Monday, June 3, 2013

Conquering Fears Through Photography

English: A photo of a Voigtlander Vito II came...

Well, it’s two weeks short of a year since I last posted new photos to the Wheelchair Kamikaze photo gallery. A long time between photo posts, so long, in fact, that relatively new readers might not even be aware of the specifics behind the WK photo gallery. For those who don’t know the photo gallery “back story”, here's a quick summation.

Back in my healthy days I was an avid amateur photographer, always snapping away with a variety of cameras. When I got sick my right side quickly weakened, making shooting photographs (along with a whole bunch of other things) increasingly difficult. I tried to keep at it, but within a few years, much to my great frustration, I was forced to set my cameras aside as shooting with them simply became too difficult, and quite frankly I didn’t have the stomach to come up with workarounds.

Several years passed with my never touching a camera, though I missed photography intensely, until my creeping paralysis crept to the point that my mobility needs required the assistance of a mechanical monster, my wheelchair. Once the beast became part of the family, my wife started bugging me to figure out a way to attach a camera to the thing, so that I could use my good hand to make photographs using a wheelchair mounted camera. Being an obstinate putz I steadfastly resisted her suggestions, although she did manage to wheedle out of me some ideas of how I might go about setting up such a rig. My wife's Christmas present to me that year was, as you might’ve guessed, all the components needed to make a wheelchair mounted camera a reality: a new digital camera with a flip out viewing screen and a little tripod with flexible legs that I could wrap securely around the arm of the wheelchair (to see the setup, click here. Though the gear has changed in the intervening years, the basic setup remains the same.)

Soon enough I was back in business, zooming around the city (mostly Central Park), a half paralyzed shutterbug on wheels. The resulting photos turned out surprisingly well, and in addition to shooting stills I also made some videos. Thus, the Wheelchair Kamikaze blog was born, more a place to showcase my photos and videos than the repository of written rants and raves that it has evolved into over the years.

So, why haven’t I posted any new photos in almost a year? The short answer is that I haven’t been doing much in the photographic department these last 12 months. The longer answer is that I haven't been doing much in the photographic department these last 12 months because my disease has continued to progress (as progressive diseases are wont to do), and my “good” left side is no longer so terrific, forcing me to question whether I could still manage certain activities that I had previously taken for granted.

For the first eight or so years after my diagnosis, my left side really wasn’t effected by the disease all that much, but the last year and a half or so have seen it noticeably and increasingly diminished. As it is with all of the insults dished out by the disease, the physical impacts of these new challenges have been accompanied by psychological hurdles as well. If I’m honest with myself the truth is that I haven’t shot any photos, or even processed a bunch that I shot last summer, because I was afraid to find out that I could no longer do so. Manipulating the wheelchair mounted camera takes a good bit of fiddling with dials and buttons and such, and processing photos through Photoshop, even for the minimal amount of image enhancements that I usually do, requires a fair amount of precise mouse work. Rather than try and fail, and then have to deal with the wreckage of that unpleasant new reality, I semi-consciously decided to not try at all, and thus avoid the situation altogether. In short, fear of failure took the wind out of my photographic sails, compounding the physical limitations imposed by the disease with some of my own making.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling that old familiar yen, at least in part spurred on by the nicer weather as winter turned to spring. I’ve also grown more resigned to the fact that my left side is getting increasingly wonky, and sick of capitulating to the fear that I might no longer be able to do something (photography) that is so tied into my sense of self. The disease is crippling enough, and I resolved that I wouldn’t allow my fears to cripple me further. So, I grudgingly opened up Photoshop and started working on some of the photos that had been occupying my hard drive untouched for the last year or so.

