Monthly Archives: February 2016

Picture (Im)Perfect | Ana Linden

Picture (Im)Perfect | Ana Linden

I still feel sorry for the photographer who used to take my picture once every couple of years or so when I was a child. God forbid my mother framed anything but a picture of professional perfection of me. You know how some children hate the dentist s and parents have to drag them there under false pretext well, once in a while, I d get to wear my best and most uncomfortable dress, awfully oversized bows, shiny patent leather shoes and I would be tricked into having my picture taken. Don t get me wrong, I don t mind being photographed, I simply never liked posing. That s why I still feel sorry for the poor man, he certainly had his work cut out for him. As usual, getting me to look natural while sitting on the ugly, uncomfortable chair, staring at the camera was a demanding, time consuming, frustrating experience. I had offered my own suggestions, but they had been blatantly disregarded, so he had to deal with my attitude as well.

But somehow he managed to get a decent shot, all the people waiting outside (whose appointments had been pushed back because of me) were only mildly angry, so everybody was happy. Almost everybody Clearly, I was not going to be the only child in the room that day. We were ready to leave, my mother announced. Sure, why not just leave? After all, the child is all everybody cares about these days She doesn t mean anything to anybody anymore nobody wants to photograph her . nobody wants to frame her picture Yes, my grandmother was throwing a tantrum, as she had her heart set on having her picture taken as well (I would have gladly traded places). So that s what the new hairdo and the elegant outfit were all about.

One more picture, my mother pleaded with the photographer just one pretty please pretty please with a seductive smile on top Well ok, but just the one, he was pressed for time. In the blink of an eye, my grandmother put a doting arm around my shoulder, the photographer adjusted everything, I heard the snap and that was it! My grandmother got her picture and I got mine! I looked adorable, she looked respectable, elegant and loving and the little ugly doll I managed to sneak out of my pocket and hold up right in the centre of the photo looked hilariously horrendous. Rage, outrage and pouting for several days followed, the picture was deemed unworthy of being framed, but I swear, it was all worth it especially considering that the punishment I received was, No more professional photos for you, missy!

Had I only known that was all it took

You look so happy here that must have been such a great trip/birthday/holiday.. Yet I knew what he reality behind those picture perfect moments was, the same I knew there was nothing honest about them. I remember looking at those pictures they were pretty, I looked nice, everybody looked happy, but somehow, I felt I didn t recognize the faces. They may not have had social media and online personae those days, but certain pictures were nevertheless taken simply to keep up appearances and/or to trigger other people s envy. How else were they to know you were so much better and lived such a fulfilling life? Not much has changed, after all

Later on, as a teenager, I discovered I loved candid pictures of myself and my friends. They may not have been considered acceptable by certain relatives, but the more ridiculous and funny they were, the more I appreciated them. I hated and still hate staged photos. Fine, fine, call it composition if you must, but that s not for me. I m not a photographer, I just take photos for fun, for myself, so I would remember as many moments and details as possible.

But when I look at the pictures I ve taken decent, awful and mediocre ones alike I remember exactly how I felt. There are those I ve taken because I needed to make myself feel better; there are those that I ve taken to remind myself that some nice moments existed even during the worst of times; and there are those meant to remind me of how I used to perceive certain things. There are also those photos in which I look terrible, exhausted, but I know what a great time I was having exploring, being alive and enjoying it. In fact, some of my favourite pictures are the imperfect, damaged ones. What determined them, what those moments lead to, that s what holds value and creates a memory for me, not an impeccable image of a perfect smile. On that note, I m focusing on seeing past the grey clouds and the dreary scenery while waiting for more and more flowers to bloom. After all, although it may not look like it, winter is officially over.

Have a wonderful spring, everyone! 🙂

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In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind Every photo we take says something about our emotions at the moment of taking it.1

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References

  1. ^ State of Mind Every photo we take says something about our emotions at the moment of taking it. (dailypost.wordpress.com)

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Ed Clancy: ‘Back surgery put my whole career in doubt’

Double Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy thought his recent back injury had ended his cycling career

Ed Clancy: ‘Back Surgery Put My Whole Career In Doubt’

Ed Clancy

Ed Clancy thought his cycling career was over when he slipped a disc in his back, and was forced to have surgery at the end of last year. The 30-year-old double Olympic gold medallist suffered a prolapsed disc in the freak accident 1 at the end of the Tour of Britain last September when he went to pick up a suitcase, eventually having surgery on it in November. And despite the fact he has spent the last 12 weeks recovering, Clancy is back in contention for a ride at this week s Track World Championships in London2.

My whole career was in doubt, Clancy said. Owain Doull was there remember when we were on top of that mountain in Tenerife I couldn t walk. I had foot drop in my right leg that s what they call it because the nerve was so compromised. When I came out of that operation and I could walk again I was like anything is a bonus. If I can ride a bike great, if I can make a career out of the bike even better.

I m surprisingly good.

I think it s fair to say it s not the best I ve ever gone but 12 weeks after fairly serious back surgery I m over the moon. Clancy is considered one of the one of the key members of the team pursuit squad, having won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and four world titles in the discipline. However, his injury has meant he has had to change his bike setup.

The position on the bike has changed and I don t think it s going to change back, he said. My saddle s gone down, my bars have gone up. I haven t been in a wind tunnel yet but it will have changed things.

Clancy s fellow team pursuiter Doull insisted that his inclusion in the Worlds line-up was entirely down to the progress he s made in a short space of time.

He s coming back in because he s one of the strongest guys in the team, he said. The only way to describe Ed is like a freak of nature. He s underplaying how well he s going considering where he was 12 weeks ago.

I remember after his surgery I went to visit him, we went for a pub lunch and he couldn t sit down because he couldn t bend his back and so he was kneeling in a restaurant.

BC British Cycling had to organise a taxi guy to drive you to the track every day and he just lay in the back of it. The injury ruled Clancy out of the Track World Cup rounds over the winter, which meant he did not pick up the qualification points required to keep him eligible under UCI rules for GB s one spot in the omnium for the Rio Olympics3. He touted 22-year-old Jon Dibben as a future Olympic medallist in the event.

I m a big fan of Dibben and I think he s got what it takes to win it, and he s only going to get better with age.

Clancy insisted that if he manages his injury right he has another four years in his career.

I m done in Tokyo anyway, he said. I said to the doctor if this is going to be a reason I can t kick a football round with my kids I m done. He seemed to think if we manage the problems we ll be sound for four years.

References

  1. ^ freak accident (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Track World Championships in London (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ one spot in the omnium for the Rio Olympics (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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