My daughter recently started working two jobs. Those responsibilities, on top of all the other stuff she has going on, leave little time for her to spend with me, so it was nice to get her all to myself for a little while this afternoon, as we ran some errands.
We're at that time of year in which the light that pours into the living room in late afternoon is soft and golden and compelling. I seldom fail to see and appreciate the vignette the sunlight paints on the wall above the fireplace.
Our derelict back porch needs to get torn down. While it still stands, though, it makes a handy depository for junk, like the arched, metal wine bottle holder I picked up on sale to use as a possible photographic backdrop for last year's homeschool prom. It turned out to be too short, but looked pretty all gussied up with tulle, flowers, and plastic pearls.
I am not much of gardener. Someday I hope to be. For now, I'm thankful for the flowers that do pop up around the yard. A few autumns ago, I splurged on tulip and daffodil bulbs, and am still reaping the rewards. This beauty was one of the last to bloom this spring, and I'm happy she'll be around for a few more days.
My son Henry sits at the piano and translates to the keys what he plays on the strings of his guitar. When he feels he needs a little help, he turns to the internet to find music or music lessons. It generally doesn't take long for him to get where he wants to be. Then it's more playing, more figuring out, and more time spent with instruction of some sort, as necessary. If he gets frustrated (and I'm not sure he does), he handles it on his own. All I know is that the music he makes sounds good to me.
Most days, my cameras sit idle, and I feel bad for them. My Olympus E-5 was a Christmas gift from husband, and the two of us (the E-5 and me) have had some good times together. But I get busy, and my expectations get too high. Suddenly, no image I create is worthy of being seen by anyone but me.
Today is the day I say Piffle! Today is the day I pick up my camera again and record the light in my life. As simple as that: one camera, one lens, gratitude and acceptance.
"But reason, instead, is opened wide to reality, it takes it all in, noting its connections and its implications." —Monsignor J. Francis Stafford in the introduction to The Religious Sense by Monsignor Luigi Giussani
My photographic horizons have expanded a great deal thanks to my friend Jessica Maleski. She pushes herself and pushes me. She teaches, shares resources, and just generally inspires. A few weeks ago, she pointed me towards a website on photo impressionism. While I've not yet been able to explore it in-depth, I have poked around a little, and was inspired to try creating an image "in the round," after learning about the technique in this post. My first attempt wasn't worth showing to anybody, but I'm rather happy with today's experiment, which I created with 16 images, various levels of opacity, soft light blending, and a few tweaks to the curves, vibrance, saturation, contrast, and brightness controls.
My life works a little bit at a time: a hundred or so steps added to the total on my Fitbit; one downloaded image polished and posted; a load of laundry folded and put away before carrying a basket of dirty clothes down to the washer; another page turned in one of the books I'm reading. Although it sometimes seems like my efforts amount to barely anything, I know that a pebble thrown into a lake creates ripples far larger than itself.
This image marks the beginning of a breakthrough in my work, even though I did not realize it at the time. This one image poked the tiny hole that caused fissures in a lifetime carefully built upon the expectations of others.