Lo and behold, I found that I can still put Photoshop through its paces, certainly not as quickly and efficiently as before, and only for a couple of hours at a time before my hand becomes unresponsive enough to start freaking me out, but, dammit, once I shook the rust off the results weren’t all that bad. Spurred on by this minor triumph, I bit the bullet and took the camera on a couple of sojourns to Central Park, where I discovered that I can still manage the required twisting and pushing of camera and lens controls. Not for the unlimited hours upon hours as I had in the past, but I was able to shoot almost nonstop for about two hours, long enough to make it a very pleasant and productive afternoon. Sure, my arm and hand felt made of flimsy rubber bands on the way home, but the victorious feeling I felt more than made up for the increased danger I was to pedestrians, since my ability to manipulate the wheelchair joystick was noticeably diminished. I managed to make it home without taking out anybody’s shins or kneecaps, and not only had I been able to take some pretty good photos, but I’d stood up to a big fear and kicked it in the nuts.

So, I now know that I can still shoot photos and run them through Photoshop, at least for today and tomorrow, and for fuck knows how much longer. I’ll just have to take it as it comes. I’ve got some “outside the box” treatment options yet to try, some of which I’ve already written about on this blog. Given the state of the world, with lunatics shooting up parades, movie theaters, and grammar schools, with weather patterns seemingly more severe and deadly by the week, and with a geopolitical landscape that appears increasingly on the brink of widespread violent chaos, it could be that MS is the least of my worries. As somebody much wiser than I once said, “life is uncertain, eat dessert first.”

With that, I present to you my latest batch of photos, long overdue. About half were taken recently, but all have been processed within the last month or so. Most were taken with my wheelchair mounted camera, but a few were shot with an iPhone with a close-up lens attached, including the photos of the dragonfly and the ant in the flower. Though it’s a little tricky, I can handle the iPhone camera with my one clumsy hand, and I’m always surprised at the capabilities of that little device.

I’d welcome all feedback on the photos, positive and negative. Which ones do you like, and which ones suck? Please don’t hold back because of my “conquering fear” thing. Negative feedback is just as helpful as positive, maybe more so. Your honesty will be much appreciated…

Click on the thumbnail image for a larger version.


 photo Asian-musician-color-final.jpg  photo Mickey-Ds.jpg  photo garbage-Lady-3.jpg  photo Squirrel.jpg
 photo violin-1.jpg  photo umbrella-man.jpg  photo dragonfly-2.jpg  photo wistful-liberty-BW.jpg
 photo Egret-large-BW-final-1.jpg  photo hat-lady.jpg  photo better-looking.jpg  photo Tough-Bird.jpg
 photo Rose-macro-2.jpg  photo posters-HDR-copy.jpg  photo trumpet.jpg  photo white-and-pink.jpg
 photo linc-cent-dark-comp_HDR.jpg  photo Marilyn.jpg  photo but-first.jpg  photo text-guy.jpg
 photo ant-and-flower.jpg  photo dangling-copy.jpg  photo another-dandy.jpg  photo yellow-flower.jpg

Enhanced by Zemanta

65 comments:

  1. Those are beyond pretty good!

    I especially like the woman and the garbage can.

    Also the first portrait is nice too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! In all honesty, I have no idea what the woman with the garbage can was doing. One thing about living in New York City, there's usually something interesting to look at…

      Delete
  2. Marc, They are all so wonderful!!!
    Your photos are all so glamorous, so appreciative of the city and the nature of things here and there. So funny (that "squirrel" had me laughing out loud once I saw it) and so energetic and colorful. Wow. Your photographic eye and artistic travels continue to amaze...
    -Matt D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Matt, appreciate the kind words. Glad you got a chuckle out of the squirrel. Not sure if I have artistic travels or artistic travails, but happy that you find my efforts pleasing…

      Delete
  3. IMHO…I'm no expert, by any means…but you did ask. So. First picture, portrait for a man - like very much. Like the design of shadows. As a graphic designer, however, I always think of the salability of a piece and, personally, I don't see portraits as selling. That being said…third photo has a nice design, a nice dark vs light play. I like the red in the corner of photo #6. Love the contrast and balance in the heron (heron, is it?) in #9. #15, the trumpeter, would make a great photo for a news story. It has energy and great contrast. #19, the jeans butt, would make a great photo for an ad, also…very balanced and great contrast. Subject matter might be objectionable though...I don't know how ad people think. #21, the white flower, is great except unbalanced. Too much weight on the right, IMHO. The yellow flower (#24) is quite beautiful and nicely weighted. I think the trumpet player is my favorite, although the yellow flower would make an awesome cover for a sympathy card.
    Overall, great job and I am SO glad you are "back to it." Do you belong to a photo group? I'm thinking Flickr has some? Where you might get some in-depth reviews from photo experts. Personally, thrilled to see EVERY post you have here. Makes my day. I look for them daily. Keep on shuttering!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue, thanks for the detailed critiques. I don't really shoot with an eye towards sales, although I am thinking of setting up a site where people could order prints. Not interested in making a profit, so any profits would go to MS and/or disability charities. I agree with all of your assessments, and even though I'm not really a "flower photo" kind of guy, I do seem to be able to take pretty good flower shots. They make for easy subjects when mobility is limited. They don't do much running around.

