One of the things I love best about photography is that it forces me to pay attention to the details: the way the light casts shadows; the contrast created by differing backgrounds; or the flowers that have fallen from the plant.
While photographing a brilliant red Canada 150 planter (Happy Canada Day!) on my parents’ back patio, I looked beyond the flowers to the table and spotted these dropped blossoms. Instantly, I was drawn to the mix of textures and colour created by this composition. I much prefer it to the photos I made of the flowers themselves.
Forsythia and Other Garden Discoveries
Until very recently, I had no idea what grew in my garden.
We moved here in the fall, when I was starting a new teaching position and spent all my spare time unpacking and planning. There was no time to explore the yard, and soon the plants were buried in snow.
Spring came late this year. Now, though, I can enjoy the bursts of colour coming up. Crimson tulips, pink rhododendron, and bright yellow forsythia. Soon, I will have blossoms on the apple tree and hydrangea. I’m almost certain one plant is an astilbe; another I think is a dahlia.
Nature provides much beauty, but in spring it’s the flowers I enjoy the most.
Things that give me energy:
- Light (sunlight, truthfully)
- Salt air
Testing my Patience
April is the ultimate test of patience:
Shivering in spring jackets, because we can no longer stand to layer ourselves in winter wear; fingers icy because we refuse to wear gloves for even one more day; wiping snow off the car with our sleeves because, frankly, we are fed up.
Watching the snow melt, only to wake up to earth covered – once again – in snow; waiting for the ice to break up in the bay; driving deliberately through puddles so the spray scatters onto snowbanks in the hopes they will melt just a little bit more.
Patience brings rewards, too:
That first glimpse of salty water under the bridge and rivers beginning to flow once more.
An edge of lawn; a blade of green grass.
Sand and waves and a single piece of sea glass.
April can be a cruel month, but the rewards are worth the wait.
My daughter wanted to do a photo shoot with her American Girl Doll, Rosie. In one of the shots, the doll is literally balanced on a bicycle.
Life and parenting are a lot about balance: Time spent between work and family, between taking care of the house and taking care of the children, and between busy schedules and time for relaxation.
Making this photo was about balance, too: Stealing a few creative shots while also setting up fashion shots for the doll. I got to take pictures and spend time with my daughter; my daughter got to play dress-up and share this with me.
I’m a little behind on my photo challenge… Quite apt for this theme: Imperfection.
This little beach find is perfect for my imperfect theme. It is slightly cracked, softened by the sea, speckled by the sand, and faded by the sun. Yet it remains intact, traces of vitality evident in its lines and shape.
Once a vibrant protector of life, it is now vacant. But the story of life resides in its curves, the scent and sound of the sea still alive within it.
It is imperfect, but it is still beautiful.
There are so many things I am grateful for: being surrounded by family and friends; having finally settled into a job that I love; a yoga practice that enriches and strengthens me; books that let me slip away; and little things like coffee and chocolate… But when I started thinking about what I would photograph to show gratitude this week, what I realized is that right now, I am most grateful for being home again.
This is the early morning sunrise through my back window.
I had no idea how I was going to start.
I’d created this list of themes to help me be more mindful in 2017. Deliberately abstract, I’d begun to wonder if I’d be able to even come up with a subject for my first photo: Focus.
It had been on my mind for a few days.
Then, yesterday while shortening curtains for my newly painted master bath, I was focused on stitching a straight seam. I guided the fabric, and I was literally focused on the moment: listening to the whirr of the machine, watching the tiny stitches draw a row of tiny dashes along the edge.
It occurred to me that this would be a perfect photo the first week of my mindfulness challenge. It is focus in the moment, focus in photography.
This, then, begins 52 weeks of #createmindfulness2017.
I’ve fallen away from my photography a little lately, so I’ve been looking for something to spark my creativity in 2017. There are so many 365 challenges (too ambitious for this teacher), and 52-week themes available, but none were quite what I was looking for.
This past summer I began practicing yoga regularly and absolutely love it – and want to benefit even more from the practice to be more mindful.
It’s nearly 2017, so a little late, but I wanted to share what I came up with today: “Mindfulness Challenge: 52 weeks of mindful themes for photography, poetry, journaling, and creating”.
Please feel free to print/try/share. If you’d like a PDF version ($1) – and an editable PowerPoint version, please click on the image below and you will be taken to the link:
Enjoy, good luck, and Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours health and happiness for 2017.
We took a walk at Lemoine Point (in Kingston, ON) on a mild Sunday afternoon.
Fresh air, sunshine, and spring-like temperatures lured us outside for a walk with the kids. Teeny chickadees and fluffy squirrels were our company.