Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Name That Photo

Today's pictures are different angles of an East River boat house visible from the public landing just below the Court House.

If someone asked me to name these photos, I'd call the one above Boat House, Etc.  The etc. is necessary (to me) because of that stuff there in the foreground.

I like to use technical terms like "stuff" and "etc." when I write.  It's liberating, in an odd, quasi-rebellious sort of way. You see, deep down I know I should use descriptive words to paint the picture of everything there in the foreground including the way the sun was dancing off that marsh grass on the left.  But because I'm tired, and it's Monday night as I write this, and most of all because I can, I'm sticking with Boat House, Etc.

At least 50% of the stress in my life is caused by an internal struggle between doing things the way I think they're supposed to be/ought to be done--and the way I want to do things, which is usually imperfect, laid back, relaxed, and flexing the rules a bit.  This little exercise in naming the photo just made me realize that there is often a very large gap between CBW Ought to Do This and CBW Really Just Wants to Do That, and so much time is wasted trying to bridge that gap.

If you're lost, don't worry. Things will either become clear towards the end of this post, or they'll remain as clear as mud, like they are right now.

Either way, let's move on to the next photo, below.

This one I'd call Boat and House.

Can you believe I have a college degree?  Some days I really want to call the university and make sure the diploma on my wall is still valid. But since I'm so afraid they'd ask for it back based on the number of brain cells that have been lost over the years, I probably won't make that call.

Boat and House, though, really drives home the fact that we're not talking about a house for that boat; nor just the boat; nor just the boat house.

Dear University,
I know what you're going to say, but you're not getting that degree back.  Children, life, stress, hormones,  middle age, responsibilities, having to put up an artificial Christmas tree by myself, similar stuff, etc. have drastically impacted major portions of my brain. 

This one is just Boat House. Dead on, direct, just like the photo.

And because that's the sort of clever person I am.

Last but not least, this one is Boat House Framed by Tree

And now, for one minute, I'd like to talk seriously about naming photographs.

Surprisingly, I receive visitors to this blog who run away screaming because they're googling "how to name a photograph."  That's because a while back some of my posts asked the reader to provide a name for whatever photo happened to be featured. 

My immediate response to anyone wanting to know how to name a photograph is that if you have to ask, I probably won't be able to explain it to you. There is no right or wrong way to name a photograph.  The name or the interpretation is strictly in the eye--and the emotion--of the beholder.  

I could just as easily have named these photos something like, "Never Ending Quest" or "The Meaning of Life" or even "The Never Ending Quest for the Meaning of Life," but that wasn't what I was feeling when I took or saw these photos. Not at all.  Perhaps if I were trying to impress someone, those names might have come forward. 

It's sort of like trying to bridge the gap of doing things the way you think they're supposed to be done because that's what people expect.  Or the way you want to do them because it feels more natural.  

Go with your instinct and do it your way. The less you try to impress other people, the better off you'll be.

p.s. Are we still talking about photographs?

p.s.s.t. What name would you give to the series of photos above?


Autumnforest said...

I'll steal some lyrics, "I'm getting closer to my home...."

deborah said...

That boat will not fit in that house series?:) or that boat won't float? considering you really aren't talking about photos?
If you were talking photos, I personally like the name 987b6.jpg

deborah said...

oh I had a college degree once...

Ann Marie said...

How about this.. I miss you and if I don't see you soon this is the boat house I am going to burn down.

##$%$# crash.. )*^&*^ bam.. 2@#$@$# zowie..

SHEW.. ok now that I got the computer back from Jill.. don't worry I won't let her burn the boat house down but I do however agree with the name..

Anonymous said...

Way to go CBW after all these year's and college degree's you are finally learning how to talk BUBBA!!! I new there was a little redneck in you just waiting to bust out!!! now put the wine down and get you a PBR and you are there!!!

Mental P Mama said...

Those look like the Urbanna boathouses. And, I want you to take the word 'ought' out of your mindset. Now. Love, MPM

Mrs F with 4 said...


That's what I'd call it. And let's face it, I (we?) could do with some of that right about now.

I've been cleaning out the basement / playroom / spare/room/storage that lives under our house. Everything is now out of where it should be and I don't know what to do with it all. I wold shut the damned door and ignore it, except that we have parents, step-parents, in-laws, outlaws coming for Christmas. And that's where the spare bedrooms are.

The first of them arrive on Friday. THREE DAY'S TIME.

I want to leave home. Bora Bora, anyone?

Daryl said...


Country Girl said...

View from the Water

View from the Creek

Dear UVa, CBW totally deserves her diploma. She's just tired is all.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to name a painting or picture after a title I saw in THE FAR SIDE GALLERY book...BOTTLE, APPLE, BOOK, BOWL OF WIENER DOGS. But, of course, this has nothing to do with your photographs. Do you think maybe you can come up with a photo that could possibly have that name?
Baby Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Autumnforest-Good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well.

deborah-I really like "That boat won't float."

AM-Christmas parade - 3:00 Saturday. Be there or be square. If not, the 26th might just work.

Anonymous-Yes, I suppose it's time for me to embrace my inner Bubba.

MPM-"Ought" was just thrown out the window, overboard, into the creek. Thank you.

Mrs. F. - Get that passport ready. Bora Bora, here we come.

Daryl-Excellent choice.

CG-Thank you, but most days it's impossible to reconcile the fact that 25 years ago I could write papers in Spanish and Portuguese--when today I can barely string a properly constructed sentence together in English. I want my old brain back.

Baby Sis - Oh, how that made me laugh. It may take me a while, but I vow to take a photograph that fits that title. I love a good challenge. p.s. I may substitute "cats" or "geese" or possibly "fiddler crabs" for "wiener dogs" though. Stay tuned.

BayBrowder said...

"Autumn Water Wonderland"