“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.” Junichiro Tanizaki
I’ve been trying to do more abstract images as well as more black and white. After getting my coffee this morning I was driving though farm country and saw a fire in the parking lot of an Amish tourist site and pulled in.
I watched the dancing flames and then started taking photos, waiting for the decisive moment. A farmer came over and asked if he could help me. Usually I answer that with “Are you a Psychiatrist?” but I didn’t want to be rude.
I told him I was trying out a new camera rather than explain the concept of abstract photography to him and he just looked at me. “Kinda strange isn’t it,” I said. “Yes it is” was his reply and he walked away towards his children of the corn.
Now that the 2020 models are out many people are selling their old vehicles. I saw this beauty on sale for only $800. It seems that the seller is also including a pair of shutters for some reason so if you need a buggy and two shutters this is a steal. If not you could probably get a couple of chickens instead.
“It is not possible to think outside the box. If I am thinking, I am always and only inside the box. The mind itself is the box.” Red Hawk, Self Observation
I woke up today at 6:30 and decided to go back to bed. Thirty minutes later I was standing in a field taking more photos of the same sunflower as in my last post.
I remembered the tiny voice of the flower talking yesterday: Get closer it said and use your monopod. As I waited for the right light I realized that the plant was at least a foot taller than me so handheld it was.
I struggled to hold the camera steady and get as close as I could, occasionally chimping and deleting any image that was not tack sharp or at least close. As the wind picked up I had the funny feeling that this was completely ridiculous.
I think maybe the miracle of a single flower is that it doesn’t struggle, anything that happens is perfectly fine. Life could be the same way, whatever happens or is going to happen is beyond our control so resisting it is pointless.
As I was sitting in my car zooming in on each image I heard very soft laughter coming from somewhere. It turned out to be someone feeding the goats but I have a feeling that the flowers were smiling that I got the message.
Of course I’ll be doing the exact same thing tomorrow. Maybe unusual things made from wood, shot wide open, converted to black and white and resized to exactly 1000 x 1294 (more or less).
I stood there staring at this sunflower for what seemed like an hour but was probably a minute. Knowing that if I could see the miracle of a single flower my whole life would change was promising but nothing was happening.
Then I heard a tiny voice that said: Take a picture already you dope! Since I was going to do that anyway, I framed the shot but before I could even check my settings the voice said: Get closer you moron!
Now I was starting to get agitated, a word I only use on Tuesday when flowers talk to me. She told me to get the moon in the background, shoot in manual at f/8 and use the monopod in my car.
Realizing that flowers rarely talk to me I figured it was just a vivid imagination and ignored her. I shot at f/5.6, handheld and didn’t get the moon in the frame which was already fading into the day.
There’s an old adage that says if you think you’re insane you’re probably not, but it may be worth getting my meds checked when I see my shrink this week.
“To be worth making at all, a journey has to be made in the mind as much as in the world of objects and dimensions.” Ted Simon
The amount of time I spent trying to get a black and white abstract image of these tobacco leaves bordered on obsessive compulsive (oh yeah). You might think that since a photo is abstract that sharpness and composition don’t matter but they do, to me at least.
I’m not sure exactly what I was trying to achieve but I think I succeeded. Kirk Varnedoe, author of Pictures of Nothing wrote: “The less there is to look at, the more important it is that we look at it closely and carefully. This is critical to abstract art. Small differences make all the difference.”
Damn right! And photography also keeps me out of the bar.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” Eckhart Tolle