A Place to Work...and Have Fun, Too
Originally posted May04, 2012
One of the things that people, who presumably know better or more than I, have always said to me is, "You have to have a place to work," if you indeed have any worthwhile work to do.
Photograp hy falls very much into that category, and a while back, Cindy and I put the precept to work, setting up a place in our basement to do photography related tasks, fiddle on our computers, and store photographic equipment. You will note that so far, at least, I have not offered photography instruction or advice on this site, as I consider that I myself remain a learner and probably always will be. That state of being notwithstanding, I think we did a pretty good job of setting up our photo and computer work room and am passing along the result on the chance that one or more of you who read these words will find the information useful.
When I lived here by myself, staking out a particular area for one activity or another was not much of a task. I just dropped my stuff wherever I figured it would be handy and moved on. But when Cindy and I married and began to share the property...each of us having previously lived by ourselves in a family home...we really did have to make some adjustments, accommodations, and compromises. As easy as that was to do for something we both wanted so much, each of us did give generously of our former possessions to the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Once we took up joint residency, it was time to take the camera gear out of the wet bar cabinet, stop leaving lenses, flashes, and other accouterments laying around on the kitchen counter, storing camera gear bags in the pantry, and to get organized.
So w e did. I first had Contemporary Woods Furniture build a couple of oak bookcases and then, subsequently, had them build an additional one just for loose equipment like flashes, tri-pods, remote shutter triggers, etc. I "built" Cindy and myself each a desk out of a door, stained to mostly match the bookcases, and two inexpensive two-drawer file cabinets. Nothing fancy, but they offer an ample work surface and are the perfect height for working at a computer keyboard, plus, the drawers offer additional storage. We also moved downstairs a couple of pressboard bookcases from eac h of our houses to hold a major portion of what turned out to be a pretty considerable joint library of books, movie DVDs and music CDs. Later, I fashioned the photo rail so that we can put up and take down pictures without each time pounding a nail in the off-white painted -(formerly "pecan") - paneling.
And that's pretty much it, except for one particular touch, which has turned out to be super useful and of which I'm kind of proud. With day-in-day-out access t o the kitchen counters out of the picture, I needed a place where I could set out my gear, select the particular pieces of equipment I wanted to accompany me on a photography outing, clean lenses, work on items requiring maintenance or assembly, etc., and do so standing at a comfortable working height...especially important to a guy with a gimpy back. So, I returned to Contemporary Woods (they like me down there) and had them custom build a 3x6 oak table to match the other furniture, but at kitchen counter height. It's a pedestal table, so they could take it apart to get it down here, or maybe one day, to take it out. And it's great. Very useful and used constantly. I really don't know just what I'd do without it.
So that's the deal. Both Cindy and I truly enjoy the room and especially like to dither away a winter Sunday afternoon in it just enjoying each other's company and doing things that aren't especially important...at least to anyone else...but satisfying and fun to both of us.
That, in fact, is the best part.
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