Thursday, 3 January 2013

Day 3 : really looking!

So this 365 project lark has got me thinking, yes I know “already?”, and I'm thinking “what’s the point?” Whilst stood at the bus stop, this morning staring very fixedly at a tree it occurred to me, I was taking time to look. I could be scanning through the emails I received overnight, down at my shoes or my eyes could be closed silently willing a bus to arrive. But I was looking, really looking. I spotted the sad Christmas tree, neglected and propped up against a post box, the patterns the decomposing leaves had left on the pavement, the last few resilient leaves on the nakedly winter branches. On the bus I was rather taken by the busy pattern on the newly upholstered seats, the incongruous gold ballet pumps topping off a formal suit and after disembarking, the studs in the pavement marking the crossings and the utility covers in a myriad of designs - I always did love a texture.

I wasn't really looking up; the sky was doing that utterly bland thing where dawn breaking has just meant switching from inky blackness to a dim wattage light bulb, just white, white, and a bit more white. Not that a sky has to be blue but it should have some interest to it. A dark brooding sky can have much more vitality with golden whispers of the sun trying to break out giving a halo effect to the clouds. Or some movement and structure of a costal sky that would come to life under the steady gaze of a ten stop ND filter. Today, however, the sky was not up to any scrutiny. We are encouraged to “stop and smell the roses (or flowers, depending on the version you know)” and there must be succour to gain in just stopping and really looking sometimes.

I hadn't found inspiration yet, though the “leaf shadows” may be worth revisiting. But then that begs the question “Why would a photograph be taken at a particular time?” Would it be to capture a moment, a memory and essence? A scene of beauty to enable a revisit albeit virtually or an aide memoir? Or perhaps an incongruous or funny event that might be shared on Facebook later? Documenting an auspicious moment, perhaps for the family album or to share with the world your on-the-spot reportage of the momentous, the challenging, the downright depressing? I know I take pictures of people very rarely. This is me thinking I'm not very comfortable in front of the lens myself and almost surprised when others don't mind so much. Many of my friends take beautiful environmental portraits or capture poignant moments of street photography; I need more encouragement to undertake that form of photography and seem happier taking depth of field shots of artfully displayed food.

In the end for my daily photo, I resorted to rather bedraggled token nod to festivity that sits on my desk and gets wheeled out annually. I had been rather transfixed how the facets in the diminutive mirror balls were radiating the colour from the environs of my desk so after much pondering; today’s tree theme is a faux tree!

I am rather looking forward to some more “looking” tomorrow.


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