Sunday, October 23, 2011

Speed Walking

I totally blew this "challenge" from Kat on my Journey of Inspiration.  But, it's my journey and well, if I'm going to blow it, I might as well own it.  This lesson was on being observant sans camera.  The idea was to take a nice gentle walk and observe things that you might miss with a big 'ol camera stuck on your face.  Yah.

My piano teacher used to tell me I was the master of excuses.  I'm sure she was right.  I am not making excuses now though.  I didn't take a walk, but I did the exercise from my car instead.  On Thursday morning I had to tour a bunch of houses in the community for my real estate job.  It was just a quick peek and then on to the next.  Sometime between house 2 and house 3 I remembered I had this "challenge" and it became forefront in my mind.  It was much nicer to think about observing the world than thinking about the houses, work, and being polite to the other brokers on tour.

Anywho....geez I get off track awfully quickly.....I decided to look around my world as I drove from location to location.  No camera, just noticing things I drive by often and don't give much thought to.  The hay bales by the red farm, the stone wall close to the golf course, the door of the local "mom and pop", the large bay doors at the fire station, the view from the bridge.  I noticed a lot.  It was much more fun than what I was supposed to be doing. (I did pay attention inside the houses though.)

I have a blogger friend, Anita.  I've mentioned her before.  Her blog is did you bring your camera?  I remember when I first found her blog, I fell in love with that title-and her amazing photos-and the advice behind it.  It was saying, bring your camera everywhere.  I listened to Anita.  Once in a great while when I don't have my camera.....or when I'm driving and can NOT use my camera, I catch myself saying "click".  I see an instance, setting, person, happening....and my brain is pushing the shutter-so much so I say click out loud.  I'm seeing "a moment" to capture.  And a moment is a moment, and then it has passed.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I believe Kat's premise was about slowing down and looking.  It is something I'm trying to do more and more when I'm out shooting photos.  Sometimes I get all excited and totally miss things.  I've been trying to be consciously aware of allowing myself that little "thrill" and then stopping and sometimes sitting down for maybe 10 minutes to see what it is I missed.  It does help.


Today was rather dreary and gray.  I took my sweet dog Tula for a walk and then stopped at a quiet rocky beach.  There's really nothing there except stones.  Perfect for detailed noticing....and not an easy place to find something to "shoot".

Big and Small
Big and Small

I do like these shots, but you could seriously take a million photos just like these and still only be a 1/3 of the way down the shore.  I am not a "rock star".  So, I walked slowly and cast my eyes around for something....that wasn't a rock or stone.

Blue Glove
Blue Glove

BAM!!  Ugly ass blue lobsterman's glove.  Likely lost overboard and washed ashore.  There was other lobster stuff too.  Little pieces of colorful lines, small bits of metal lobster traps, a couple of buoys that someone had propped upright in a pile of stones.  I guess any of those other things would have been a lovelier shot than the glove.  Oh well.  I sort of liked the way the twigs and vines had surrounded it.  But, it is ugly.

Heart in Hand
Heart in Hand
Where there is doubt; faith. Where there is sadness; joy.

Get past the ugly blue glove and there is a nearly perfect heart stone.  I'm always amazed when I find one of these, especially amongst such a large collection of rocks.

Mussel Shells
Mussel Shells

And these purple mussel shells caught my eye too.  Something else to notice on a gray day amongst all the gray stones.

Even though I didn't really do this exercise correctly, I think I did it well enough to "get it".  I truly did find my head on a swivel while driving all around town.  I couldn't stop-all I could do was notice and wish I had my camera.  I do think the exercise would be helpful for a time when inspiration is fleeting. I'll have to remember to give it a try then.


Maybe the lobsterman dropped his glove AND his plastic fork.  Who knows?
Thanks for stopping by and taking a trip around my brain full of foolishness.  Thanks Kat for great thought provoking lessons, on foot or on wheels.


lisa said...

Susan, I love these, and I truly enjoyed reading this!

Francisca said...

No foolishness in your brain, Susan. You got it. There's so much I can relate to here, you are a fabulous authentic story-teller, both in words and photos. The one point where I depart, perhaps, is that it's exactly when I hold the camera that I notice the details - and like Anita (one of my favorite blogger, too) I rarely go out without my camera these days... although I must say my powers of observation (of all things) have become sharper ever since I started this hobby more seriously (beyond the travel shooting) and now my eyes are peeled even without the camera. Lovely post.

justine said...

what a great post, it is so hard to slow down and look at everything, I always think you are looking for more when you actually have your camera with you but that's just my point of view. I love your shots, hove what you have discovered.

Carol Blackburn said...

