My inaugural blog post was a self portrait. During my first 365 project in 2010, the distorted self portrait was one of my favorite subjects (selfies weren’t quite de rigueur yet). My interest in taking these photos dropped off somewhat but Sunday, in the bright autumn sun and the dazzle of art at Franconia Sculpture Park, my mirrored sunglasses were too much fun to ignore…you can’t see much of me, but you can get a sense: I’m a hat girl and I shoot Canon 🙂
One of my favorite parts of summer is my daily sunrise yoga practice at Lake Harriet. Friday morning was particularly glorious: a cool, late summer breeze, pink-tinged clouds, the lonely screech of sea gulls and clank of sailboat moorings. It was all so beautiful I had to pull out my iPhone to take a picture. I’m so glad I did. I want to remember that August morning long after the snow flies.
Sometimes the dog is pulling your arm and you have an art fair in the morning and your son is scooping minnows in the creek, and you’re telling him it’s time to go and then the sunlight comes and hits a big tangle of dead forest undergrowth JUST SO and it all turns into a gestural scribble, a linear sculpture, a study of light & shadow. It’s nothing really. And, yet, it’s full of movement and life and death and struggle and some little bit of grace.
Sometimes all you get is that one moment, that one shot. And then it all keeps moving.
What’s that, you ask? Fairy dust? Nope, just dust.
It was one of those golden hour moments, where the sunlight is just streaming in and making everything look so beautiful. I couldn’t help be enchanted (and, of course, appalled) at the way the sunlight revealed thousands of tiny dust particles. They sparkled, kissed by the sun, like flecks of gold suspended in mid-air. It was so quiet and lovely. It stopped me in my tracks like a fond memory.
Playing with shadows two days in a row means two consecutive days of sunshine! This silhouette was so strong and clear, it was like someone came along and painted the tree on the side of the house. The best part was that I’d never noticed it before, making we wonder if it was a rare and special occurrence or if I just hadn’t been paying attention.
Photographic wisdom states that the best conditions for taking pictures involve a bright, overcast sky. While sunshine seems like it makes everything pretty, it actually washes out colors and casts harsh shadows that don’t look great in pictures.
But on this day, the sun was shining and the sandpit is like an expanse of desert; there was no way around shooting in full, blinding sunlight. Then, while I examined my options, I suddenly realized that the shadows themselves were really interesting and rather than avoiding (or cursing) them, I started seeking them out as subjects.