Photo Specs: Nikon D200, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 100, f/2.0 @ 1/2000. Developed with PSE8 & RadLab
Date taken: October 7, 2011
I was right on schedule with this project when I stopped at my parents’ house to pick up their mail while they were away for a weekend. This is the home where I grew up, so I was sure to find something interesting to photograph.
During this week, the fall colors were absolutely stunning. As I mentioned in the last 365 post, I didn’t want to take the typical calendar-worthy shot of the fields ready for harvest surrounded by beautiful fall trees. That’s when I looked, I mean really looked at this tree. This is the tree that has withstood decades of frigid, winter winds that howled around the house. This is the tree that faithfully announced the promise of spring; quietly budding as we rushed out the door. This is the tree that my brother and I climbed each summer as soon as we were tall enough to reach the bottom limbs. This is the tree that provided the piles of leaves for us to rake, romp in, and re-rake every autumn. With all these memories in mind, I wanted to do something more than just snap a picture. I wanted to make a photo that felt ethereal, other-worldly, or dreamy. So what I did was made the tree the secondary subject and focused more on the interplay between the light and shadow. I paid close attention to where these elements were falling in the frame. Then when developing, I was very careful to punch up the contrast so that the shapes of the shadows became more prominent, but also careful to not to lose the details of the leaves on the ground. This was a difficult balance to find. If you take time to notice, you may find my shadow in there. This is appropriate, I think. The placement of my shadow is no accident.
The first photo for my 365 project is a quick self portrait shot into a mirror! This is my new AWESOME hat! Normally I don’t do anything that will draw attention to me. But, you know what? I really like this hat. Why should I let the thoughts of others keep me from wearing an article of clothing that might make some people smile. It certainly brings me joy when I look in the mirror, which is exactly what I tried to capture in this photo!
So far this project hasn’t started out real strong. I realized it was October 2nd, and I had not taken any photos yet. So, I came home after all the necessary running around today and snapped this photo for the 1st, and another one for today (to be posted later). Perhaps this project will also be an exercise in giving myself grace. Ah, well, this is also something I need to work on anyway.
Have a blessed week,
In honor of finishing the photos from the House of Heroes show in Bryan, OH from April *sheepish, slightly ashamed look* I had a little fun with some of them. Wasting time? Yes. My excuse? Resting from any and all labor in celebration of Labor Day. But hey, I learned some things in the process. It wasn’t a total waste, right?
As a photographer, I get a kick out of the expressions that are sometimes captured in the fraction of a second while the shutter is open. This is a perfect example of this. I just put my own narration to those expressions. When I was finished, I realized that I’ve now become one of those fans who creates fan art. Not sure how I feel about this. Ha! And I’m not sure this qualifies as art either! At any rate, enjoy.
I spent the last weekend in Indianapolis with 9,999 other women at the Women of Faith Conference in Indianapolis. When you put that many women in one room, God better show up, or you’re asking for at least five cat-fights, Christ-followers or not! For this woman, God certainly showed himself. Of course, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I suppose I should expect nothing less, He is God, Creator, Director, and Producer of the Universe, after all. What I didn’t expect? The means of communication and the content communicated.
Let me back up for just a moment. You may need a little context. See I’ve been wandering lately. Or perhaps that should be wondering. I don’t know, maybe a lot of both. I took a job right out of college to pay the bills and hopefully be responsible enough to save up for what I really wanted to do: Photography. Over the passed six years (has it really been that long?) I have discovered many things about myself, about God, and about the fact that what I thought I wanted to do may not in fact be what I want, or what God has planned for me. And I, in the words of Savage Garden, truly, madly, deeply want what He wants for me. I have all these things I love to do. These creative, imaginative gifts and dreams I have been given all seem to be pretty much unrelated and it’s maddening. What do I do with this? What’s the point of these dreams when the job that pays the bills utilizes none of them? That brings me to now, and my current condition of Now What?
Then my husband and I went to a concert in Farmland, IN to see Disciple. During this concert, the lead vocalist, Kevin Young said something that really struck me as profound. He said you love others and give of yourself. You may wonder, well what about me? If I’m always giving and loving others, who’s going to worry about me? God will take care of you! Don’t you believe that God loves you, and if he loves you, he will take better care of you than you can take care of yourself?