Mornin' Susan, wonderful post you have here. Love your self-expression and a peek into that photog's brain of yours. Nice that you got out and took some time to smell the ocean. Wishing you a beautiful day in your neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

Those purple mussel shells are very cool amongst the 'debris' and rocks.

I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the 'shutter moment' and miss some great opportunities.

Brenda said...

As always, you put your own amusing and heart-felt spin on every exercise. I come here knowing that I will smile and nod my head and feel my heart strings being tugged. From now on, when I am driving and I see a perfect shot and I am unable to stop the car with camera in hand, I will say "click" out loud to record that moment.

One of my first photographic subjects was "things I found on the street" - weird perhaps but it is amazingly fascinating what can be found be looking down. You followed along in this tradition but shooting "things I found on the beach". Love them all.

Anita Johnson said...

Well, what an unexpected surprise...thank you for the compliment. I don't know where to start with my comments...I see better without my camera, but than use the camera to record what I find...does that make sense? On the rare occasion I find myself without my camera, I too, wonder how I would frame the shot and make a click in my mind. And then there are the shots you miss that haunt you...WHY DIDN'T I HAVE MY CAMERA????? I don't like when I get that way, but I do. And finally, I love rocks, especially smooth ones like you pictured and have been known to carry quite a few in my pockets. I have a rather large geode collection...I find them fascinating. You write like I think, but I type, sadly, with 2 fingers. It would take me forever to write what you did. Love reading about your creative process.

Kat Sloma said...

Lovely post Susan. Since it's your journey, you get to run it however you want! I just help provide a framework and some ideas for exercises. :) I do camera-less photodrives all of the time too, great idea to use your "work" time for visual exploration. Much more interesting than just getting from place to place! I love all of the things you found on that rocky beach, by opening your eyes. The heart rock was a great reward for truly seeing your environment. Lovely images and story!!

missing moments said...

Since taking up photography, I look at the world so differently now. I look at the detail around me a lot more whether I have a camera or not. It has helped me to slow down and take it all in! Great shots today!

seabluelee said...

Heart in Hand brought a lump to my throat. Loved your post.

Rosie said...

What a great post, Susan! I LOVED reading it so much! And isn't it interesting what there is to be found in the surroundings? :-)

Tamar SB said...

That is just stunning! i love the pics of the stones the best!

Cathy H. said...

I love how you made this asignment your own!! The details you captured on your beach walk are amazing! I love the many textures that you found! I so enjoy reading your blog, you tell such delightful stories!

from Sharon said...

Susan, I can barely keep up with are writing amazing posts. i read all I have missed the last week or so. You are marching towards being a truly gifted photographer with a wicked wit!!! smile. Love your sassy way of putting serious banter for you. So refreshing. Hey I am lucky to not have had an accident, I love to look at everything while driving....especially going towards church...i don't really want to go, so I procrastinate the whole way. I think your stone photos are beautiful...collect a few and write little words on them, toss them back on the shoreline for someone else to find...might be a lottery winner idea, who knows. But truthfully you are really learning to capture that light...and you are paying the price of practice. smiles: sharon

Ms. Becky said...

your thoughtful post has me doing my own thinking, and that's a good thing, because I usually prefer to fly by the seat of my pants and be spontaneous - NO thinking allowed. today is different. your study in stones is amazing. I'm glad you didn't find a spork though. (I'm giddy still from "ree-flec-tions" so bear with me). this is a super grand noticing project. thanks for that. you've given me a whole lot of food for thought. happy week to you Susan.

martinealison said...

J'aime me promener sur les longues plages du Finistère nord où habitent mes enfants...
Tant de choses différentes à découvrir à chaque fois...
Vos photos m'ont apportée une grande part de rêves...
gros bisous

Laura said...

Such wonderful finds and great photos! I love that you did this during working hours. I try to make my walks from building to building, or from one place to the next a way of "seeing," but lately it's becoming harder and harder to accomplish this. Very inspiring! :)

Laurie said...

Susan, a couple things I'd like to say. I like your humor. The ugly glove, it is a very pretty blue. You've done better than me. I've yet to do this assignment post. Reading the beginning of your post, I thought, that's me. I like to make excuses too and I'll probably do it here - I even thought about doing a "cameraless drive home from work " :).

Cheryl said...

I love how you modified the lesson to fit into your day/life. I did that as well and am very thankful for a class that has the flexibility and room for that. Your "finds" were fun!

Gilly said...

Susan, you always manage to make me smile - you have such a great way of expressing what's on your mind.

A friend of mine once found a stone on Brighton beach that had a telephone number painted on it, and the words 'Take a chance. Call.' He did call, and spent the evening exchanging banter with a woman who worked in a nightclub. I don't think anything ever came of it, but he had a good time. I've always thought it would be fun to write something on some stones and leave them lying for people to find. I think I'd have to wait in hiding, though, to see what happened.