down a route on my bike that suddenly turns into a freeway, stuck in a situation I don't really want to be in, fill in your own examples. Stuckness doesn't feel too good, typically.

But I also recognize that often the better alternatives are the ones we make for ourselves. That could mean seeking them out with a new vision or renewed enthusiasm, or re-looking at the current situation with different criteria, or, often, actually creating a new alternative opportunity on my own. If you get good at making better alternatives, then you always have them.

Perhaps related and illustrative, perhaps not: very often, I would say more than 80% of the time, when I'm riding around and see something I want to take a photo of, it's the first shot that turns out the best. Out of the nine photos I took of these canal creatures at dawn, the one above is the first shot. Maybe that's just because of how I learned to take pictures, or, maybe it says something about grabbing onto alternatives quickly, as soon as you recognize them, without trying to manipulate or overthink them. If it's better and you know it is, it probably is better. Recognizing a good alternative and not passing by so fast you miss it, is as good as making better ones yourself.


  1. I also find the same especially with taking photos...So often that first shot is the keeper...maybe because you don't think too much prior to pressing the shutter...subsequent shots we try to get a bit technical with composition..exposure etc and then end up spoiling the picture...


    1. It may be the connection--something connects with my brain and makes me pause, pull out the camera, and shoot. That first shot is closest in time and space to that connection. Once in a while, moving a bit enhances the connection, but often it's strongest at the first shot.

  2. It was the same with the photo of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima so you have company...

    1. The Iwo Jima photo is intense. Mine is luscious.


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