I sit here at the keyboard less than a month since my mother died. This certainly painted a gloomy shadow over the calendar year. I know there were some bright spots but it's hard to see them right now.
I want to share this poem which my sister found among my mom's things. I don't know where she got it or why she kept it but I found it so very appropriate.
There's a .pdf copy of it on my website at http://photography.to/weepnot.pdf if you want to share it as well.
I took my camera out of my safe yesterday. It's been stored in there for a couple of months now. I haven't yet opened the bags but today I'll put the batteries in the charger and maybe shoot a picture or two in the next couple of days. So to my readers who look forward to seeing photos on this blog, I'm sorry to disappoint today but I will resume next time.
musings... an attempt to be thought-provoking
Music is what emotions sound like
Art is what emotions look like
I came across the first line somewhere. If you Google it, there's no definitive attribution — several people have said it, you choose. But I added the second line myself.
What moves you?
I'm struck by the thought that I've often said if I were to have a second chance to start again, I'd come back as a musician. I can't imagine that anyone has not experienced that rush of emotion, that joy, that hasn't 'Kvelled' when hearing some music that struck directly at their heart. Tell me you never have...
I sat down at the keyboard today for the first time in what seems like a year. I don't play very well but I improvised a blues version of Ray Charles' "Georgia" and became lost in the song for close to an hour.
And yet that's never happened to me when seeing a photograph or a painting or a piece of art. Maybe that's just me. Maybe I haven't been exposed to enough masterpieces or maestros of the visual arts. Maybe I'm still mired in the technical side. Can I ever get there? I don't know.
Level 1: creating memories. A photo is a "snapshot" if the intent is bringing back a memory in the mind of the maker or participants. If you take a picture of the Eiffel Tower, when you look at it some years later, you remember being there, that trip, whom you were with, sitting at that café having a coffee and a croissant... another great example is a picture of your kids. You are creating memories.
I remember that trip to Newfoundland. It was a rainy day...
Level 2: telling a story. An image that attempts to make a third party – someone who doesn't know the maker or the subject of the photo – wish they had been there to experience the moment.
"Putting the world on ignore". This illustrates a "Level 2" image for me. Imagine the sound, the bustle of this Kensington Market street.
Level 3: the mind's eye is when the maker can look at the image and say, "that's what I saw in my mind". It's an attempt to render not what the lens saw or what the eye saw, but rather what the artist visualized.
This is a really early attempt at painting, 'way back when I first started, but it's the only example I can readily find that illustrates what I'm talking about. This is what my mind saw.
And so is this. It's a photo composite showing what my mind saw, not my eyes.
The final step, Level 4: from the heart, is when the photographer or artist renders his feelings. The heart doesn't see angles and leading lines and colour palettes, the heart sees feelings.
Most of the images I care about are level 3. Most of my pictures are level 2. I don't know if I've succeeded in producing a level 4 photo deliberately, I'll have to think more about that. I believe my painting efforts are attempts at conveying emotion but I'm hampered by my lack of technique and skill. But as I read and write this, I realize that's where I want to go.
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Here's the link
What living in the country is all about:
- you have neighbours who will do anything for you at the drop of a hat and not ask or expect anything in return. A shout out to Jack March who not only looked in on my house while I was away but even plowed the driveway and when my ATV/Plow combination messed up yesterday, he came over and fixed it. Not "helped fix it", he did it all because (a) I am the world's worst mechanic and (b) I can't get down under it because of my knees: not and expect to get back up anyway.
- You have the furnace repair tech's cellphone on speed dial. I've had 4 episodes of "no heat", culminating in the last one when I came back after a 10 day absence. They finally found the culprit, some valve or terminal box or something. I hope...
- Not only do you know what a "6mm Clevis pin with wire lock" is but you own one. Actually, I own two (2/pack). Don't know what it is? Neither did I until this morning...
- You know that the meter high pile of snow at the head of your driveway left by the snow plow is called the "cone" and you know how to minimize it (go out and plow a two or three meter swath on your side of the road about 10 meters before your driveway. When the plow comes along, there's less snow on his blade to leave behind).