Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Week one - a review of the August Break

It's been a week since I started the August Break. The restriction on the time limit didn't last very long. A few days this week - I couldn't even take five decent shots. Sometimes the light was too strong, a more interesting composition was found later that day, or simply, I slept passed the allotted time. This is got me thinking... what is the purpose of the photography? Is photography for documentation, narrative,  the just to please the eyes? To think more about why take pictures - I have placed Susan Sontag's On Photography on my reading list. For this week, though, I have taken some time to reflect on what have my photographs said this week? What I am telling the world? Let's take a look...
 Some of photographic images have been taken for composition, like this one of my dog. She is nicely placed in the  rule of thirds. It's a sweet portrait.

Some of the images were selected for color.
Peach on the tree

Black-eyed Susans

Some images were selected for the narrative. 



Some are just abstract.

pool water

And, well, then there are the snap shots.

geese stopping by

I have been learning so much about my camera and how to take manual shots. Depth of field, 1/3's, lights and darks, even a bit more about photoshop. In the Flickr pool for this group, I have been paying attention to other's images and the camera and lens that they are using. When I pay attention, I learn so much from others. 

What story do I tell when I point my lens? I noticed that my yard, pets and garden take up the majority of interests. Food is a huge inspiration - growing it, preparing it, eating it. As an artist, cooking and eating are a kind of daily intervention of nourishment and beauty. Combining flavors, textures, and scents along with the presentation is an art form. Not just how the food is placed on the plate, but also, how is the table set? How is the dining room or kitchen? The loveliness of the bowl, the patterns of napkin - all these things play a part of the drama of food. This is why I could never understand how people can eat regularly fast food. How appealing is a white bag? As a kid, I loved watching Julia Child. I liked her because she was tall and unpretentious. She was like a performance artist. 

roasting cabbage

The garden and beekeeping are also favorite subjects of mine. We share this earth with so many creatures. I watch my peach tree sustain the birds, insects, little animals (squirrels, ground hogs, etc) and me. It is such a wonderment to share these sweet peaches with so many other living creatures. Even the peaches that fall rotten to the ground will nourish the tree in the form of compost. I love those cycles of life. 
bumble bee

Ultimately, I suppose that this is what I love to photograph. My photographs record the life that I live. I try to be true to what I am passionate about and honor those passions- the daily, mundane routines, the growing and nurturing of my plants and animals, of taking care of this little speck of land called home. I don’t have illusions that my work will save the world – I am too small and insignificant. Instead, I just keep doing what I love to do. I am not defeated by this notion that I can’t change the world – I just keep making work and moving on.

I read this wonderful quote yesterday. I want to share it. It reminded me of the title of my MFA thesis -

We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love... and then we return home.

~Aboriginal Australian proverb

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