I wanted to do a lighter piece this week, since everything of late has been heaven and hell and priests and demons. Now, I do love my drama, and certainly love the grand-scale themes, but after a difficult couple of images have been slaved over, it's nice to scale back and have a little fun, a little frivolity. Hence, this new one. There is a lot of me in this one, it is basically a self-portrait without the ME in it. All hell is breaking loose around him - flooding, wind and rain and lightning, a way up and out is present but ignored, the practical protection of an umbrella or two given to the wind, and time is literally flying by him in the rising waters, but he is engrossed in a good read. This is not to say I have my head in a book constantly. This used to be more true in the past than it is currently, but rather, I have a preference for fiction over fact. You are not likely to find me browsing the True Crime section of a bookstore, or Autobiographies, and certainly not Self-Help. I have been and always will be a fiction junkie. I don't mean to say I am oblivious or uncaring to the realities of the world around me, but my point of view is, we are in it, every day, so why dose yourself more than you need to? I find a good fictional story a soothing balm to this hard-edged world, and there is a real value to fiction - we actually need it in our lives, scientifically speaking. We are drawn to it. I do not follow the news, I do not have a clue about politics, and I couldn't tell you the names of most of my neighbors. Those of you who are wired like me will understand, the rest of you may think this a willful naivety. But there are two more points I'd like to make in support of fiction: For one, it is an incredible act of will to generate a fictional universe. Characters, places and events all imagined and structured from nothing. It is a lot harder to do than writing an historical account. The other point is, ironically, the truth of our lives is actually found in fiction, which is often a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist, and the fictions of any time period may tell more about the people and events of that time than any history book could, because the act of writing fiction is in the hands and minds of an artist, not a journalist. I see a through line to my preference in my photography too. This very image with its light theme is a work of fiction. This model was not outdoors, his suit was not brown, and there were no clocks or waters around him when I shot it. this little square is a work of fiction, and the man in the shot would certainly approve! model: Ed Barrona before and after version of this image can be seen on my Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/MichaelBilottaPhotography

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