This weekend & last I’ve made time to do some heavy duty cleaning. I’ve moved the bird cage from the shaded fernery, placing the cockatiels in a better position to catch some warmth in the coming winter months. This meant I had more room for the potted plants so they were rearranged. I’ve used the line trimmer to get rid of unsightly weeds as well as mowing the lawn & doing some less intense hand weeding.
Inside I’ve rearranged furniture, getting rid of things that weren’t needed & adding a table that was. I enjoy this kind of work. I zone out to everything else in the world, focussing on what I’m doing, determined to get it completed. These larger jobs have each taken me a few hours of work but the feeling on completion is worth the labour. Sure I’m tired, but I’m also pleased with the changes & the feeling of renewal that comes with them.
The calmness I feel during this work is similar to the feeling I have after meditating. My mind is calm, clear & focussed. I like it.
Friday evenings sunset was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen for a while. I wasn’t in the mindset of wanting to take photos – I walked into the laundry to do something & caught a peek of the colours of the sky reflecting through the window onto a wall.
I dashed outside with my iPhone & was amazed by what I saw. The cloud colour was stunning with the colours being so deep it almost looked like the clouds were alight. I quickly ducked inside and grabbed my Fuji, capturing more of the beauty as the sun sank lower in the sky. I’ll process those photos during the week & hopefully will have a photo that I’ll like enough to print.
For a very long time I thought that to be a photographer I had to specialise. I had to find a subject & concentrate on it. Get to know it intimately so that when I print photos the viewer would feel what I was feeling about it.
Lately I’ve come to realise that for me this is not going to work. There are multiple things that I like to photograph & I can’t make myself focus on one thing. I like close up’s & macros, landscapes, architecture & abstracts.
This frozen flower image was created after reading a photojojo.com blog post. I love what happens to flowers after freezing them in water. It’s a great subject to photograph when the weather is bad, because all it requires is a well lit spot inside.
I need to love what I’m doing otherwise I’ll abandon it completely. If I continue to photograph subjects I love I won’t be abandoning photography.
One thing that is nice about digital photography is the plethora of options available to post process images & the ease of obtaining the software & learning how to use it. I mostly stick to using CaptureOne, but every so often I like to ‘play’ with an image to see what else can be done with it.
In the case of the above photo I’ve used Corel’s Paint It to convert a panoramic iPhone photo into a water colour sketch. On becoming a water colour sketch the fine detail in the photo is lost, though I still feel it conveys a sense of the location.
The sketch also provides inspiration. I’m slowly teaching myself how to use water colours; my preference is water colour sketching. Perhaps one day I won’t need software to create this kind of look. Although the beauty of Paint It is I’m not limited to water colours. There is among others oil painting & pastels, two things I know I’ll never learn. Transforming my photos to digital paintings will suffice.
Here is another instance where being on foot has allowed me to photograph an image I’ve thought about numerous times when I’ve been a passenger in a car, without having had the ability to stop to allow me to take photos.
I love the rhinoceros statues found throughout Dubbo. They immediately conjure images of the zoo in my mind & something about their various incarnations & locations brings a smile to my face. Of them all the mother & baby outside the zoo itself are my favourite. The material they have been constructed of implies a sense of life to the statues & it’s because of this material that they appear different every time I see them. The shadows in the crevices of their skin I find particularly fascinating & I wonder if I got that close to a real rhinoceros would I notice that too?
I think taking the time to experience a destination on foot is by far the greatest opportunity to get to know that place. On the flip side, experiencing a location by car does allow me to see a lot more of a place & if time during that visit allows or perhaps a return visit takes place then I can take a tour on foot of the places that captured my imagination while I was a passenger. Perhaps that is the best of both worlds?
Whilst taking a holiday is good for the soul, sometimes it can also be good for the mind. On holiday only days ago, I made sure I took some time out from catching up with my dearest friend to look for things of interest to photograph in her home town.
I had no expectations or goals to meet. I was on foot & alone which meant I was able to take as much time as I needed at any given location. I was happy to meander & observe the world around me.
I found myself lost to the beauty around me, capturing some of it with my camera but also happy to simply observe it. The sounds around me were particularly electric, consisting mainly of the raucous squarks of sulphur crested cockatoo’s. I stopped & observed them a number of times during my walk, enjoying the site of large flocks of them & marvelling when for a few brief seconds they ceased their seemingly endless noise.
When my few hours of photography time was done I felt relaxed & at ease. That’s when I know a photography outing has been a success. Sure the resulting photographs are important to me, but equally as important is the feeling of reconnection, mediation & happiness. All I need to do is work out how to get that into my life a bit more often.
The construction of our new home has provided me with a lot of unexpected photographic opportunities. I initially thought that my photos of the build would be of documentary style only, showing progress as the house is built.
However I’ve found ample there has been opportunity to get creative with my photos. The strong lines of the house frame has provided me with a couple of fruitful photographic shoots, one of which I’ve already blogged about.
These two photos were taken after I’d mown our lawn (and weeds!) last Sunday. The garage slab had been poured then topped with water so it didn’t dry too quickly. I sat in the house & noticed the shadows cast by the frame. I took advantage of having my phone & took some photos.
Documentary style photography of the house build is important to me; this type of creative photography is proving to be equally important. It provides another way of looking at something that might seem mundane.
Often when I view my photos when I return from a photographic outing, I find myself disappointed with the results. I see flaw after flaw & rarely notice anything that I like about them. Yet when I return to them later on, after a a week or more, I seem to be able to see something that I felt wasn’t there originally. Something happens in that time frame, which allows me to see the photos in a different light.
I think the time gap between first & second viewing puts space between what I had in my mind creatively & the resulting images. In fact often I forget what it was that I had intended to photograph. This space seems to let me see the images for what they actually are. By no means do I think I create a perfect photo, but more often than not if I give my images time, I find I’m happier with the results.
I also notice this experience with sketching. I’ll sit down & made a sketch of something & when I’m finished I feel satisfied with undertaking the act of drawing, but don’t think much about what I’ve drawn. Yet when I go back & look at that sketch again, I see that what is on the page is actually ok. Sometimes I’ve even made a sketch that I can say is good.
So I’m trying to learn to put distance between the completion of a photo or a sketch & making a judgement on the quality of what I’ve produced. I hope each time I try this I’ll get better at not judging my work so harshly.
An unexpected gift of flowers from David for Valentines Day provided me the opportunity to get a little creative.
As soon as he handed them to me I knew getting in close was going to be the way to photograph them. The intricacies of the tiny little petals that make up one large flower head were begging me to photograph them. Best of all, the bunch has three of these large beauties, along with an assortment of tiny flowers and gum leaves. For the purposes of this post, with its valentines theme, I’ve posted a couple of photos of the red flower, however the creamy colour of the other two flowers are equally as interesting.
Having not yet committed to buying myself an extension tube for my Fuji, I grabbed my iPhone this morning to see what I could achieve. I find the Camera+ app is a great tool for this type of photography giving more flexibility than the native camera app. I’m happy with the results, with a good number of photos that I like and a couple that I might even print during the week.
Of course this exercise has fuelled my desire to get in even closer to subjects like this. I think next time an online camera store sends an email offering free delivery I’ll jump on it and buy myself an extension tube. I’m imaging now the fun I’ll have getting nice and close using one of those 🙂