Like the Sands Through the Hourglass…

…so are the days of our lives.

Teehee — couldn’t help myself! ūüôā ¬†It is, after all, the perfect quote for this post, regardless of its cheesy reference!

Yes! I finally got my hourglass, which was the mystery prop I mentioned for the week 28 theme of “sunrise/sunset”. ¬†Thanks to that, I’ve also finally caught up on one of my missed weeks! ¬†I was so excited to take the hourglass along with me on our family vacation to the beach, even if everyone thought I was nuts for it. ¬†I’m used to the joking and teasing, it’s all in fun. ¬†Do you want to know a great benefit of tolerating the crazy looks and having my family along while I’m taking photos? ¬†Available models, regardless of willingness! ¬†Yep — they might poke fun, but I lure them into my ideas. ¬†They’re always such good sports about it, particularly my grandmother. ¬†It’s always a good time taking photos of her; she doesn’t get the point of anything that I’m doing, and is constantly giggling and rolling her eyes. ¬†Even so, she’s a great listener, and very patient with my constant repositioning of her poses.

While considering different approaches for the sunrise/sunset theme, she definitely came to mind. ¬†Though I wanted to capture and actual sunrise and sunset in my images, I wanted them to be more representational of a greater beginning and end than that of a day. ¬†Thinking of a new day brings to mind clich√©s such as “ever day is a new start!”, and things of that nature, with the night echoing similar ideas of endings and letting things go. ¬†On a greater scale, I think of the dawn rising representing a great new beginning, like that of a new life, a birth. ¬†The sun setting is representative of the sun setting on a life, a final day.

So while it makes me somber to thing of my grandmother in this context, I’m grateful that she was willing to help with this concept. ¬†Doesn’t help that this time my family caught on to what I was doing, and teased us about how I had to get my poor old grandmother to hold the hourglass because she’s “running out of time”. ¬†Again, all in jest, but they were kind of right.

My original idea was to creat a diptych of a sunrise and sunset, with the hourglass in both images, and different models holding it.  A set of younger hands holding the hourglass with the sand at the top, representing a new life with an abundance of time, and a set of older hand holding the hourglass with the sand at the bottom, representing a life which is nearing its end.  However, since there are no little ones in the family, and the idea of me approaching a family with a small child on the beach at sunrise is more than creepy, my plan was slightly foiled.  Instead, I took multiple photographs; some of just the hourglass in both situations, and others with my grandmother at sunset.

I have to say, I’m happy with both types of images. ¬†While I previously thought that the images with just the hourglass would be lacking in substance, I think they’re able to hold their own. ¬†Another part of the original concept was to photograph the sun through the hourglass at both times of day, and I’m loving that effect. ¬†Not only does it bring more interest to the glass itself, but it’s almost as if the sun is the sand pouring through the hourglass in some of the images; as if the days truly are the grains of sand in our lives.

It’s always fun spending time with my grandmother, and it was nice to hear her say that she enjoyed the sunset. ¬†Surprisingly, she also said she had never seen the sunset on the bay before, or at least at my secret little bay beach spot, so I’m glad she had fun as well. ¬†So, thank you, Lela, for always helping me with my crazy little projects, and being patient with me. ¬†I pray that you have many more grains of sand in your hourglass.

Week 20: Secret

Secrets….they’re interesting little things, aren’t they? ¬†Some can be of a good nature, calling themselves surprises and providing a little mystery to life and bringing joy. ¬†Some can be unexpected events, curveballs, and the things camouflaged in everyday life, being much more esoteric in nature. ¬†In the same respect, secrets can be deceiving, perhaps calling themselves lies at times, and causing harm to others, as well as it’s keeper. ¬†It’s incredible how one little word has so many meanings. ¬†Even more incredible is that keeping a secret is an action which can have so many different reactions. ¬†Will I divulge some of my “secrets” with this week’s theme? ¬†I suppose you’ll just have to wait and see…

I find myself returning to a few themes in my photography, one of which is¬†love. ¬†However, I never cover “love” in a conventional way. ¬†Sure, you can capture some really darling¬†images of a couple walking hand-in-hand down a beach at sunset, but that’s not the point of view which I like to take. ¬†I often look at love from the point of longing, wanting, desires, loss, and more recently, the unrequited. ¬†Unrequited love is really quite a different type of love all on its own, and an incredible secret. ¬†In examining emotions one would feel while experiencing it, I’ve tried to capture some images where the “lover’s” pain is evident. ¬†Seemingly meaningless actions by the beloved can have such a great effect on the lover, and they may never know they’re causing this snowball of internal emotions. ¬†There’s turmoil, euphoria, despair, obsession, and devotion swirling within one being on a constant basis, all the while another lives their life completely oblivious to it all. ¬†Hopelessly hopeful. ¬†Seemingly meaningless actions are being over analyzed, bringing false hope, while other meaningless actions bring incredible depression, convincing the lover that they will never have a chance to be with their beloved.

One of my favorite images of such emotions is derived from a meaningless action completed by another. A photocopied image of someone’s hand. ¬†For most, they would just think someone was being a slacker at work, and entertaining themself with the copier. ¬†From the perspective of the unrequited, however, it could be a countless number of things: a sign, a message, a chance to hold something which they may never have a chance to hold in reality — an extended hand. ¬†Now, trust, I have control of my actions, and am not an irrational, obsessive person, but when I received this photocopy, and really started thinking about it, I couldn’t help but to pose as the unrequited. ¬†Coincidentally, this occurred just after completing my first darkroom experience with photograms. ¬†Since, as a class, we worked on photograms on the same day, which just so happened to be Valentine’s Day, I focused on an unrequited love theme for those images as well. ¬†I think as a group, though they are visually very different, the meanings and intentions behind the images work very well together. ¬†One expressing the physical, and the others expressing the emotional, imaginary, dreamy state which those hiding the secret of love may feel. ¬†So as I think of another way to tell¬†a secret for this week, enjoy these examples of the greatest secret of all; the unrequited love.

Week 9: Common Clich√©s

The grass is always greener on the other side. ¬†People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. ¬†Actions speak louder than words. ¬†The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. ¬†Laughter is the best medicine….

…A picture is worth a thousand words?

Well, this week, let’s hope so, since if it isn’t obvious, I’ve been plagued to work with common clich√©s. ¬†Sounds like a fun idea, but what the heck do I do? ¬†In another week filled with two winter storms, as it’s currently snowing again outside, the “grass is greener” clich√© is sounding really good right about now. ¬†I’ll have to get creative for this week, since I’ve already toyed with some ideas which would fall in to the “common clich√©” category.

As I get working on thinking of something, I’ll leave you with some pictures from an old film photography project that I did about a year ago. ¬†I was working with the idea of how throughout our lives, we’re constantly longing for another, or some type of human connection, and even if we have what we want at the time, another season of life will bring another need that will seem insatiable. ¬†It seems like at the end of it all, when we’re left to ourselves, all we want is what he had before and can never get back. ¬†When comparing to clich√©s, it almost makes me think of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” — I think that clich√© sucks! ¬†Though it does make the heart grow fonder, it also breaks the heart, which is an unfortunate side-effect, sometimes without remedy.