It’s halfway through September and I’ve not fully returned to blogging. I took August off in order to regroup and to refocus since I felt like my posts were irrelevant, and I was falling into a comfortable but uninspiring rut that consisted of my past but not my present. As much as I like the 365 Days Journey Through the Past project, I equally don’t like it because it takes up time I would rather spend doing something else with my blog.
That being said, I am still continuing the project, but I’ve taken it over to Flickr. That works for me and frees me up here to pursue other creative endeavors. I will continue to post a monthly photo wrap up, though.
List of what I love but have neglected:
- Words: creative writing, fiction, creative non-fiction and a bit of dabbling in poetry until it embarrasses me and I set it aside.
- Art: book art, collage, acrylics, art journals
- Photography: Yes, I have neglected photography. Most of what I post is from my past, not my present. One of my purposes with taking August off was to figure out what kind of photography excites me. I wrestled all month with it, teasing out the joy from the prosaic until I discovered my photographic raison d’etre. I love photo journalism. I love documenting something, ANYTHING.
- Travel: I’m more at home away from home. Always have been.
- Storytelling: Storytelling in all its forms. Fiction. Non-fiction. Photography. Art. I truly believe we are a storied people, that we live stories and live in stories, and that we yearn for them.
I’m setting into motion a couple of new projects. (I love projects!!! They give me direction and boundaries, and they end so that I can begin the next project!) These projects incorporate all of the above. They’re difficult to describe but includes all the creative things I love to do.
I wanted to include a photo for this post. I chose this one because it represents all that I love: words (graffiti), art, photography, travel—it’s on a platform next to the train tracks, symbolic of travel—and it tells a story, if not in words, in sentiment.
Last week I pre-posted the photos for 365 Days Journey Through the Past. I discovered it gave me time to do some blog housekeeping. One project I wanted to accomplish was to write an About Me page. I worked hard on it all week, thinking about the angle I wanted to approach it with, how much to say, what not to say, what would be of interest, and what was just hubris. I’m still working on it but thought I’d share what I have so far:
It’s screaming potential and has the makings of a movie. I just know it!
Now on to this week’s future posts.
I enjoyed being part of the Worldwide Photo Walk 2009 so much I participated in the 2010 one. We met at the County Fair. It was a hot, hot, hothothothot day. I especially enjoyed the semi-cooled animal barns. I met a turkey who took a liking to me after I got a photo of him. He flashed his tail feathers at me. I oohed. I turned to leave. He gobbled at me. I turned back. He strutted his stuff. I turned to leave. He gobbled vehemently. I turned back. He flashed even more. My friend was laughing. I was being courted by a turkey!!! But what a turkey! Magnificent! Alas, it was not to be. I hope I didn’t break his heart. I should post his photo. You would all be jealous. (I added the above links, if you want to see him.)
I took off on a Wanderlust evening, needing to get away but not having the time to go anywhere exciting. Instead, I went south into farm country since I don’t normally go that direction. As I reviewed my photos of that evening, I remembered how ethereal it was. I spent time on a bend in the road taking surreal and abstract photos.
I had my new camera for a couple of weeks before I took it out on its first camera shoot. I chose Indianapolis Museum of Art’s (IMA) 100 Acres as my destination. I only had a 50mm lens so I was limited in what I could do. I considered it a challenge. It’s a beautiful little lens but so frustrating because I saw so many things I couldn’t photograph! However, that was part of the challenge, to work with what I had and find beauty and intrigue within its limitations. I discovered bokeh. Beautiful, soft bokeh.
I dedicate this post to abstracts.
I discovered this dirty fabric bunched up on the ground on Mass Ave by the railroad tracks. The colors and the folds in the fabric created great geometric shapes.
This photo is highly manipulated in Photoshop. It is a combination of two photos of the same subject, one I took out-of-focus and one normal. I blended the two then added a subtle black outline to some of the edges. I think if I were to redo this at all, I would crop out the upper-left corner that shows grass. It’s distracting. Otherwise, I rather like it!
It occurred to me that Mass Ave probably means nothing to many of you. It is such a rich experience for me that I thought I’d mentioned it!
Mass Ave is short for Massachussettes Avenue and begins in downtown Indianapolis. It is a thriving mecca of art, entertainment, and food, but as you drive further away, you leave the safety of downtown and hit the railroad tracks where life is rough but full of interesting things.
I have a few downtown photos that I will eventually post—especially of my favorite bar!—but most of my photos will be from the railroad tracks. The foundry is by the tracks. And there’s a lot of graffiti. I took photos of Katherine on Mass Ave, also.
I haven’t posted more because they are coming up in the summer. Lots of fun!
Along the railroad tracks on Mass Ave, I slipped through an opening in the chain-linked fence to an old, abandoned foundry. The day was cool and beautiful and the air behind the fence and between the buildings was crisp. I stepped tentatively through low-lying shrubs and weeds. The broken gravel crunched beneath my feet. My skin prickled because I didn’t know what I would find. The railroad tracks attract the under-life and I could very well be walking into someone’s territory.