      I have in the past belonged to a few online photo groups, but none recently. In all honesty, between the blog and trying to keep up with emails and MS research I don't have all that much time, but maybe I should make some. I'm sure Flickr must have some appropriate groups, but I'd rather people not know that the shots are taken from a wheelchair mounted camera, otherwise, they might not judge them strictly on their own merit. On the other hand, if they found out after viewing, it might make for some good conversations…

      Delete
  4. The photos - fabulous. The disease progression - AFU. Your spirit - indefatigable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As is befitting a master of haiku, your pithy reply is spot on. Thanks, Judy.

      Delete
  5. I chuckled at the ant picture. It looks like it is coming out of warp...not unlike they seem to do in our house twice a year despite all we do to keep them out. The garbage lady is just a funny picture, but the trumpet player is the picture I like most. It evokes the most emotion. I don't know whether it's the look on his face, how he's dressed or the simplicity of catching one making music. I can almost hear the call to revelry.

    As for getting out again, congrats. At some point we have to take advantage of what we can do, MS or not, because the only certainty is our inability at some future time. MS just make us more aware of our fleeting moments of ability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true about our awareness of the fleeting nature of the moment and our abilities. We really must strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

      I didn't think of it before your comment, but the end does look like it's coming out of warp. Probably a Klingon, better get my shields up. I think the appeal of the trumpet player shot is that he's clearly caught up in his own moment, in the making of his music. When I first arrived on the scene, he seemed a bit self-conscious, with me sitting in a wheelchair snapping photos of him. After a while, though, he just let the music take him away…

      Delete
  6. You Nailed It! Congrats on overcoming your fears. It's truly amazing how alike our plights have become with similar progression symptoms from right to left and the accompanying psychological demons that come with them. Thank you for putting into words much of the Shit that I too am experiencing.

    As for the photos, I like the garbage lady, the squirrel, the violin player(probably because she's gorgeous), and the "thistle?". From a photographic standpoint I think the thistle might be the best.

    Keep On - keeping on, Charlie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Charlie, thanks for the kind words, and yes, the violin player is quite the looker. Sorry that you are sharing the same physical and psychological bugaboos as I am, but at least we have each other to lean on. Literally, if necessary… (Now I'm going to have the song "Lean on Me" running through my head for the rest of the night.)

      Delete
  7. Great work, Marc. Good to see you're getting back on the proverbial horse! Giddy up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Marc, good to hear from you. Hope things are well in your world. Now that I'm back on the horse, I better not get off. Look for me in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday…

      Delete
  8. Bravo!
    "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." -Chinese proverb
    Don't stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carmen, love the proverb. Bottom line is we can not let our fear of not being able to do keep us from doing. It might take longer, and require more effort, but maybe that makes the end results more satisfying. On the other hand, maybe it just makes us more tired after we are done. Either way, it's all about the journey, not the destination.

      Delete
  9. As always you are able to say what I have felt tho it is knitting instead of photography. I love it and will not let MS take it from me so I use different needles,yarn, different patterns etc. what ever works as progression occurs. I love any of the photos that I can make up a story to go with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the photos that lend themselves to stories also. Those are the ones that draw you in, kind of make you look at them from the inside out. I hope I've managed to make a few such images in my life.

      Keep going with the knitting, as long as you can. We simply must keep doing the things that make us, us.