Well of course! Duh! I purposely committed this concept to memory. Love others. Let God take care of you. He can do a better job of it anyway.
A month or so later, six other ladies and I bought tickets and climbed into the church van for two days of amazing speaking and fantastic singing with other women of faith. Let me tell you, I met God. To all the questions I had been asking, His only reply seemed to be: “I love you. There is not a moment in your life that I have not loved you without condition, no strings attached.” This is the message I heard from every speaker. This was the harmony threaded through all the songs we sang. “I got you. I know where to find you. I know where you are, and I have been there too. So take my hand, let me love you. We’ll walk together.” Every time I even began to pray, “Ok, but what about…” God cut me off with the reply, “I love you.” I suppose the most powerful being in the universe has all rights to interrupt me, especially with such a profound answer as this. Through this entire season of my life, I’ve been feeling a lot like Moses. This is just another time where I can draw a parallel. I’m reminded of the burning bush when Moses keeps coming up with excuses and God’s reply is, “I am.” Different reply, but I needed to learn a different lesson. Growing up in the church, I’ve heard all the Bible stories, I know all the illustrations. When a speaker starts an illustration, I pretty much can guess where they’re going before they get there. So I’ve always KNOWN (intellectually) God loves me. But on the weekend of August 19-20, 2011 at the Conseco Fieldhouse, perhaps for the first time ever, I EXPERIENCED the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit deep down to the core of my being. It is a beautiful thing full of peace and joy. I still have questions. I still have no idea where my life is going. But I know with the kind of knowledge that no one can shake that because God loves me this way, he knows what is best for me. He will take care of me. I know that I can trust him to guide my path, even though I can’t see farther than the next step. My job is not to know the future. God owns that. My purpose is to love God and love others. So that’s what I’m committed to do for now. We’ll see what comes from that.
As always, this bit of poetic vomit (for lack of a better word) was hastily spewed out of my fingertips last week when I was feeling rather low. I debated, with myself obviously, about whether to post it. The subject is very personal, as these sort of moments tend to be. My fear is that those few who follow this blog, those of you whom I know care deeply for me, will be offended by the words in this piece. Please understand that these words represent feelings I was having at a moment in time. Yes this is an ongoing struggle I have. But it is not how I feel all the time. Emotions are fleeting, be it blessing or curse. My hope is that some will read this and understand on some level. Or maybe you will understand me better. Perhaps some of my readers will be able to answer some of the questions asked. At any rate, my hopes triumphed my fears. Don’t judge me too harshly.
What does this all mean?
Who am i?
I’ve tried so hard.
And for what?
To get noticed.
To make a difference.
To make a living.
To make a life.
Get a life.
Just to be worn out and hurt.
No one notices.
I’ll write this,
A public proclamation to deaf ears
Seen by blind eyes.
With all effort I run the race.
To see the new as I breeze pass for the millionth time.
Bleed the wonder from the mundane.
Drain contentment from the dreadful.
All this is meaningless when others look right through me.
Just watching the dollhouse.
Others filling their roles,
She fits in this room.
Observing the potential of everyone else,
He was crafted for that.
I am always outside looking in.
Never quite right anywhere.
Left out on the fringe.
All the spinning is inside.
In my head.
In my heart.
In my soul.
Is there a way to get it out?
Get it to people who feel the same way.
Are there people who feel this way?
Is there anyone else out there who feels this way?
Is there anyone else out there who feels?
Anyone else out there?
Is anyone there?
Trying is getting me no where.
Like a rat running on a wheel.
If I stop running I will still be in the same place.
Just maybe not as tired?
Either way I am left not quite right:
Dissatisfied, unfulfilled, disappointed, and empty.
I don’t think I can fix this.
I’ve got a lot of photos piling up, all of which I am longing to share. Art, being a visual experience, is no good to anyone if it’s tucked away in a corner, an attic, or, in my case, lost in the recesses of my computer. Imagine if the best works of art: DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Picasso, Rembrandt were never put on display for us to reflect upon! This world would be markedly less beautiful. It would be like a gift that was never given! But I digress. I’m absolutely not comparing my little hobby here to history’s greats. Not by any means! I’ve just been asking myself the question: Why bother working to create good pictures if no one ever sees them?
