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.
The first “flowers” of spring: dandelions.
They pop up along foundations, between crevices in sidewalks, bordering curbs. They are the first splashes of colour, and then they, too, disappear. Seemingly overnight, they change into fluffs of white, pompoms dotting the fields. A breeze picks up the pollen and sends it on to new destinations.
Change is inevitable.
*Please bare with me while I catch up on many missed blog posts over the next little while. 🙂 Summer vacation is here, and with it, more time to write, photograph, and create.
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.
There is potential for art in so many places.
In the winter months (and in Northern New Brunswick, it still looks very winter-y outside my window!), I find this most challenging. Gardens and beaches and backyards are my go-to for photography. While there are plenty of beautiful possibilities in the snow, I much prefer the opportunities brought by warmer weather.
Indoor photography is a great place to practice awareness. It is a challenge to notice the tiny details of daily life, to appreciate the the normally overlooked compositions in the home.
This silver paperclip stood out from the rest, catching a glint of light coming through the window.
Art is everywhere.
Fresh flowers are beautiful, without question.
There is a certain allure that comes with age as well. Forgotten flowers, with their papery petals and crinkled edges, are no less beautiful. Faded hues turn sepia and thin veins become more evident. Their layers are compressed, holding on to the last drops of moisture, the last moments of life.
Time is a fragile beauty.
Photography is all about perspective (as is life).
Mundane objects can become surreal art through a macro lens. Tiny details, normally overlooked, take on new possibilities when studied and appreciated.
The morning sun on the kitchen table changes colours, creates reflections, and lights up salt shakers. Suddenly, salt is art.
Salt is also an accidental self-portrait… Look closely. 🙂
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.
The Things We Touch
Every day we put on clothes, we pick things up, we cook, we slide our fingers across our keyboards and our phones – mindlessly. And yet, in each of these is a touch, a texture, a temperature. The fabric we wear is stretchy, silky, or soft; the dishes are cool and hard. Food has endless textures: bumpy, crumbly, or even slimy.
How often do we notice?
What if we paid as much attention to the water running over our bodies in the shower as we did the pillow we lay our heads down on each night? What if we were as mindful of the softness of the scarf we wrap around our neck as we are the tag that scratches at our back?
Here is what I do notice:
- A new book, its pages crisp and clean
- The warmth from my children when we curl up on the couch
- The weight and softness of the throw I cover my legs with while I relax
- The heat of a fresh cup of coffee
- A pair of fuzzy reading socks
- A hot bath
- The almost-spring sun as it heats the inside of the car
- Ice-cold water during hot yoga (and the grip of my mat during asanas)
- The smooth keys of the keyboard while I type
- The curved edges and ridged buttons on my camera
This mindfulness challenge began to help create more awareness in my photography; it is helping to create more awareness in my life.
New yarn, craft supplies, patterns…
These are the materials that become the projects that become the process that become the product.
This is possibility.
Possibility is creativity and potential. It is a motivator and a series of choices. Possibility is positive thinking, expectation, and hope. It propels us forward.
Possibility is inspiration.