Monthly Archives: February 2015

FLOWERS THROUGH THE LENS

I’ve been thinking about the difference between photographing flowers on the first day I have them inside and the results I get when living with them for a few days. Usually my initial photos are not very interesting, quite pedestrian, in fact. After having them around for 24 hours, I do another shoot, and am more satisfied with the results. By the time the flowers begin to wilt I usually have a good photo or two, sometimes more.

Daffidol close up-1                                        Day 1:Good detail and color but not very interesting.

Having the flowers in my environment where I see them all day is important. In walking by them I may catch a glimpse of a certain angle of a flower or an arrangement of several that makes me grab my camera.  Living with them I get to know them.

Daffodils-1

Day 4: It still says “daffodil,” but there’s more depth and interest. Your eye is invited to move around.

Many teachers of photography advise having a vision of what you want before you shoot. I can’t seem to work that way. Instead I take dozens of shots and only know what I’m looking for when I see it through the lens, sometimes not until I see it on my computer screen.

I became curious about how others work and asked several artist friends how they begin a painting or photograph an image. Do they begin with an internal vision of where they intend to end up, or do they allow the process to carry them along to a surprising end?  My friend, a talented watercolor artist and retired high school art teacher sent me this in response to my question about how she works.:

“… In the past, I’ve always had a vision of how I want something to look before I start, but I can’t think of a picture I’ve ever created that met that expectation. However, only in the last few months (!) have I learned I should accept that a painting will take itself on its own journey and I should just enjoy the ride-along. Now that I’ve realized this phenomenon, I find myself excited about the adventure, instead of worried about the road map.”

On the other hand, a local photographer, River Wilder, whose work I much admire, told me she plans everything ahead, even to the point of sketching out how she wants the finished photograph to look..

These different ways of creating art are not limited to visual artists.  Some fiction writers begin with a plot laid out in their minds before the first word is put down, while others let the story unfold as they write. I don’t know any poets, dancers or composers to question, but I suspect that any creative endeavor can be approached from either end.

There are people I know who have a pretty good idea of where they are headed in life. They set out goals, make vision boards and plan what they’ll be doing for the next week, the next month and even the following year. That isn’t me. I’ve never been much of a goal setter and I wonder if that’s why I work as I do – discovering what I’m looking for after much of the work is done.

CALLAS on DISPLAY

Those of you who know me, or are familiar with my photographs, know that one of my favorite flowers is the calla or more commonly known as the calla lily. (Botanical name is Zantedeschia) It’s not actually a lily which is why they are often referred to  as “callas.”

I’ve been drawn to the elegance of these flowers for some time and have shot many photos of them. Here are a few of my calla photographs:

3 White Callas3 Callas-1-3

Callas for video-4

Calla with shadowWhite Calla Vert

Single pink and white calla-1Single pink and white calla 2-1

2 color azaleas-1Calla 2Calla 1

But I’m not alone in finding artistic merit in callas. Two of my favorite painters, Georgia O’Keeffe and Diego Rivera have both used the them in numerous paintings. Take a look.

SPRING FLOWERS

I know, we’re not quite into spring yet, especially those of you in the East, but with our warm winter in the West many spring flowers are making an early appearance. Tulips have popped up in many gardens and flower shops, daffodils are brightening fields and roadsides and magnolia trees are dazzling our eyes with their beautiful blossoms. Here are a few of my spring photos:

 

20150213-IMG_9054Daffodils 4-1Daffodils 3-1Orange Tulip, Vertical
Magnolias-1

Pink Camellias-1

Pink Tulip-1               Until next time…Connie

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

I live happily in a tiny house 2 miles from the ocean, surrounded by redwoods. Who could ask for anything better? I have been very content here for the past 13 plus years. I didn’t realize what I’d been missing until my front door began to come apart at the bottom edge. No big deal, really, but my wiser landlord realized it couldn’t be repaired and would only get worse with time. So he ordered a new door with a 9 pane window, the window being a new and unexpected feature.

Installing it turned out to be a 3 day job as the new door measured 1/2″ bigger than the old one, and much sawing and ripping apart was required. But when it was finally shoved into place I had light! I had no idea how dark it had been in my living room with the solid door. I loved the new illumination, but I also saw all the spots on my pantry door I’d missed when cleaning.

That experience got me thinking about the many facets of our lives in which light plays a prominent role. A very informative article is about how life on earth is dependent on light from the sun in more ways than the obvious ones we usually think about.

Last night I was presented with another opportunity to experience light, or more accurately, lack of light. Yesterday heavy rain and fierce winds pelted the area, a perfect set-up for downed power lines. We made it through the day in my neighborhood, but at 10:30 last night all went black. I fumbled around for a flashlight, 2 of which I keep by my bed. One didn’t work because I’d “borrowed” its batteries and never replaced them, and the second I’d forgotten how to turn on.

So I went to bed. PG&E had us up and running by 10:30 this morning. I was almost disappointed. I like the infrequent power outages that remind me of one more thing I take for-granted, and I feel gratitude to Thomas Edison, PG&E and everyone else who sees to it that when I flip the switch the lights go on.

As a Quaker I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our belief of “a light within” that everyone has. When someone in our community, or someone we  know, is having a hard time we ask that all who are present hold that person in the light. We all have our own idea of what that light is, but for me I think of it as  Spirit.

Finally, I received this post from Humanity’s Team a few days ago. It’s another way to bring light into your life.

February 5th, 2015 Imagine taking deep breaths infused with light, envision this light breath filling every cell of your body with more coherent light vibrations. Imagine when you observe the beauty of the rising sun each morning that you can reinforce and feed your own light cells. Realize that the live foods you ingest also carry light particles. Think of it as eating sunlight. This supports and contributes to building a strong luminous light body.Make it a practice several times a day to pause and sense, feel or envision light coming into the crown of your head, replenishing, nourishing every cell of your physical body with life-giving and life-sustaining LIGHT.–Field of Coherent Light by Peggy Black and the ‘team’