wile e. coyote and road runner rules

from chuck jones's eloquent and funny "chuck amuck: the life and times of an animated cartoonist":

rule 1: the road runner cannot harm the coyote except by going "beep-beep!"

rule 2: no outside force can harm the coyote - only his ineptitude or the failure of the acme products.

rule 3: the coyote could stop anytime - if he were not a fanatic. (repeat: "a fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim" -- george santayana)

rule 4: no dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!"

rule 5: the road runner must stay on the road - otherwise, logically, he would not be called road runner.

rule 6: all action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters - the southwest american desert.

rule 7: all materials, tools weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the acme corporation.

rule 8: whenever possible, make gravity the coyote's greatest enemy.

rule 9: the coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.


a photographer's notes to self

  • make images every day. there is no such thing as *best light* or *best weather* or *best mood* for photography. no excuses.
  • take it slowly. it takes a while to start seeing things differently.
  • stay in one place, and keep making images, until you are really ready to move. which is often later than you think.
  • remember your tripod. amongst other things, it helps you slow down and pay attention.
  • stop editing on the spot. allow for lucky accidents to get past that tiny display and impatience.
  • don't peek. pretend you have no time for a pause to look at the last image. perhaps you will miss an amazing event if you keep checking the histogram. look at the light, tones, focus and expose carefully instead of taking your eyes off your subject every five seconds.
  • revisit places. this afternoon, different light, different wind, different mood, different emotions and head space,  different eyes, different images.
  • enjoy constraints. see that 50mm f/1.8 lens sitting on the shelf? use it [and nothing else] for a whole week, and zoom with your feet instead of the lens.