Simply Extraorbinary

It was one those last minute calls you get that asks if you would care to meet up that evening and shoot some stuff.

In my case it is “shoot some stuff” but in reality it could be any last minute invite that makes you change your plans and jump on it.

I didn’t really have plans worth talking about in all seriousness, so when Jax asked if I wanted to grab my orb (sounds rude, I know) and see what we could do with a steel wool project, it was easy to say “yes”.

We have shot steel wool together a few times in the past and it has never been a disappointment. There is something about the traces that fiery shards of metal create as they fly across the night sky.

Such experiments often result in a slight burn here and there but not always. Even when they do, there is a general feeling of “that was worth it”.

Last night’s variation was about using the orb to focus what the spark trails might be doing and this took us both into no-man’s-land. We had never done this before and it took us a couple of shots to realize that the focus we needed the camera set to was the back surface of the orb.

Once we had that figured out, the biggest challenge was filling up the orb with some interesting action that might be worth capturing.

We went to three separate little spots in the dark, with only the lake reflections being orbless. We fought off mosquitoes and avoided stepping on snakes or disturbing alligators and in the end we got some cool pics which I have attached at the end of this blog.

I have added a few black and white variants and somewhere in there, I hope you find something to enjoy.

I know that we both certainly did.

It was an awesome fun project and like all good projects, required us to bend our minds a little, experiment a little, and learn a little. This is where having a cool science-lady to work with as your partner, really helps. She is an ace.

Anyway, by the time I finished going through what we got today on the PC, the thought it left me was twofold … how we are well served by not being too rigid in our plans, and how we have to be willing to step off solid ground and risk failure occasionally.

It would have been easy to just gracefully decline the suggestion and find a cozy spot on the sofa to snuggle up into. There are no mosquitoes there and I can trudge off to bed whenever I want instead of finding myself an hour from home when I get to a tired point.

But in reality, our sofas are the worst places to live out our lives. I am old enough to be able to see the finishing line from where I am and I certainly don’t want to cross it feet up in recline with a remote in my hand.

Relaxation and entertainment are well-packaged distractions from life and the masses have been fed such concepts for millennia as something we should all be happy to consume.

But we should resist the consumption because they can very easily consume our lives and leave us falling well short of the life experience we should have had.

Those who live for wealth want us to be happy with empty lives so that they have a clear field for living their own greedy potentials beyond their dreams.

Roman emperors used the colosseum with gladiator fight and chariot races to distract the masses while they debauched and engaged in excesses that gave them what they wanted in life.

Today’s moguls do the same with a myriad of channels and online deliveries that will one day convince the masses that living an online life is somehow more valuable than living a real one.

Avoid that trap!

And then when you do find yourself venturing out, go somewhere you haven’t been, do something you haven’t done, risk falling flat on your face.

This is how we expand our horizons. Yes, we will occasionally get bitten (hopefully by a mosquito and not an alligator) but that is all part of the gamble.

Life cannot be a sure thing. It should be an adventure. Real adventure always has the possibility of success or failure. And while these adventures don’t need to risk our lives, they do occasionally need to risk our souls.

So what if we look foolish or an idea is completely stupid? Why fear failure when it is simply a learning mechanism?

My grannie told me once in her later years that the thing she hated most about dying was that all she had learned in life would be lost with her. I wish I had been smart enough at the time to tell her that the learning she did was for her living years. Death was irrelevant, in that sense.

… just a thought!