Hello friends! I know you are typically used to seeing all sorts of projects and recipes happening here, but I’m stepping off of my ‘already scheduled’ programming and going in a different direction today. I am closing in on one year of blogging (yay me!) this month. This past year has been a whirlwind for many reasons, both related to and unrelated to my blog. As it relates to blogging though, if nothing else, my mind has received quite a workout in the past year. Pre-blogging, I was a stay at home mom with days that had a certain degree of predictability (make breakfast, take kids to school, do housework, pick kids up from school, make dinner, help with homework, get kids ready for bed and then repeat). I would also spend time volunteering and doing projects around my home, but that was pretty much my life…and I loved every minute of it. However, with my oldest in college and my youngest a sophomore in high school, their demands on my time dramatically declined and it was time to do something else.
Enter ‘the blog’. Both Terry and I have put our middle-aged brains through some serious calisthenics this past year; from just the basic ‘how to’s ‘ to learning some coding. In addition to making an informative blog, it’s equally important that my blog be nice to look at. To that end, my photography skills really needed improvement. No doubt my skills have been honed since the first photos I took one year ago, which are a little cringe-worthy thanks to trial and error and some internet research. However, I decided that if I really want my pictures to go to the next level, I needed to get serious about learning the mechanics of photography. So this spring, I am enrolled in Digital Photography 101 at my local community college. I had to go through the whole college application process, even needed my first college transcript from…lets just say many years ago.
I have enjoyed every minute of my class, but more importantly, I am learning photography. I have turned in one assignment already and my second assignment is due this week. In this assignment, I was given a word (moving) and I had to photograph something that embodied that word, as well as that words antonym (opposite). Additionally, I needed 8 more photos that dealt with ‘quality of light’.
And here’s why photography is nourishing my soul. I had to go ‘looking for light’ this past week. I went out twice at 6:45 a.m. this past weekend to catch the sunrise. Normally, at 6:45 in the morning on the weekend I’d be enjoying my warm cup of tea, sitting at the computer with the TV in the background telling me all the world’s woes. And that would especially be the case when we were experiencing record cold temperatures in our area. But, because I need to catch the ‘light’ of sunrise, I bundled myself up and headed out the door, with Flora in tow. And here’s what happened, I saw things that I have never seen before, even though I was literally 50 yards from my home.
Flora and I shared the morning with this fisherman as he headed out to the Atlantic
Because I was looking for ‘light’ I noticed the way the sun hit the reeds and the water. That same sun has been hitting that same water and those reeds forever, but I have rarely taken the time to look for it.
I also noticed that frost on the leaves sparkled when the sun hit them. I noticed that the light from the sun coming up behind the tree painted the marsh with a gold brush. I especially love the hazy feel of this photo.
I also took the time to walk around downtown and noticed things I never noticed before, like this drainage runoff (which is my ‘moving’ picture)
and then the opposite of moving water is still water
At the end of a long day, I took the time to look up and noticed the sunlight reflecting on the moon, just as the sun was going down and the moon was coming up.
I have also found myself paying attention to ‘light’ as I drive around town. Yesterday afternoon I noticed how the setting sun reflected off of a huge panel of glass on a building that’s under construction and I was crushed that I didn’t have my camera in the car with me, which is something I really need to get in the habit of doing. My friend Mary is great at keeping her camera close by and documenting the beauty of her world.
This act of ‘looking for light’ has me really ‘seeing’ my world, as opposed to just driving through it with my blinders on. And let me say one more thing about ‘looking for light’; in my opinion, the sunrise or sunset can make just about any photograph look great.
It took a photography class assignment to get me out of my warm home and the routine of my day and out in the world to look for ‘light’, but I encourage you to spend some time to just go look for the light. You won’t have to go far and I think your discoveries will make you stop, appreciate and be grateful for the beauty of our planet. And starting your day with appreciation and gratitude in your heart is a great way to start the day.
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