This brings me to a concert I attended in April. My loving husband attended this show with me, even though House of Heroes is not necessarily his favorite band because HOH is one of my most favoritest bands. I am so glad we went to this show. The crowd was great, even though it was made up of almost all high school kids and it made me feel old. These kids were so full of energy and excitement! As a photographer, this show was an absolute dream. Props to whoever hired and/or set up the lighting. It. Was. Fabulous (insert sing-songy voice here). I feel like I got some great shots out of this show. It was such a great opportunity, and I am so thankful that I took it. Without further ado, here are the few photos that I have finished. I will add more as I get them done.
She read the news today / Who knew black letters on white paper / Could so viciously rip a heart to shreds / And all her dreams drift away / Franticly flailing to catch them / Like phantoms they float on the breeze / And now plans must shift / Things must change / She is at a crossroads / And neither path is clear
With all the tears that are falling / You could fill the oceans / With all the tears that have fallen / This desert is still so dry
He sits alone in a corner / People swarm and mill all around / Tried to fit in with the trends / Loneliness followed him through the crowds / Then tried to embrace his uniqueness / The nagging desolation remained / Invisibility his curse / Desperate for a cure / Longing for a place to just be
With all the tears that are falling / You could fill the oceans. / With all the tears that have fallen / This desert is still so dry.
She has heard of a place / Where broken hearts are mended / Where new dreams are born / He heard rumors of a place / Full of love and warmth / Where everyone has a purpose
With all the tears that have fallen, / They will swim in the oceans. / With all the tears that will fall,/ Their deserts will turn into Paradise.
[Note: Sorry for the crappy format. I wanted to do it centered and break up the lines, but I couldn't figure out how to make it single spaced. I'm not much for writing my own html at all. I just write. Bear with me. So I hope the format's not too distracting. I also envision this as a song more than just a poem. So if anyone feels inspired to add music, please do so, let me hear it, and send me royalty checks in the mail! ]
It seems I have fallen off the earth! Well, not really. Winter has happened. This season does not agree well with me. I’m like Demeter that way, I suppose. My creative inspiration drifted away with the last warm breezes of late summer. All traces of imaginative inspiration laid buried under layers of frigid, colorless blankets of snow and ice. Hybernating with me have been Disciple’s concert photos from Ichthus. I was certain they had been posted. A new life was documented by my lens the first of December. I will share with you her beautiful newborn face. I also discovered most recently how difficult it is to take a self-portrait. I like a couple of them. So now that I’ve made some promises, the sun seems to be growing closer to my part of the world, birds are singing, and color is coming back into the world, I hope to log more of my world here.
Until next time…
I won’t apologize, but I’ll post twice.
Next was House of Heroes!!! I was so excited to see House of Heroes live. I just love their music and was looking forward to experiencing their live show. While the music was amazing, I hate to admit that I was a little disappointed. When a band performs live, I guess I expect to almost get to know them better, feel like part of the show, and yes, unfortunately, be entertained. Musically, this band did not let me down, I guess I just felt like there was no connection to the crowd. Just a quick “Thank you,” between songs and on to the next. In their defense, there was a schedule and perhaps they were pressed for time. I hope to make it to more shows. Love you guys, and your music. Keep on rockin’.
And thanks to the nice guy who asked people to move so I could be right up front for some shots. You were Jesus for me then. Be blessed.
Ok, so it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, I’ve forgotten exactly what happened after Sanctus Real’s show. But I’m not going to apologize for my lack of posting…or for my life “getting in the way” of the internet. I do remember we had a lot of time before House of Heroes played. So I think we went to the Galleria stage to check out Photoside Cafe and SIT DOWN. The description of Photoside Cafe in the program sounded like something we might like. I am so glad we caught their set. They are amazing musicians, and so different from anything I’ve seen or heard before. The violinist even busted out the Pirates of the Caribbean theme during his sound check! Awesome! We bought their cd, but it doesn’t really do their live show justice. They’re based in Chicago, so hopefully we can see more of them.