Sunday, 10 April 2011

The beauty of the ordinary

I'm taking part in a workshop by Irene Nam, Simple Soulful Photography, which started at the beginning of the week. I had read about it on someone's blog, and after eight weeks of focusing on the technical aspect of photography with Mastering Manual Mode, I thought it would be a great idea to focus on the creative aspect.

The first two lessons were about self care and making space, which are important ressources for a creative life. Both self care and making space seem to be such simple things, things that we know do us good, common sense, really, but more often than not, oh so difficult to follow. Self care, treating yourself to little things that do you good without feeling guilty, I find especially difficult. But the space making isn't much easier, even though I often feel that if my desk is full of clutter, I just can't think anymore and as a result, get nothing done. I'm beginning to wonder what exactly it is that's continuously holding me back from clearing away the mess and clutter in the flat and giving me breathing space. But maybe another lessons in self care is to allow yourself time, and to take little steps.

On Friday, we got the first weekend photo challenge, which was to look for the beauty of the ordinary. I love going for walks, but more often than not, I have to force myself to actually go - and most of the time, I end up not going at all. But this morning, after re-reading the lesson, I grabbed my camera and just went.

I left the house shortly after 8 o'clock, to avoid a) the hot weather (the weather gods seem to have decided to skip spring this year and go straight to summer) and b) the masses of people that fill up the woods and walking pathes on a warm, sunny Sunday - both things I absolutely hate. Plus, there's the advantage of the great light which you get in the early mornings.

So out I went, looking for the beauty of the ordinary, which nature provided in plenty. I love putting my camera down on the ground and just click the shutter, without knowing what it's going to focus on. The results are often surprising and amazing.

My little tour led me through parts of the local cemetary, where there was a field full of those white and yellow daffodils and buttercups, which were absolutely enchanting in the early morning sun.

Another part of the lesson/photo challenge was to look for those things we maybe would want to dismiss as not making a good enough picture, and just take it anyway. Being open to getting caught off guard by an image. I passed a hedge on the way, with some pink flowers and some light shining through. It looked rather too dark but remembering the lesson, I decided to try and take a picture and see what would come out of it. Well, this is what did come out, and my, I'm glad I did stop and give it a try. Isn't this pink and bright green spring bokeh just making you happy? It certainly makes me happy :-)

 On the way back home, there was a patch with some small hyacinths, pink and blue, on a littel patch of green right next to the main road. It wasn't the most charming place, but you'd never guess from the images, would you.

I put the camera on the ground again, but this time used live view to focus. I don't like using live view at all (and I don't know how some DSLR users prefer to use it instead of looking through the view finder), I really just find focusing with it very annoying. But unless you want to ly down flat on you're belly - which I preferred not to do considering the grass being all wet and damp with dew - it's often the only way to maintain any control of your focus. But sometimes, it's well worth taking a bit of trouble :-)

There were some little common daisies as well, next to the hyathinths, looking still a bit sleepy and only just beginning to wake up and unfold. Common daisies (Gänseblümchen - "little duck flowers" in German) are the flowers that (along with buttercups) remind me most of my childhood. Making daisy chains in the sun on the green outside the house, what a wonderful time to spend a school free Wednesday afternoon. I haven't made a daisy chain in ages, decades, really. I think it's high time to make one again!

On the way home I passed the local bakery, which openes for a couple of hours on Sunday mornings. After having walked for two hours, a hearty breakfast was more than deserved, so I treated myself to my favourite Laugengipfeli (a croissant made of some kind of pretzel dough, very popular here) and a special Sunday chocolate croissant.

I feel full of energy after my early morning achievement, ready to tackle the space making and mess clearing. I think I should definitely try to make this into a Sunday morning routine, as part of my self care programme.

Wishing you a wonderfully creative and enchanting Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. What has happened to your photography in the last 2 days/blog posts? It's just packed full of inspiration, motivation and especially some amazing, fantastic photographs!! I know this is not all the result of this new "self-clean" exercise (which is something I try to teach the people I deal with day to day) because you have had plenty of creative skills already, but suddenly a whole new world has opened up. It's wonderful to see.

    I too have been playing with just holding my camera at the ground and hoping I get 1/10 decent photos - I've had to buy an extra memory card because of this technique:-) - but I have struggled to get as many good ones as you.

    Recently I passed someone's garden which was already at my waist height - what a bonus and so much easier on my back!

    I hope you put some more of these on Flickr because they deserve to be seen by many more people.

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration and motivation - it's a great way to start the week.