I was alone and vulnerable and nervous but it didn’t stop me from taking photos, like this one of a rusted mattress spring. I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted because of the uneasy solitude. I swore I would return with a friend.
The next time I went back, it was boarded up. I regret not having courage long enough to really explore the foundry. But I relish that I had enough courage to enter in the first place.
The Easter Lily is beautiful with its luscious silky texture, its trumpet-like bloom, its white petals, and its simple golden stamen. I was pleased to find that I have photos of Easter Lilies taken in the past that I can post on this Easter day.
Europe, I thought. Belgium. Brussels. I remember that Rue just down from the Grande Place somewhere. I remember the corner triangle, the old buildings, even the Smart cars. There were Smart cars in Belgium long before there were Smart cars in the USA. Yes, I remember. Such a lovely, old city. Except…
…it’s not Brussels. It’s downtown Indianapolis. And those aren’t Smart cars. They’re normal cars. But…???
I’ll tell you my favorite downtown photography secret. Shhhh. *Indianapolis Power and Light* (IPL). Seriously. If you go downtown, go to IPL on Monument Circle and look in their windows and at their mirrors. You will be amazed at the variety of photographic opportunities you’ll find there.
Look! It’s Loomis-Fargo & Co., armored transport for all your security needs. I’d trust my money to it. It’s so cute! And, as we all know, cute is important when you need armored transport.
Besides for the fun-house mirrors, IPL also has these beautiful colored mirrors inside the building viewable through picture-glass windows. They make for great abstract images as you can see with the above photo. Yesterday’s post was of a photo taken through the window looking into a round, green mirror.
I left Monument Circle and, being chilled because, after all, it was February, I went to Starbucks on Ohio Street. I ordered a grande, no whip, white peppermint mocha and sat at the long table facing the street. As I warmed up and sipped my coffee, I noticed the reflections in the windows of the building across the street.
After a while, I turned inward to think about, oh, I don’t know, whatever was on my mind at the time. That’s when I noticed the reflection of my hand in the window. A single ring graced my finger. I took it off and placed it on the countertop.
I’m fascinated by mirrors and reflections. A lot of my photography incorporates them. It’s because I see life through reflections. I don’t see it clearly. Sometimes, though, I wish I did.
Early one morning I drove down Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis on my way to work. It was at a time when the morning light filtered its way through the forest of buildings and selectively lit one building over another. Until that morning, I had never paid attention to this building. It was on a side-street but the way the light illuminated the area, I couldn’t help but glance at this beautiful Mondrian-inspired building. I didn’t stop to photograph it in the moment because I was on a tight schedule to get to work. But I referenced the building for a later photo shoot.
It was at this time, also, that I was searching for ideas for a print ad design. One of the parameters was that it be black and white. The publication was for a campus event. My past experience with this publication taught me that it was run by students who didn’t know really what they were doing and the other advertisers (read: campus schools and departments) didn’t understand how color converts to black and white and therefore sent in color ads that were printed in black and white…not very flattering. Although it wasn’t a high quality publication, it would reach a lot of people. I wanted my ad to POP off the page. The best way to do this would be to use high contrast, and what better high contrast than black and white with no shades of gray? So keeping that in mind, I remembered the windows and realized that I could also be inspired by Piet Mondrian. They used my ad on the inside back cover, which is a cherry position.
Inspiration comes from different sources. I keep learning to open my eyes and observe and wonder.
I loved looking out the bedroom window of my charming Irvington antique home, especially in the winter when the inside of the window frosted up just as wildly as the outside and made the whole world beautifully abstract.
May your life be equally as beautiful and as wild and as abstract! Happy 2012.
I found this photo. It is white against a black background. Tiny holes have been drilled into it, and there is writing stamped on it. It looks like a microphone, but it isn’t. It is boring, whatever it is. But this is the best I can do for today…and for the next FIVE days!!! I have nothing in my photography stash for the next five days!
I must have been busy during the first weeks of December over the years, too busy to take photos. Perhaps I was attending holiday parties or perhaps the weather wasn’t cooperating. For a number of years, I know I was busy with end-of-semester projects and finals as I worked through my graduate program, which leaves my photo imagery unimaginative. Because of this, for the next couple of days I will break with the photography and instead engage in my other love; design. I will use photos from anytime throughout the year and turn them into some kind of design that celebrates this seasonal time of year.
With that in mind, I took this rather boring image and played with it in Photoshop. Nothing fancy, just an inversion of color and then saturating some colors and desaturating others to get the bronzed look. I like to think of it as an ornament getting ready to be hung on a tree.
P.S. I know, this isn’t a design, but it can be a design element. Who knows? It may end up in an upcoming design.
Brush strokes swirl across the canvas, crosshatching a little here and there to produce an abstract painting. I held no brush, just a camera, and with a single click of the finger impressionism entered my life.
Do you know how it is to get your very first digital SLR camera and you want to explore all of its possibilities and one of those possibilities is abstract, night life photography? Well, that’s what I did.