      BTW, my sweater size is "large"…

      Delete
  10. "Never, never, never give up." Winston Churchill Keep doing that unique thing that makes you YOU. Love your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melinda, that Winston Churchill speech is one of my favorites. "We will fight in the fields, we will fight on the beaches… We will never give up… They will say "this was their finest hour". Stirring stuff, can only imagine how beloved Mr. Churchill must have been to Londoners going through the blitz.

      Very glad you like my photos, thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  11. So glad on all fronts that the photographer is back. First of all, I love, Love, LOVE photographs; I have bought mountains of tabletop books of everything from Gordon Parks to Glacier Park animals. Sadly, I have zero talent myself. When I look at a good photo--yours definitely included--I go off into a dream of standing on that spot myself, lining up the shot. I always feel that I could do it but alas, my photos, so happily taken, are limp at the viewing end. The shadow isn't quite there or the balance is off or the color is oddly pale.

    Technique can be taught but can the instinct, the artist's eye? Doubtful, darn it. At any rate--you've definitely got it and thank goodness it's back!

    PS: Can't fault you for wanting to catch the gorgeous violin player but I prefer the look the first musician is giving you. Spectacular egret shot against that murky background, by the way. And I love the ones that made me laugh. Did you set up that "Richer, Smarter" shot or was he really just there reading it? Kudos on catching the quirky earring/hat lady on the metal chair. Guess I like your people shots best because they make me feel as if I'm in New York.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daphne, I bet your photos are better than you think. Lots of times the output from digital cameras is less than stellar, because the contrast isn't high enough, or the colors are under saturated. You might be able to make some adjustments using the menus on your camera, or else invest in some cheap software that will let you make some simple adjustments. I think you'll be amazed at the difference.

      I did not set up the "Richer Smarter" shot, he really was just reading that book. He was in an area just outside of Central Park, where there are lots of tables, chairs, and benches. Great hunting grounds for people shots. Sometimes I'll just go there and set myself in one spot, patiently waiting for potential victims. Kind of like a Venus fly trap, but with a camera.

      Delete
  12. So happy to see WK back in photographer mode!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Felt good to be back in photographer mode, even if it's not quite as robust as before. As they used to say in the 70s, just gotta keep on truckin'…

      Delete
  13. I love the one of the guy reading that self-help book with the very amusing title. He appears to be halfway through it! I'd been wondering if photography had become too difficult. We do need our creative outlets, though you have writing too -- that's two creative outlets. But I won't say lucky you. One of mine was gardening, which is only possible if I can be set up in one spot and even then, I want to be moved every few minutes, which isn't fun for my husband, though he never complains. Oh well, everyone has their own bag of hammers, as Michael J Fox once said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, without the creative outlets I might just go bonkers (or, perhaps, more bonkers). Glad that your husband helps you with your gardening, I'm sure he's happy that it makes you happy. People can be very nice, if you let them… They can also be horrendous ogres, but it doesn't sound like either one of us is married to one of those…

      Delete
  14. I'm finding, these days, that "action cures fear" ~ when I just get out there and get started, the fear lessens and the results are surprisingly gratifying!

    I love the B & W photos best ~ ESP the one of the woman wearing the black hat. I want her to turn around so I can what she looks from the front!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is true, action does cure fear. As long, I guess, as one can actually still accomplish the action. Still, the fear should not keep you from trying, because I think we tend to underestimate our own abilities once those abilities start getting chipped away. And if eventually we are going to lose those abilities, might as well use them before we lose them…

      I'm partial to black and white photography also. I've noticed that I take a lot of pictures of people from behind. I think it allows the imagination to run wild, I bet that the woman in the hat would not nearly be so compelling a subject from the front.

