Saturday, November 22, 2008


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If you tried finding the title word in your dictionary or even with your trusty search engine, you didn’t find it, because the term comes from Amy Sakurai’s amazing mind. Amy was kind enough to share her brand-new word with me in her comment on my last post, and I have found that it suits my needs perfectly. Thanks, Amy.

Today, I devoted much of my day to theraphotography. I spend two or three hours out driving around and exploring some new sights. As usual, I have no original ideas—none. The day’s adventures were inspired by all the reading and exploring that has come before, but the four most immediate influences were: Amy’s addition to a photographer’s dictionary, Paul Butzi’s post on finding peace of mind with one’s camera, Paul Lester’s post re. Winter light, and Mark Graf’s post on tree hugging.

Lately, I have been sticking pretty close to home—with a brief foray or two down to Cub Lake which is all of a mile away. Today I definitely needed therapy, and, for me, that meant exploring with my camera. I can explore light without leaving our property, but the tree part definitely involves some travel. Although we have a beautiful view to the northeast, the thing we don’t have much of on our property is trees. I have been missing my ash tree—my twenty-year friend—and I definitely needed to go hug some trees. Anybody’s trees.

So, out I went. My intentions were simple: play with some old ideas, as well as some new ones ; chase some winter light; and lavish love on a few trees. As always, I can’t predict whether the photography part pleases anyone else but me. However, I am certain that the therap(y) part was totally successful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lack of Clarity

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Since I have been feeling a little unclear recently, I thought it was appropriate to experiment with impressionistic photos. When I am in a certain frame of mind, I am particularly drawn to experimentation with blurred and indistinct lines created by setting a slow shutter speed and either moving the camera or zooming while shooting. It all comes down to trial and error. I can’t begin to forecast what I will see when I view the results of these experiments, and that unpredictability seems to fit my mood in those instances.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Diversions, Discoveries, and Departures

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Here I am a week after my post mentioning my anxiety clog, a term brilliantly mocked by Gordon McGregor. (If you didn’t follow up on Gordon’s comment and link on that entry from last week, check it out for a great giggle.)

This was a peculiar creative block. Yes, there was some of the commonplace “Everything I am producing is junk, anyway, so why bother” mentality. But this time I continued to take pictures, and I continued to enjoy the process of photographing. I didn’t much like the results I got, but I just kept on shooting. (Where would I be without digital?)

Then, a few days after the creative system plugged up, we had a wonderful houseful of visiting family. On a couple of brief occasions during their stay, I took advantage of their good nature to practice taking some candid portraits. While there were a couple of other point-and-shoot cameras brought out for plenty of snaps, I lurked about taking some shots while people weren’t paying attention to me. Furthermore, since on one occasion we were in very low light, I had an excuse to experiment with bounce flash. I may not post the shots; but, the experience stirred a couple of interests that have been way down the list for me. I haven’t taken many shots of people (except when hired to do so) and I haven’t spent much time exploring the use of flash. I may make some changes in those areas.

There were more discoveries. Two of our visitors brought dogs and being around them reminded me again how much I long to finally have a fenced yard. One evening, everyone else went out for the evening and one of the dogs stayed with me. Having a dog follow me about and lie on the floor next to me, brought back memories—both sweet and sad. It’s time to make some new dog memories.

The more I look at this episode the more I realize it’s really about a number of things—none of them new, none of them simple or logical. On the other hand, not much about the creative journey is simple or logical, in my opinion.