Thursday, March 29, 2012

P52/Week 13: "Nature"

I've committed myself to participating in a photography project called Project 52, where each week there's a challenge to take a photo with a particular theme and enter it on the group Flickr site.

I'm reading an awesome photography book. It's called, "Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision" by David duChemin.  I'm not even done with it and I want to read it again. I want to mark it all over with highlighter and stuff it full of bookmarks. It's made me cry with it's inspiration and sometime it's ability to kindly point out how much I've merely been "babbling passionately" (his words) rather than telling a story.

But, there's hope for me yet. And that hope is these photos:

P52/Week 13: "Nature"

But, now I think I should have entered this one. Oh well.

I took these photos last week. The wigwam was made by the boys, their friend, Ben, and their 'Wilderness Survival' instructor, Ryan. They chopped dead branches, collected bark pieces from fallen trees, made rope from a plant called dog bane (and used some twine) to create it.  They were so excited to have it finished and to finally climb in.

I had a look-see, too, and it was quite nice in there. It was cool and smelled of the pine branches they used. Here's my view from inside... Nico looking so proud:

So, let me back up a bit.

In his book, duChemin suggests that to discover your photographic vision, you must narrow down what you love about photography. I am definitely all about people. I know that much. This photography journey of mine started, after all, in an effort to document my children's lives. My interest has widened, in both the direction of other people and into trying out landscapes and even artistic creations, but my heart is definitely with people.

So, when I was tasked with this week's theme of nature, I had a million ideas, as I'm sure every participate did. A stand of trees with the sun breaking through, a bird, a flower...lots of flowers, bugs, dogs, sunsets... someone stop me....

It's such a sweeping topic, with not a bad option in the mix, especially with spring burgeoning, but how to I make it interesting? and how do I make it mine? As I was walking around the conservancy today for the boys' Wilderness Survival class, camera in hand, I asked myself, what is it I see in this place that makes it so wonderful? Because it is wonderful. My immediate answer was the feeling that it's wild, yet the hand of man is apparent everywhere. That's what gives it the story that compels me to take the picture.

It was this photo where it really struck me:

I love the way it looks so nestled deep into the woods, (I used my telephoto to create that compressed look, as duChemin also taught me), yet it says, "Somebody's been here and spent time and energy on this."

My initial idea was to use this photo for my 'Nature' shot. But, then I went back to look at some of the pics I took last week, when the wigwam was newly completed and the boys were trying it out. That addition of the boots sticking out and Enzo crawling in made it even more magical to me and tells a bit more of the story that I'm compelled to tell.

So, there's my hope. I took those photos last week (oops, just realized I used a week old photo for this week's challenge), but, it was before I had read the book when I saw and manged to capture that magic.  Maybe my vision is there somewhere just waiting for me to name it so it can capture and create photos which speak to me and hopefully others.

Being able to put words to it and identify what makes it so special, will maybe (pleeease?) allow me to do it more often in the future. Stay tuned...

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