Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Delighting in the Details

June 19th, 2015 28 comments
Vase Impression #1
Vase Impression #1

You might notice that in my photographs I often take pictures of a small portion of something much larger. I lift the “details” out of the context of a larger subject which allows me to accomplish a number of goals for my photography… and my life!


I’m a high energy kind of person. It is not a slam-dunk for me to be thoughtful and still. I am doing, moving, taking action, setting goals, and checking off boxes on my to-do list all day. I doubt if anyone would argue with the idea that there is benefit to slowing down and reflecting. Some folks do it by meditating. I find that taking photographs is a way to slow down and let go of the clamors of life. And I seem to step out of time when I look at the details that surround me.


When I zoom in on what is here right now, close at hand, in my environment… I see the amazingly ordered, the impossibly complex, the deceptively simple, and the highly purposed arrangements of the natural world. I can’t help but be reminded of a higher intelligence, a creative spirit in the universe. My life’s ups and downs start to get right-sized. I gain perspective, and humility about humankind’s influence. I reconnect to my ideas about God. I can do this anywhere, anytime I want to.

Palm #18b

Palm #18b

Be Positive

This feeling that “life is good” sneaks up on me whenever I slow down and look around. Seeing, feeling and thinking about what attracts me to a scene and making decisions about how to capture the image all work together to lift me into a calm, pleasant, introspective zone. Thoughts about puzzling or troublesome life events or situations recede. I don’t even remotely think that I can represent reality, the total experience of being present to what surrounds me, through a photograph. But I want to try.


When I look at the results of my best efforts, I have a grateful heart and that prompts me to share. If just one person looks at my photograph and is uplifted, then I feel like the work I did was totally worth it. I have given back a little bit of the experience!


When I am overwhelmed with information, with too much to do and too many commitments, the beauty of the colors, the shapes and patterns, the textures, and the interactions of nature and humankind and time to be found in the world immediately around me are relaxing and inspiring. Writing about this reminds me to: Slow down. Smell the roses. Be grateful. Look at the clouds. Savor the flavor. Feel the texture. See the rainbow. Keep it simple. Pass it on.

Life is good!

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What Draws Me To Photography

August 18th, 2011 No comments

I was thinking about what draws me to photography…. I guess I like the magic of it. When I was really young, I got a Polaroid “swinger” camera, and I loved waiting for the picture to appear on the print ejected from the camera.

Then when I was first married, my husband bought me a nice camera and we turned our only bathroom into a darkroom and I was introduced to more magic. Again, it was watching the print appear on previously blank paper.

I was always fascinated with seeing the world through different eyes. I think I’m sort of a kid. I just love pretending, and back then I used to wonder what the world looked like to an insect, or to a dog. Or a few years later, to my children.

When I was in college I studied art and music, and it was always REALLY interesting to me how artists influenced musicians, and musicians influenced artists. I was fascinated with the effects of the Paris Exposition of 1889 on Debussy, Ravel, and the impressionistic painters of the day. What we do in the world affects so much beyond us. I loved studying how African art is an extension of their daily life. It is practical and beautiful and soulful all at the same time. I think there is some of that in my images. At least I hope so.

As time went by, I was forced to deal with the business of life and not spend much time on my photography. I had changed careers by then and was earning my living through my computer science skills. I watched as the digital age of photography approached. When I felt the quality of digital images was high enough, I leapt back into photography.

I am filled with wonder at how deeply interconnected things in nature are. I am still the little kid when I see some of the amazing works of man, and observe how man-made things interact with nature. How can we ever feel apart from each other, the things we make and the natural world? It is part of us. I feel that connection when I look at things up close. I am trying to “know” the object of my photograph.

Image of Curves #8388

Curves #8388

Oh, and I am so into color, glorious color. Color that draws me in and makes me lose my sense of time and place. I love mystery. I am a huge fan of Mark Rothko and Wassily Kandinsky. I see patterns everywhere, some obvious and some very subtle. Patterns and the color and texture of the objects that form the patterns are of central interest to me.

So why photography? I think of my camera as secondary to what I am trying to express. The camera is the tool. But I like the limits it puts on me. When I was a kid I used to sculpt things. And I really liked subtracting the medium and liberating my subject from the block of plaster (or bar of soap!). Photography works like that… you take a picture that captures the light on your subject. Then you reduce it to the most relevant depiction of your vision. It is never reality, but it hopefully represents real experiences, feelings, and relationships.
And I like being outside and mobile, too. I am part of the world and I want to see it. I want to really stop to see and experience it.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! I can hardly wait until I get to my computer and upload my pictures. I really like the digital darkroom. I use software that allows me to make many more creative decisions in transforming a digital negative into a print. I love that freedom. Sometimes those decisions are obvious and routine. Crop this, sharpen that. But other times an image just grabs me and I know that I can play with it and create perhaps several final prints, each unique in its own way. It is such a powerful urge. Working on an image on the computer is at least half of my process. When I play in the digital darkroom, I lose track of everything else sometimes for hours. I try to subtract everything that doesn’t contribute to the essence of the image. And sometimes the creative process itself generates a new vision that leads to unexpected places. An Adventure! I’m smiling inside at the memory. And when I finally push away from my computer, I feel like I did when I was a kid and came into the house after an afternoon of hard play. ..exhausted, and exuberant.

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