…your challenge is to capture anything that either connects or with which you feel connected.
A sea of mismatched branches growing en mass caught my eye this weekend – as I was walking alone in the woods. Not another soul in sight.
All balanced just so…yet not making any sense to me.
I couldn’t help but wonder…why (or how) the branches came to grow in such a way. Haphazardly entwined and still surviving. What happened? A confusing sight to which I felt oddly drawn to. Snapping photo after photo.
Was nature imitating life in this current upside down world?
Forging a way to connect, however tenuously. Reaching out. Over and under and through the unknown. Despite the obstacles.
Given the current pandemic, I thought it might be of interest to take a different approach to the theme of Spread… While the spread of a virus is not welcome, a nice dinner spread or bread spread or even bed spread might be appreciated!
I look forward to the innumerable ways you can approach this theme!
I have always been a numbers person. When I was in grade school, I made numbered lists of favorite books, colors, records…even friends. When something was numbered, it took on a distinctive degree of significance. And importance.
It was also a way to organize. I numbered all my 45s onto a corresponding divider matched up with their titles, all stored in a bright green case.
The importance of numbers became crystal clear when I started earning money in high school. I quickly realized that saving money – after earning it – was the ticket to the independence I had been craving since entering my teens.
Not surprisingly, my habit of keeping diaries and journals morphed into meticulous record keeping of money spent and money earned. This was back in the days of cash or check. I still have the record of every penny I spent in my last few years of college. Numbers paved the way to learning how to budget. This turned out to be a crucial skill a few years later when raising a family on a limited income.
But I didn’t know that back then.
In 1974 I was still living in a dormitory…on a meal plan paid for by my parents. Food was not a major expense, but other “essentials” added up.
Apparently record albums were a priority.
Numbers added up more significantly once I moved to an off campus apartment the following year…when a garbage can, spatulas and beer mugs took the place of record albums on my list of spending priorities.
…there are multiple interpretations available to you, so feel free to represent the action of your choosing.
I was intrigued.
Action…I could use one of the many cute and adorable action shots of my cute and adorable grandson. Or…from the dusty archives…my cute and adorable children…back in the day when they were little. I have plenty of those.
It’s been cloudy and drizzly and snowy today. Flat even light filled my open concept living room. Lots of windows.
Perfect for a pseudo photo studio setup…
Which takes a certain amount of action on my part. Clearing off a presentable surface in front of a suitable window. Pushing furniture to the side. Finding a step stool to stand on. Two actually – one for each foot for balance – so I don’t tumble through the plate glass window.
All before what’s left of the light disappears.
Then figuring out there are five latches on my husband’s guitar case. Why that’s necessary, I’ll never know. Time passes.
For those not familiar with all things guitar…
Acoustic guitar action refers to the height of the strings above the fretboard. It is also used to describe the general feel and playability of a guitar. Generally a guitar’s string height is measured at the 12th fret….Action is also measured at the first fret.
It is generally frowned upon if your guitar action is set too low (the strings are too close to the fretboard). Strings may then buzz during your rendition of – for example – “This Land Is Your Land” or “Good Morning, Blues.” I’m not sure how it would affect the opening to “Stairway to Heaven,” but if it did…not good.
Obviously action is very important when it comes to guitars.
That’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject.
I am sure this guitar – which has seen a lot of action – is not set too high or too low.
At 5 months old, my daughter often found it difficult to wind down. Close her eyes and take a rest. A nap even. So many exciting happenings in her baby world. Lights. Smiles. Laughs. Talking. Music. Hugs. Books. Sunshine. Mama’s Milk. Bananas. Cereal. Baby walker exploring. Johnny Jump-Up calisthenics.
…share some of your favorite trees with one another…
I will be the first one to admit how much I enjoy the Fall season – with its endless array of oranges and reds emerging across the landscape. The multicolored trees are indeed spectacular and I always capture dozens of photographs as the season progresses.
However, my most sought after – and elusive – tree image is only possible in Winter. Against the night sky right around sunset.
After all the leaves have dropped…when a tree’s true shape and character is no longer hidden. Branches, exposed and unencumbered, stretch out…for all the world to see.
Displaying a pen and ink drawing across the sky. A freeze-frame dance of sorts.
As if to announce…here I am! Look at me!
An abandoned bird’s nest…often still nestles precariously against the trunk. Or a massive wasp hive hangs empty…ahhh…that explains the constant buzzing last summer.
The stories these trees could tell.
When the sky turns pinkish/orangish/gorgeous-ish, I attempt year after year to capture an image like I see in my mind’s eye.
I came close this past December on a city street in Washington DC. Taking a walk with my real camera, I had a sense the light would be magic (as cheesy as that sounds, it actually was magic). It was the day after Christmas after all.
A quiet evening at 5:00.
The Tree appeared a few blocks in the distance – but power lines crisscrossed in front of my view. After realizing the light was not going to last much longer, I hurried through the empty streets…getting closer.
A lefthand turn…one more block…it was time.
Standing as near as possible, I decided to include the few power lines still visible under the main branches of the tree. Before I lost the light…I looked up…tried a few exposure settings…and went for it.
Even though I was not able to photograph the entire horizontal expanse of this magnificent tree, I was thrilled to capture a sample of my favorite art in the sky.
citysonnet January photo a day challenge: Looking Up
Feel free to look back across 2019 or the 2010s, or whatever comes to your creative mind, when you are feeling retrospective!
Five years ago last November, my husband and I were still living in the home we had bought in 1980. The cape style house had been remodeled several times – adding space as our family grew larger. However, the dining room (originally an office & then my daughter’s bedroom) stayed virtually the same, with the occasional wallpaper and rug update.
I enjoyed eating breakfast in that small, yet cozy, dining room…something I had rarely done years earlier when life bordered on hectic. By 2014 our children had long since grown and moved on. I had (mostly) retired and treasured my mornings, lingering over the first meal of the day. No need to spend more time than necessary in the kitchen!
My seat at the dining room table faced a window looking out on our quiet neighborhood street. I sipped coffee with a clear view of the changing seasons…an occasional car…yellow school bus…jogger.
For some reason…I don’t remember why…I took a photograph of my window view one November morning in 2014. Perhaps it was the autumn leaves still hanging on despite the colder temperatures. Not sure, but I didn’t question the impulse.
Then…one thing led to another…
I thought it would be fun to document – on a regular basis – the changes happening outside…as seen from my seat at the table. At evenly spaced intervals of course. Not too surprising, as I am known to do that sort of thing (just ask my children…). Capturing moments.
For the next 11 months – on or about the 10th of every month at breakfast – I took a picture of that view…trying to line up the shot the same way each time.
The first photo…November 10, 2014.
The last of the monthly photos was taken October 12th, 2015.
I am glad I chronicled this evolving, yet familiar, scene. Little did I know at the time, but major life changes were on the way.
One year later – in October 2016 – we sold our home of 36 years.
I wonder if the new owner is enjoying the view as much as I did.