Most of the time I live a lot inside my head. It has to do with the writing, I think. I’m busy mulling a plot, figuring out character motivations, trying to locate that elusive perfect word. Or, if I’m not thinking about writing, I’m trying to figure out how to solve some other problem at work, or around the family. I’m aware of the world around me, and that it is often very beautiful, but I often move through it on autopilot.
My venture into photography with the Wading In class is teaching me to see the world around me. “Pay attention,” my father used to say when I was a child. Mind you, he would say this in the middle of a card game, while tapping a card he was about to play on the table. This rather obvious signal meant that I, his partner, was expected to do something, to take some action, and that I would know what it was if only I put my mind to it.
In the Wading In class, it also turns out we are expected to pay attention, and take action. One of the assignments last week was a scavenger hunt, with a list of pictures to ‘find’, continuing to include some part of our physical self in the image.
And I began to notice things I’d been missing. Geometrical patterns everywhere, the way a sheen of water on the pavement will shift and change with the pressure of a foot, reflections in a window. It is good to be pulled out of my head and into the physical world, and I hope in the end it will make me a better writer. I’m including some of these pictures here, again with the caveat that I am not a photographer and these are not ART. But they do show the way I am beginning to see the world a little differently, thanks to the camera.
In response to the instruction to “find a heart”, I started here:
I was so totally focused on getting a picture of a heart shaped object with some part of my body included, that I didn’t even notice the different textures and patterns in this picture until after I took it. I’m thinking a real photographer sees these things before they take the picture. For me, I seem to discover them after.
Like this one, in response to “A Moment of Rest.” I had literally never noticed the geometry of the stairway.
The last one I’m going to share was taken during a trip to the local dump, looking for “a pattern on the ground.” I began by looking at the yellow line, and only through the camera lens did I notice the light reflecting on the sheen of water, and the way it changed every time I took a step.