Friday, January 27, 2012

A photography challenge to help me see the world

I've taken a greater interest in photography the past few years, perhaps partly because it allows me to express the creativity that art did as a child, without the messy paints and long hours required to capture detail. With two young children, the art project could easily be destroyed. 


Working as a newspaper reporter, I often longed to better understand the cameras the photographer would sometimes hand me, when I needed to shoot my own art. I watched Troy's attitudes toward his work, the way he interacteded with people and tried to heed his advice, but had a shallow understanding of what I was doing. Well, the season has arrived to develop new talents. Photography is fast, so it fits my time schedule, while challenging my eager mind.

I like that photography requires one to see beauty and attempt to capture it to share with others. I decided to take on the weekly challenge at the Digital Photography School, where I sometimes go to learn more about photography. This week's challenge is to capture a monochrome image, or something in just one color. Such a challenge turned out to push me to see better. Fortunate enough to have a sunny day here in this Northern winter land, I went on a short walk with my two daughters and my camera. One daughter sauntered along looking at stuff, while the four-month-old rode in my Moby wrap. This made it more difficult to take pictures, as laying on my stomach, crouching much, or turning my attention from my two-year-old for too long was not an option. Still, I began to see: the gray, ephemeral remains of a spider web, the crystals shining in the snow, an old cardboard box full of leaves, my daughter's and my shadows hovering over the snow and then, just before heading back for gloves because my daughter's hand's were cold, icicles glimmering in degrees of light blue against a forget-me-not blue sky.

Of course, I still hadn't found a shot that entirely met my satisfaction. My daughter's and my shadow in the snow came closest, but there's nothing singular in our profiles to tell a story or bring the shot to a higher level. I like the idea of the shades of blue in the icicles, but the bright sun blew out the highlights in the shot. I continued to look at the world more carefully. While making dinner, (possibly for better, but more likely for worse), I noticed the split pea soup I was making was all shades of green. Then when babysitting, I looked at the little girl and saw all shades of pink. To entertain myself I had to take a picture of my red shoes on a red background and on the walk back to my apartment I took a picture of those icicles again. The quest continues....

1 comment:

Trisha said...

I really like the one of Jensie. I also LOVE the icicles at night. LOVE.

My wedding cake

My wedding cake
My sister, Christie, made my wedding cake -- all five layers of it. It was fondant, covered in fresh red roses and green ribbon. For a more modern look she chose to make a square cake.

Trip up the canyon

Trip up the canyon
OK, here's the truth, what Renn and I really look like when we wake up. After our first backpacking trip as a couple, Renn's hair looked like grass growing on his head and mine lay flat and matted as we walked out of the mountains.

Karen and Renn in Mexico

Karen and Renn in Mexico
This is us on our last day at the Hummingbird Inn in Maneadero, Mexico. It was a fun week of service with Engineers Without Borders. Renn and other USU engineering students helped put in drain fields at an orphanage, The Gabriel House, for children with severe disabilities. I helped dig some holes and wrote an article for the newspaper about the experience.