Archive for December, 2011
Little by little one walks far. ~ Peruvian Proverb
I started my blog about a year and a half ago with the thought of sharing creative inspiration. I imagined I’d share some of my mixed media artwork, DIY, and interior design ideas, which I have here and there. But, I’m amazed at the direction I headed after realizing how much I enjoyed taking photos with the camera my husband gave me for my birthday, a Nikon Coolpix P100. Since then, it’s been such a pleasure to experiment with telling visual stories. I seem to feel most at home when I blend my photography & thoughts in hopes of evoking something new in me or you. I’m deeply grateful for your interest and interaction. Thank YOU for the kindness and encouragement.
I’ve decided to end the year by attempting to choose my top 10 photos of 2011. Ingo Mechmann inspired me to do this, he is a photographer who offers great how to tips on G+. His task is to select a top 10 out of 26K! Having seen some of his portfolio, it surprises me what he chose as his ‘best’ work. I think our audience often differs, and might even be a better judge of what our best work is? With that in mind, I’ve decided to cheat a little and ask for your help if you’re up for it.
Which of these images move you?
Which of these images reminds you of me?
Which of these images would you want to look at for a long time?
I’m emotionally attached to many of the shots I’ve taken over the year, it’s tougher than I thought to choose what I think are my best shots. I feel strong about these top 5 images above, but the second 5 I’ve yet to narrow down out of these 10 below?
I think it’s so interesting that we can’t see our own work the way others do. I am so emotionally attached and there are so many variables… the subject, the mood ( mine and sometimes the subjects mood ) the memory of the experience when and where I took the photo, the story I folded the image into, the title I gave the image, etc. All of these things affect my opinion of my artwork. Today I’m just trying to sort a top 10 on the merits of the individual photo?
It just crossed my mind that it’s not fair to have you narrow down only from my top 15, perhaps you feel other images I took in 2011 should fit into the top 10? And perhaps you think some of the above don’t deserve to be in the top 10. Either way, I’d love to know, it’s fun to hear your thoughts.
One of my favorite photos from 2011 did not end up in this exercise. As I reviewed my portfolio, there are many shots that have a soft focus, I seem to like a dreamy otherworldly view of things, but I don’t think many of them are my ‘best’ shots. I still love them but they don’t rank as high in my weird wonderful way of judging myself?? It’s all arbitrary and yet I’m dying to know what you think?
Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain. ~ Doug Coupland
I can sit for hours staring out the window watching the birds, I wonder what this one is staring at?
The tree with all my feeders get’s pretty crowded on the snowy days.
This one needs a napkin.
I was zoomed in with my camera watching this mourning dove fall asleep on the branch.
I just love their blue eyelids.
We both were surprised when this one flew in and landed right by his side!?
The jays were being fairly nice to the others ~ surprised me.
The titmouse are so skittish. They rarely sit in one spot for long? I’m determine to get a good shot of these beauties someday. Maybe that’s why I sit by the window for hours bird watching, I love a challenge.
Sometimes I feel like some of the birds are looking right back at my with something important to say.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singingeven as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you. ~David Whyte
The winter blues grab hold sometimes, especially when one gray day folds into the next. Sometimes I sink in and swim around in the sorrow other times I shift, turn on my heals and choose a new direction… as I made my way on a new path, I found something better than blues I’ve been collecting ~ purple, plum even some pink YEAH!
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. ~ Garrison Keillor
Happy Holidays to you & yours ♥
Raindrops are like fairy whispers. ~Author Unknown
I think this photo is my favorite shot of 2011, I don’t think it’s my best work but it still makes me smile so much. When I look at this I am reminded of how magical the world is. I can’t believe this little fairy fly stuck around… for 6 frames even! I call it a fairy fly because it reminds me of these ones I found earlier in the fall floating around, it’s hard to see them until their wings catch the rays of sun. I did not see the fairy fly in this photo until I downloaded my shots. I was busy focusing on the beautiful raindrops, it was a like an unexpected magic trick to see this cool little one appear! I love the way the veins in the wings mimic the upside down tree branch reflections.
This year I’ve spent bliss~filled hours discovering tiny treasures in nature, I love that my new camera has given me bionic eyes to see MORE than I can with the naked eye. Each time I wander on my hikes, I know I’ll find something new and interesting to photograph. As the weather gets colder, me and my dog are often the only ones on the trail, but I never feel alone, I feel embraced by the magical world that keep revealing itself in new ways.
Do you have a favorite photo you took in 2011?
May your holiday season be filled with enchantment <3
P.S. I’ve been listening to PRI podcasts lately and this one on ‘The Uses of Enchantment’ has some great stories about ‘magic as a way of seeing the world’.
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world. ~ John Evelyn
It’s been raining more than snowing lately and I’m thrilled, taking photos on rainy, stormy, cloudy days offers such diversity. I took the first and the last shot in this post yesterday, the others I took over the last few weeks. I used to worry about being timely ( trying to post photos I took that day or at least that week ) but I find it more interesting to collect & curate as a mood arises. It may cause some confusion, but my attempt to create beauty is much more important to me than being accurate. I save and sort photos waiting for the perfect collection to come together. Sometimes the photos inspire my thoughts and I wait till the words come out which can take weeks. Often a color pallette or subject forms into a group that feels like a mood or emotion that makes sense.
Today I was so excited to share this golden drop of sap. When I find a tiny treasure like this I get so excited to create a post, sometimes just one photo is enough to express what I want to share, often I spend hours organizing many thoughts and many photos in a way that weaves together a journey to go on…I love the combination of complementary blue and orange with golden highlights and all the shades of gray in-between.
Gold was the thread that I used to sew this post together.
… the magic of water, an element which owing to its changefulness of form and mood and colour and to the vast range of its effects is ever the principal source of landscape beauty, and has like music a mysterious influence over the mind. ~ Sir George Sitwell
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup. ~ Wendell Berry
I wish it was the middle of the summer and I was rising early to collect dew wet red berries, but it’s not. Lately it’s been cold and gray so I decided to brighten my day and organize a few of the red berry photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks. There are still so many bright red balls clinging to branches and hanging in clusters. I’m grateful for the little splash of color.
I’ve actually been hunting for blackberries this time of year, not the fruit but the branches. In July, I stumbled on some wild blackberries while hiking and was able to pick enough to have some on my breakfast cereal. It’s been years since I had wild berries and I was so amazed by the taste.
They taste like my childhood, I remember being so lucky to live next to neighbors who had berries in their giant garden. I would just sit on the ground and eat as I picked, no need to go home for lunch, I filled up on berries and played outside all afternoon. Nowadays the supermarket berries are super-sized and strange tasting compared to the wild ones. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I can buy a pack of organic berries for $3.00 to have on my breakfast in the middle of December, this morning I had some yummy raspberries with my shredded wheat, but there is nothing like the taste of a fresh picked wild berry on a hot summer day.
The reddish purply branches have a beautiful icy gray patina, the color is such a feast for the eyes this time of year, they stand out against all the gray. Now that I know what blackberry branches look like it’s so much easier to spot them. I’ve found so many stashes of berry patches on many of my regular hikes, next summer I’ll be able to pick enough for a whole pie!
What tastes take you right back to your childhood?
Without imagination of the one kind or of the other, mortal existence is indeed a dreary and prosaic business… Illumined by the imagination, our life, whatever its defeats – is a never-ending unforeseen strangeness and adventure and mystery. ~ Walter De La Mare
What strange and mysterious worlds do you see in the moss I’ve gathered?