      Delete
  15. Am so glad to see more of your works! I still remember newly diagnosed and finding your blog and video of the streets of NYC. You gave me humor, hope and you really have an entertaining way ! Best to your loving wife who knows what your soul craves. Have a great week.mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary, it's very gratifying to know that I helped you from afar when you are newly diagnosed. Never in 1 million years did I imagine what this blog would become, or that more than a few dozen people would ever read it. Quite a shock, really…

      My wife has been a lifesaver, in every which way. She's a good soul…

      Delete
  16. How on earth did you get the clarity and focus on these shots? I can see the definition of the pigeon's feathers and the violin player's hair, which causes me to simply enjoy their beauty. The first one leaves me wanting to know what he's holding and I'm with the other viewer who wants the hatted lady to turn around. I want to walk (ok, roll) the lighter path up to the fountain - so you have taken me to those places and left me wanting more - that is good photography. The symmetry of the views is pleasing. On some of them, though, like the guy with his phone, I wonder if not centering them would draw the eye a bit, allow the interesting architecture to be viewed and look more natural. Fun viewing your work - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I guess I have to thank the Panasonic company for making the camera that I use, the GH2. At its best, it does do a really good job at capturing detail. It also helps that I shoot my photos in RAW format, another feature allowed by the camera. This means that they really can't be viewed without processing them, as the files are just raw data. Most consumer digital cameras output JPEG's, which the camera processes internally, causing some loss in detail.

      I was kind of iffy on including the guy with the phone, but I'm fascinated by how fascinated people are with their cell phones. I could probably put a whole series together of shots I've taken of people completely oblivious to the world around them, their concentration fixed entirely on a little handheld screen. I want to scream at them, "look around! You're in the middle of one of the most fascinating cities in the world! What on that phone can possibly be more interesting?"

      Guess I'm just an old fuddy-duddy…

      Delete
  17. Love these! Made me remember being back in school and the assignment was to pick a picture and write a story about it. Oh how I'd love to read the creative captions under some of these! Oy! What is the garbage lady looking at?! Perhaps that squirrel is seeking refuge in the there? I think the hat lady is really a spy on a mission! What are those danglers in the city really up to? Resting after a naughty adventure? Or just escaping from their busy lives? LOL! I could go on and on! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy, all of your comments are wonderful. I have absolutely no idea what the garbage lady was looking at, but I sure am glad she was looking. I think you're right, the hat lady is a spy. I think her earrings are really radio antennae. The Danglers were actually sitting way, way up on a rock in Central Park, probably 40 or 50 feet off the ground. I had some shots that showed the height, but their legs were just so tiny. I like the juxtaposition of the legs in the close-up, though. Still, it would have been neat to be able to shoot from above, showing the height. Unfortunately, my wheelchair does not excel at rock climbing. Dammit.

      Delete
  18. Barry "Olddog"June 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Hey man, it's been too long, but these are an exceptional addition to your gallery. I commented on some of them individually on their PotoBucket pages. If you listen closely you might hear the sound of my one hand clapping for your creativity, craftsmanship and tenacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry, I thought I felt a breeze the last time I was looking at the shots on photo bucket. Thanks so much for your comments on those pages. I really appreciate the effort, and your kind words…

      Delete
  19. WOW, your photos are beautiful! I came across your blog as I began to look at MS bloggers. I was actually diagnosed in 2007 and was hit pretty hard for the first couple of years (quickly needing a cane and then a Segway to keep up with the kids) AND I had to give up my small (but rewarding Photography business.) Life did a bit of a turn around for me, haven't used either cane or Segway in 2 1/2 yrs! Almost from day one of dx I have been "writing" a blog in my mind, and three weeks ago, I FINALLY started it. Which is what the "research" is about, seeing who else it out there. BUT reading your most recent post now has me thinking...maybe I can take pictures again. Not as if there is time for that, but a fun thing to think about.
    Thanks for the inspiration and as I said, love your photos!
    Cheers,
    Meg@bbhwithms.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megan, thank you for the kind words, and I'm very happy to hear that MS gave you a break and allowed you to mothball the cane and the Segway! By all means, I'd encourage you to start doing some photography again, whenever you can squeeze it in. You'll appreciated all the more after having put the cameras aside for a while.

      Checked out your blog, and it's really great! Hey, everybody, check out Meg's blog! It's interesting, well written, and funny! Www.BBHwithMS.com

      Good work, Meg.

      Delete
  20. Dear Friend , am entralled with your photography !

    And motivated to do something similar :)

    I have suffered from MS from 2006 7 long years , lost my left eye then 1 year back both eyes, recovered sight though only 60% .

