Just to prove that cinematographers aren’t alone in the pursuit of perfection, I present a statement from one of my all-time favorite vocalists, Linda Ronstadt:

            “It’s always like that when you record: You always think that you can do a better job.  You know, the whole thing with recording is you have to know when to turn off the tape machine and just stop because you want to keep fixing, fixing, fixing, you know?”

            When I change out the term “tape machine” for “camera” or “DI session,” it makes me laugh.  The quote reminds me of the obsession some people experience, and it’s not limited to those of an artistic bent.  They might be a business leader, a shopkeeper or a street sweeper.  It doesn’t matter.  Everyone holds the same potential within them.

            But for anyone who’s good at their job – if they’re really into what they’re doing – their mind is constantly engaged!

            Which begs the question: wouldn’t it be nice to pause the internal thrum for a bit…just once in awhile?  Maybe lighten up, be average, see how the other 99% lives?

            No, it wouldn’t.

            Improving at anything is an unrelenting process; the majority of people willfully ignore this.  How many notice – really notice – a streak of light on a familiar wall?  How many have their mood altered by the texture of the sky?  When a cinematographer does anything like that, they’re referencing something much deeper than common fondness for their job.

            I’ve been oriented that way for so long, it scares me to think about it.             In a world of so many distractions and passing fancies, how does your obsession manifest itself?


2 thoughts on “LINDA’S LEGACY”

  1. It’s like that with my daughter Claire’s artwork. When goes back and looks at something she’s completed, she is usually not satisfied with what she did, and wants to fix it some more. It took many years before she learned that she would never be able to move forward if she was always tinkering and trying to improve that last half a percent of image quality. When I say years, I mean by the time she was in her early 20s… she’s been working professionally since she was 14. I experience the same thing with my photography when I’m in my digital darkroom (Photoshop). Claire’s artwork can be seen here:

  2. Rob-Your daughter Claire’s artwork is beautiful. Her pencil sketches
    of nature are amazing! There is time when you’re in the zone with
    art. For me there comes a time when I say Stop! It’s done. Sometimes
    it’s just a feeling. Linda Rondstadt was a master of her craft going
    back to 1967 with The Stone Poneys and “Different Drum” written
    by Mike Nesmith. Wish she was still performing! Saw her once in

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