Sunday, September 2, 2012

still here and learning after 100 posts

post #101
       I don't know how it sounds to you visitors to this blog, but to me it is amazing that I have enjoyed doing this blog for 100 weeks.  So far.  I am tempted to take on a fresh look soon, but not if it changes everything I have already done.  The way things work for me, I will have my questions answered by good fortune, pretty soon, so just know I may surprise us all before too long.  In the meantime, I have a children's picture book manuscript to freshen up, before the SCBWI conference I signed up to go to in Nashville in mid-September, a photo to prepare for an upcoming exhibit and videos about the photo workhorse program Lightroom to view and learn from.  I have already put the family reunion photos together and made a gallery of them to share online.  Between my sister and me, there were enough photos.  I am glad of that because not everyone who wanted to come was able to get to Maine last weekend, so they now at least have the photos.
       I returned home last night.  Yea!  Then today I drove the four miles to my gallery building and noticed lots of cars in front of a house that is usually empty.  Everyone seemed to be gathered on the front porch, where several people were taking a turn making a photo that didn't have them in it.  I felt sure someone in the crowd would know who I was, so I couldn't resist returning there to ask if they would want me to take their group photo -- and email it to one of them to distribute. I forgot to ask them if they would want it on my blog, so even though I did take the photo, I am not publishing it or any other such photo without permission. 

      In preparation for the exhibit submission I wrote about two weeks ago, I decided to write about an image to figure out why I wanted it to be one of the five I could submit.  My writers group found this interesting, so I am sharing the photo today and some of what I wrote.  Again, please remember this particular effort is mostly about process, not perfection.  Here is the photo I used:  

from my notes: This valley is a place I return to over and over.  So is it love of this place that draws me to this photo, or is it the lines, the textures, the curves, the color, and the way the elements work together to make the whole?  Does the love show?
     There are things I do like about this particular photo.
  • the triangular hint of the dirt road I am standing on.  I did this on purpose to include the textures of the road and the mowed edge.
  • the field itself, going downhill, lightly strewn with hay rounds, the large one up close, smaller ones farther away and everywhere. 
  • The house and the barn seem to be cupped by the hillsides and the length of the land, framed by the thin roads on either edge of the image.
  • I feel the recent presence of people and the tractor, now gone, soon to return to pick up the rounds and move them.  It is not a place where what is there today will be there tomorrow.
  • I even like the long loop of the three wires swooping in the electricity.  I could take the wires out -- even I who don't Photoshop much -- could do something that simple, but it tells part of the story of that place.  Story is important to me. 
  • The color works this time.  Often photos made at this time of day look washed out.  It is encouraging to me that I am breaking the rules of nature photography and getting away with it.  
  •  I feel layers are rolling across the image like a storm, like time, like memory.  The sky too has strips and puffs, echoing the fields below.
   There is more, but you get the idea. I continued to think about those wires, however. Eventually I realized that since it wasn't clear enough what they were there for, they could easily be a distraction.  I decided after all it would be better to take them out.  I do not admit this easily.  I am conflicted about doing my kind of witness and changing anything that I show.  It is hard for me to agree to do it.  Here is the "cleaned up" version, the one I submitted:

      Any thoughts?  Next week I promise more  photos than words....

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