    3 months ago started Acupuncture with Dr Lohiya, i can walk better and incontrol of my incontinence, sight is actually third on my priority list.

    Thanks Tora Sengupta (Torasengupta@live.in)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments, glad to hear that some of your symptoms have been relieved by acupuncture. Hey, they've been using it for 5000 years, it must work.

      Definitely give photography a try, or some other creative endeavor. Take advantage of what you have while you have it.

      Delete
  21. marc: inspirational as usual. i have been having the same sort of frustrations with guitar/uke playing - my fingers and arms get rubbery with fatigue in minutes. but i hung out with a couple of guitar-playing pals last night, and they got me to realize that i can still sing, and convinced me to acquire a blues harp and give that a try. we shall see. i love the macro flowers, especially the vertical b/w rose (rose?) as everyone else said, good on you for pushing back and finding out what you can till do. very nice work. thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words are much appreciated. Certainly, even though you might not be able to continue strumming, your musical inclinations can be satisfied in other ways. Nothing like a great blues harp, exhilarating and mournful at the same time. And if you've got the voice for singing, belt it out. Hell, I only have a marginal singing voice, but I was the lead singer of a punk rock band for about four years in the 80s. Well, I guess lead screamer would be more appropriate. If you're doing the blues, a voice that's a little rough around the edges can be a definite plus. Go for it.

      Delete
  22. Hi! Hope your day is going excellent. First off - I couldn't be more proud to hear you write of your trials, fears and true feelings of what has been holding you back from these gorgeous pictures you took. It is normal, all of your fears, but quite extraordinary to keep picking yourself back up and trying again no matter how difficult it gets. Stellar! The more you write about your wife and how she bought you the camera and accessories to get it attached to your zoom mobile - WOW - what a great lady!!! Anyway, I am no picture analyzer but I love the coloring of the dragonfly, the look of the Asian musician - what is he not telling us?, the squirrel has a lot on his mind - possibly the weight of the world on his little shoulders and the Pigeon - it isn't often I look at a picture of a pigeon and want to get to know him. hahahahahaha The McD's pic is true and somewhat dark, not my taste but its a great picture. The white crane (is it a crane?)on black, didn't think I liked it until I opened it up - love it. Thanks for the inspiration. Take good care of you and keep them coming if even only one at a time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your critiques and the supportive words. My wife definitely did a good thing in "forcing" me back into photography. She has a way of gently getting me to do things that I wouldn't otherwise do, and always for the better. And she makes me laugh. What more could a man ask for?

      I think the Asian musician is not telling us to stop taking his picture. I saw him again earlier this week, he plays some kind of stringed instrument with a bow. Whatever it is, it sounds really good, and he's good at it. Always attracts a crowd. The squirrel shot was hard to get, the critters don't like to stay still for very long. I like the angle his body makes with the tree. Not sure if the bird is a Crane, Heron, or Egret. I bet I could find out on the inter-webs…

      Delete
  23. I love this post. It made me a bit teary for a few reasons; Your wife’s support, love, and nudge by giving you the gift, your courage to shake of the fear and try, the beauty of your photos, and that I’m familiar with your story from my own perspective. I’m choking back fear lately and am trying to get off that train, but am noticing weakness creeping in. Sometimes it’s not there, but more often that not lately it is. I was dx'd in my 40s and don’t have huge # of lesions and my flares are defined but with residual ‘disabilities’ accumulating in the last 5 years. Diagnosis took some time. I’m am afraid and at times I can jump the hurdle and just do and then other times the fear of progression just grips me. Thank you for sharing all of this. They are really beautiful photos.

    Thank you for for telling your own truth. The added bonus is to read everyone else's perspectives as well. So grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am very grateful for everybody leaving comments on this blog. Not only on this post, but every post. They add so much, and I hope other readers take the time to go through the comments.

      Fear should be listed as one of the symptoms of MS. How can one not feel fear when dealing with a disease that encompasses so many unknowns? The fear does wax and wane, but it's always there, almost like a second skin. I always fight it, but it's impossible for it not to get the better of you every now and then. You've just got to do your best to minimize its effects, and facing fear is the best way to smite it. The only way, really.

