Week 12: Seasonal

So I’m pulling another theme from my alternate list this week, because, ya know, I wanna ūüôā ¬†You know I love the chance to talk about all things spring and summer, and since the alternate list has this week’s theme as “seasonal”, I’m all about it!

Going to Florida always gets me a little out of whack weather wise, but I’m happy to report that things have warmed up around here. ¬†We may be looking at a cold front for the rest of the month, allegedly, but I’ll take a cooler spring over two feet of snow any day. ¬†Even with the chillier than normal temperatures, it’s been warm enough for the world to blossom, and I’ve been happy to enjoy it and capture some springy moments.

First, let me start with a little ode to the cherry blossoms…

They’re always some of my favorites. ¬†I wish they would last a little longer, but with the first windy day, they’re gone. ¬†I’m happy to have had a sunny day off where I got to wander around a little and snap some photos. ¬†It was actually one of those windy days while I was photographing these, so it was a little difficult to capture a clear image. ¬†Luckily, I did, and I was also lucky enough to snap a few of the baby bumble bees which were fluttering around the blossoms and fighting the wind. ¬†Poor little things — they would be there one second, happily bouncing from flower to flower, and then woosh! ¬†A huge gust of wind would come, and they’d be gone. ¬†They’re tough though — they made it back ūüôā

As for some of the other flavors of spring, you always get the same first visitors; daffodils, hyacinths, and the cute little “weed” flowers, you know, from the weeds that grow in the grass….not that…I’m not talking about¬†that! ¬†But while I was on vacation a couple weeks ago, and at the Bok Tower Gardens, I took advantage of the garden part of that visit, and took pictures of the gorgeous things they had in bloom there. It was really a fun place to see, and you should check it out if you’re in the area. ¬†According to their website, something is always in bloom, and I wouldn’t doubt it; the weather there is perfect for year-round blooms. ¬†While I was there, I’m pretty sure I was fortunate¬†enough to make it during one of their peak bloom season, and among other things, was able to enjoy their Japanese Magnolias, Camellias, and Nun’s Orchids. ¬†It was a beautiful walk, and smelled amazing! ¬†Even as we were a few minutes away and driving up to the gardens, you could smells the flowers. ¬†So while I’m dreaming of warmer weather on this chilly spring night, enjoy these photos of the little promises that warmer weather is right around the corner!

 

Week 35: Half & Half

Quite an open theme I had on my hands this week — half & half. ¬†With my coffee? No,¬†thanks, I’m talking something a little bit different. ¬†What I automatically think of is a divide, more like an opposite type of project, but that wasn’t quite checking the “half & half” box in my mind. ¬†So I went out in search of things that could fit the bill, and just so happen to find them in my back yard.

Summer is starting to fade…

It was literally just a few days ago that I was talking about a hot summer day, but with the slight change of the weather, and the fact that I was at the beach more like two weeks ago, things have started to take a turn for the worse already. ¬†It’s also Labor Day weekend —¬†the official end of summer. ¬†While I haven’t received the notice, and have still been enjoying some hot, sunny days, other elements of nature apparently have. ¬†I’m going to hold on to this nice weather for as long as I can, and will try to ignore the things changing around me.

It does prove for an interesting time of year, as well as some unique garden aesthetics. ¬†While some things are in bloom, others have completely died. ¬†Even within the same plant — parts are trying to grow, while others are giving up and conceding¬†to the slowly cooling weather.

I’m enjoying both the literal and figurative expression of this theme. ¬†Literally speaking, these plants are half dead, half living. ¬†Plain and simple; a great example of a single object being split in to something which would be considered “half & half”. ¬†Figuratively speaking, I see these as examples of life and death; new beginnings, closure for old issues.

I’m sure you all know by now that this has been a pretty interesting year for me, full of many changes and new beginnings of my own. ¬†I’m sure you also know I like to work with opposites, and thoughts of life and death are often projected into my work. ¬†Though I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted for this week, I did go out with a small intention to locate something along these lines. ¬†Over the past few days I’ve started a new job, completed my first week at MICA, and have scheduled to begin my second new job in a few days. ¬†It’s been overwhelming; I’ve been nervous, unsure, self-doubting, uncomfortable, and just plain scarred. ¬†It’s also been the best week that I’ve had in a long time (except for vacation — the beach wins, hands-down, no matter what is going on in my life!). ¬†I’ve also been happy. ¬†Really, truly, eyes watering up, feeling excited, butterflies in my stomach, chills, engaged, inspired, motivated, happy.

For the first time in a long time I feel as if I’m within a group of like-minded individuals, and that I have contributed something of meaning. ¬†I’ve also been able to let go of a lot of old ghosts haunting me by taking these steps in moving on. ¬†It’s truly hard to grasp when I catch myself in the middle of it, but I’m at the begging of a journey that I have been wanting to take for as long as I can remember; a journey which I never though I would embark on. ¬†Though I was unhappy, I fought for a very long time to hold on to the life I used to have. ¬†I was afraid of change, and terrified of failure, both of which kept me in an unhealthy yet comfortable position. ¬†I’ve made some extreme changes, and have taken some chances that even shocked me at times.

So while you may be viewing these pictures as I initially had, as images of the summer beginning to fade, remember that for the blooms to return next year, they have to start over, and let got of the seasons before. ¬†In this case, life will come from death, and things that are half living now will be in full bloom again in a short while. ¬†Letting go of old things will allow for new opportunities. ¬†My life, which was being half-lived, will be in full bloom before I know it, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

Week 24: Shades of Grey

Lovely! ¬†This week I have a blank canvas, so to speak. ¬†I have enjoyed working through nearly half of this 52 week challenge, but what has been an unexpected challenge is how blocked I would be when working with specific themes. ¬†I suppose it’s good, and the purpose of this whole thing — not only do I have to constantly get out and shoot, but I also have to think out side of my own box. ¬†I’ve enjoyed some of the themes more than others, but beyond that, I have enjoyed working in ways I would have never thought of on my own.

Now, back to the good old stuff…

Working in shades of grey has me thinking of one thing — black and white photography! ¬†I mean, what else could it be? ¬†Ok, it could be a lot of things, and just as I’m typing it, I’m thinking of tons of ways to capture this theme without taking it so literally. ¬†But the one thing I’ve missed about working with film are the beautiful tones of the blacks, whites, and greys developing in the darkroom. ¬†And the smell? ¬†Yum, weird, I know, but I love it. ¬†Ok, so there are a lot of things I miss, but I digress… Even though I would love to, I can’t do a film project for this theme. ¬†Being out of school has been fun, and weird, but it’s also left me without the resource of a¬†dark room. ¬†So for this week, my digital files will just have to imagine they’re film, and my computer will become its own imaginary little darkroom.

I suppose this theme is coming at the opportune time… I am in a rather “grey” period of life….like a dark slate, thunderstorm, type of grey. ¬†So while I’ll be working in the spirit of the darkroom, I’m probably not going to produce any more of my happy little nature photographs again in the near future. ¬†And with that, I’m off to think, and to reminisce. ¬†Here’s another film project from a past class of mine. ¬†It was the first “story telling” type project that I worked with, and out of all the different ideas that I had, this was my favorite. ¬†I liked that it told a story in so many different ways, without actually saying anything direct. ¬†It allows¬†you to look at it and interpret it as your own story, and to me, it has many meanings, which is in a strange way kind of cathartic. ¬†Changing of seasons, passing of time, a year going by, life passing you by, standing still, running in circles, travel — just a few of the meanings this has to me, and, just a few of the things I’ve meditated on while looking at these photos. ¬†So enjoy, and feel free to leave me a note of what you think!