After our summer travels last year I wrote a post for I Heart Faces about the value of shooting with a stopped down aperture
(specifically f/8 or smaller, specifically for landscape/vista detail).
I'm now feeling an even stronger urging to use smaller apertures in everyday photography - for the specific purpose of INCLUDING life details that I've otherwise been blurring out on a regular basis. You see, I've been scanning old film pictures. And I've discovered some things:
1. I was NOT a good photographer.
2. I had zero understanding of depth of field and how to use it.
3. Apparently I wasn't concerned with good composition, either.
4. I did a pretty good job documenting life. And when I look back thru all those crappy, albeit beloved, photos, I remember
I remember that godawful, ugly, gold-colored Lazyboy from my own childhood that was super comfy. I remember the bedraggled dog bed in the corner by the fireplace. I remember that even from his earliest days, the Teen and I made regular forays to the library and greatly enjoyed all the books we brought home together. I remember all the blankets I draped over that not-very-comfy futon in a futile effort to keep the cat's fur off the furniture itself (see her peeking through, from behind the futon? she usually parked herself atop the futon, just behind our heads). I remember the kitchen clutter, always piled up on the corner of the counter by the phone, next to the bottled water that was always covered with an ugly towel to keep the water from growing algae. I remember the baby gates that defined the safe borders of Littlest Dude's world at the time. And I remember the purple REI backpack diaper bag that went everywhere with us, lasted thru all three boys, and still looked new at the end. (dang, that was a well-made bag!!) I remember so much
and appreciate the tiny details when I look thru these photos.
And I desire to bring that insight into my photography this year. I will be intentional about allowing "distracting elements" into [some of] my photos. I will include some of my cluttered backgrounds. I want to capture the details today that I know I will forget by tomorrow (ok, or next year, cause I know the distracting clutter will probably still be around tomorrow and next week ... ).
Here's one of my recent attempts to capture the history of today ... a "before & after", if you will. This first image captures the book that I'm reading and LOVING right now:
This second image captures my context, my space, my stuff that I live with ...
This picture helps me remember:
1. That though my mom (hi, Mom!) raised me to daily, neatly make my bed, I rarely do so now that I'm all "grown up".
2. That I love the light that spills into my bedroom and wraps all around everything.
3. My decorating failure. Someday, when I'm not so clueless, I'll figure out an eye-pleasing arrangement to those canvases I love. And Big Dude has even agreed to re-hang them when I finally figure it out. :-)
4. That I always have stacks of books everywhere.
5. That Big Dude, who in all other ways is seemingly grown-up and mature, insists on keeping that Star Wars Lego ship-thing on his bedside table. I don't know why. And he is adamant about it not going away. This image will also remind me that Big Dude bought his own Nerf gun in order to personally arm himself for engagement in the dudes' Nerf battles (I don't count this as a check-mark in the "immaturity" column, but rather in the "good-Dad" category!).
6. That my window is wide open ... in January
. Because here in SoCal, it seems January always has a freakishly warm week or two. This was that week. And I soaked it up in my favorite corner chair. In my bright sunny room. With a warm breeze. And my favorite book of this year (yeah, yeah, I know it's only 19 days into the year, but I'm pretty sure this book is IT).
7. Ultimately, it will remind me that on that day I could have chosen to spic n' span my space, but instead I chose to kick up my feet & curl up with a good book. As it has ever been, may it ever be ... ;-)