Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Photographers, especially landscape photographers like me, often feel they have to go off someplace special to make photographs. Photographs of something iconic, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite or the like. I used to tell my photo students to shoot what was around them and though I do make several trips each year an hour or so South to the Adirondacks I also spend a fair amount of time photographing the flowers in my own garden and the sights around the tiny hamlet where I live.

This morning, after several grey mornings in a row, the sun was brilliant but we left the cellular shades down because it was -6ºF and was projected to get up to only about 9º. The shades help retain heat. They also glow nicely as the sun shines through them and I was intrigued by this light on these objects in the livingroom.  As I looked at them and the light, I decided I wanted to make a photograph. It needed a square composition, so it is cropped, and the extremes of brightness required three exposures which I combined in Photomatix using the exposure blending option. I also added a pseudo film edge as a border.

As I'm sure is the case in most people's homes, all the objects have memories attached for Diane and I. The clock in the upper left came from our daughter. She bought it for herself but one of her cats insisted on jumping atop it and knocking it off the wall. I fixed it for her the first time it got broken but after it got knocked down again she gave it to us. The finial from the bottom is still broken and is behind the large cow next to the clear bottle. I bought the two bottles in an Adirondack antique shop while I was in college. The Buddha came from a visit to Diane's parents. Her father took us to a flea market that he occasionally did some work for. The owner, Pete, had a woman's hat on it and it was painted all black. We bought it (but not the hat) and I repainted it copper and gold. I also built the small stand for it. The plant is one of Diane's. If it were up to me to look after them they'd all be shriveled and dead because I'd forget to water them. The small bowl in front of the Buddha's stand holds shells and pebbles from Leo Carillo Beach in California which we visited one Thanksgiving when our son and daughter-in-law lived in Thousand Oaks. The blanket chest everything is on was inherited from my grandmother who inherited it from her parents. I think, though I'm not absolutely certain, that my great-grandfather built the chest.

The moral, if there is one, is that you need not go far to find subject matter.  Don't reserve your picture taking to special occasions. Use photography as a way to look more closely at the world around you every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment