Principal Photography

Hey everyone, I’m still here, still alive, still chugging along. You can put away the crucifixes and holy water now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Garlic? No effect. Hell, I love the shit. Sign me up for Bulgogi anytime. It’s Korean spiced and thinly sliced beef that’s grilled. It’s usually heavy on the garlic and red pepper paste. But I digress.

Sorry, going to Das Bunker’s 20th and K-town’s literally a mile and a half from the club. I’m thinking of dinner already. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Live octopus, anyone?

Anyway, back to my topic. I do a lot of online readings, and being able to take clear pictures is critical. I can describe a deck to a client, and have them look up the images, but honestly, it’s easier for me to take a clear photograph of the cards. This is often trickier than it sounds, because a lot of cards have a plastic high-gloss finish. It’s great for protecting the cards from damage, but not so hot for photography as the flash will often reflect off one or several of the cards. It’s like staring into the sun and it obscures the image. If that card happens to be a critical one in the reading, then that’s a BAD thing.

So I did a reading withย Barbara Moore’s Steampunk deck and I have to say I’m very pleased. The cards feel a smidge thin, but the matte finish is great for photography. Here, you’ll see what I mean:

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I won’t say what the subject was, or whom it was for, as that’s not the issue here. The cards are clear and bright with no glare. Each image can be clearly seen, with details, and the title of each card can be read clearly on the full-size image. That’s what the goal is in an online reading. Too many cards have a high gloss finish and I have to take 6-10 pictures to get one good one. This one came out perfect on the first image because of the matte finish. WP pares images down, so some clarity is lost here.

My camera is a Canon PowerShot A1000IS that my sister gave me probably about 7 or 8 years ago now. It’s hardly top of the line but it’s a good workhorse. It just chews through batteries something fierce. If you have a smartphone, the camera on that should also be good enough.

So for you wanting to dip your toe in the online pool, keep this in mind. Clients don’t like it when they can’t see their cards. The typed interpretation is important, but a good image helps the client follow the story. Oftentimes they’ll also notice things the reader may have missed, too.

For face to face readings, finish doesn’t matter so much. There it’s do the cards have a coating that can protect them from things like spilled drinks. I do a lot of readings in clubs and restaurants, so this is important. It’s also the reason I use mass-market decks for personal readings and leave the rare ones at home. I don’t want my oop ones getting wrecked.

Until next time…

 

 

 

This works?

So I get asked frequently, ‘Does Tarot work, and if so, how?’ I’ll be the first to say it *does* work, but I have no idea how or why. Hell, I’m not sure if I’m not abusing the hell out of the Forer/Barnum effect or not. Basically, the Forer effect states that people will assume generalizations apply to them specifically, when in reality, they apply to a wide swath of the population. It’s a good example of a cognitive bias, and knowing it’s there goes a long way to boosting critical thinking skills. Then again, I’ve pulled details out of the ether that I figured were BS, only to find later I was spot on in a big way. Like a friend of mine said, ‘Does it really matter if you’re abusing a bias or not? If people feel empowered to deal with whatever situation they’re facing, you’ve done a good job.’ He has a point. The argument could also be made that if the bias is abused, vague generalities are of no use. I have a feeling this debate will rage on endlessly, much like the charge or not to charge debate.

Another thing I get a lot is that the cards tell my client what they already know. Well, duh, that’s actually the point. And sometimes, we need a visit from this guy to get us back on track:

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Sometimes something that seems obvious isn’t, and something that shouldn’t be is. A lot of times it’s because the client is too close to the situation to SEE the obvious until it’s pointed out–and then they just lean forward and do the double facepalm. Other times, Cap’n Obvious needs to smack someone upside the head repeatedly with a baseball bat to get the message through. Situations vary.

Here’s the thing, though–yeah, often times the cards will tell the client what they already know. They’ll also advise the best course of action for a given situation. A reading is a snapshot, nothing more. It’s like a weather report in a lot of ways. Change the circumstances, change the outcome. Most of the time, the sitter can do a lot more to shift things in their favour than they realize. Whether or not they choose to take responsibility is up to them, not me. All I can do is show a way. Getting mad at me for not telling them what they want to hear is like getting mad at the GPS because the guy in front of them got T-boned by a red light runner and now they’re stuck in a traffic jam. Shit happens and we can rise to the occasion or not. Our call.

I’m not going to tell you when the love of your life is going to come into your life because I simply don’t know. I’m not going to give you the winning lotto numbers because I don’t know. Hell, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be sharing them! I can’t tell you how long will you live because, you guessed it, I don’t know. Does life have a higher purpose? I have no idea. And I’m not a medium, so don’t ask me what your dead grandparents think because I can’t know. I make no claims to be psychic, and people may assume that, but then that’s on them. How does the Tarot give guidance? I have no fucking clue. All I know is that it does, and if I can help people, then my job is done.