      Was out taking photos again this week. Yes, it bothers me that I can no longer shoot endlessly, as I used to, but the knowledge that I can still get out there definitely makes the future seem a bit brighter. As I said in the post, who knows what tomorrow brings? That goes for the sick and healthy alike…

      Delete
    2. Thanks Marc - I was telling my husband last night I'd like at least one day off. Wow, imagine? So glad you are shooting photos as you can instead of not at all- You really have the eye and they are beautiful perspectives (just like your blog)! thanks so much

      Delete
  24. My favorite is the "better looking" one, with the book. Nicely captured.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that one too. Do you think he's better looking and richer than his parents? Probably not, if he's reading that book…

      Delete
  25. I love your work, Marc. You have such a great eye for form and light.

    This must be the week for resolutions. I have also been progressively getting worse, to the extent I rarely leave the house. Yesterday I just felt a surge of energy and determination, I want to get out more. With the help of my home health aide, I think I will do it.

    By the way, I mentioned you in a blog post this week and added a link to your post on a Person Hiroshima.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marie, so great to hear from you. Do try to get out of the house, especially while the weather here in the Northeast is still tolerable. In a few weeks the temperatures will consistently be in the high 80s, which for me is like kryptonite. Might as well strike while the iron is not so hot.

      Thanks for mentioning me in your blog. Hey, everybody should read Marie's blog as well. Though she has been having a hard time of it of late, she writes wonderfully, and can be hysterically funny. Plus, she's an all-around good egg.

      www.nourishourselves.com

      Delete
  26. Ooops, that should be Personal, not Person.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Marc Loved seeing your photos again. The composition and focus of these is just as fabulous as your previous photos. As always enjoyed reading the story that goes hand in hand. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, thanks so much for your comments. As I said in a previous reply, I'll take the credit for the composition, but the kudos for the focus go mostly to Panasonic. Glad you liked the story that went with the photos. Didn't realize people would so relate… It's nice to know that we are all in this thing together…

      Delete
  28. Hi Marc,
    I wanted to share a fantastic fundraiser that started specifically for Roll Models like yourself. Please check out their website www.rollmodelgear.com
    Be sure to Like and Share on Fb. They are fairly new and need help spreading the word.

    Thank you in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Checked out the site, and it looks terrific. Great idea, I hope it's a great success. Been thinking about setting up some kind of fundraising sites myself, using the photos that I've taken from the wheelchair.

      Yet another site for everybody to check out. Connections, connections, connections…

      Delete
  29. Marc; Your photography is beautiful. Always makes me smile. You are an unbelievably talented artist. Every photo is special...the beauty of life...
    Moshe G.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi, I have MS, actually the primary progressive kind. I agree that fear is part of it. Not knowing whether I'll wake up tomorrow not being able to move at all. That nightmare is with me all the time, especially just before I fall asleep.
    From someone who knows how hard the struggles are everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Marc
    Your photos are very good,especially liked the woman and garbage can .
    Have you read the book 'The last best cure ' by Donna Jackson Nakazawa?I was diagonized with SPMS five years ago and have found Spring Forest Qigong to be very helpful.Their Small universe Qigong meditation can be done by those who cannot do standing Qigong.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love your photos! The egret is elegant and the McDonalds wrapper was a sad commentary on the refuse of our world. You have a great eye. I am looking forward to seeing more of your work!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nice photos (I'm English, we tend not to do too much enthusiasm ;) ).

    I thought the guy reading that ridiculous self-help book was hysterical. Just living well in the moment is what we can do - the rest, like trying to "outdo" others, is moonshine.

    Love your blog! I first read it not long after diagnosis - I liked it's humour but also determination to tell the truth, without platitudes. Very comforting. X

    ReplyDelete
  34. Enjoyed your photos. My favorite of this group is of the man in white chairs. Loved the colors.... Clear white chairs/ lone man in black. Primary colors of the umbrella hat, and then the teal and lavender on the chairs around him. Fun and interesting photo!

    ReplyDelete