This week I participated in a photography course that one of my blogging photographer guru’s, Michelle, gave out. The premise being to take a photo of yourself each day following a prompt that would be emailed to you. Michelle explains that this is not the ‘selfie-stick’ images she wanted us to do, nor fine art self portraiture, but to turn the camera on oneself with intention. “My hope is that each of us will make time over the next few days to consider how we’re feeling, to note what we’re doing (or maybe not doing), to consider the way our outside and our inside play off one another.”
Now you guys who are regulars know I’ve done tongue-in-cheek selfies, and the odd post where a shot of Phil and I are together in some foreign land over on the universe blog, but mostly I’m shooting places I go and things I see in my life. (Lots of birds 😀 ). This was a different exercise, and I quite enjoyed working out what each prompt meant to me, and how to photograph it and include myself within the image. It wasn’t necessary to bang your whole body in, just parts of you were sufficient. So this is how it went for me…
the quality or state of being warm in temperature
the quality or state of being kind or friendly
What does the word (the idea) of warmth conjure for you? How does it feel? Does your mind immediately go to temperature, or does it go to temperament?
I wished we had a log fire in our house, but it is a modern house and whilst the radiators do a cracking job of keeping it at a comfortable temperature, they are not too photogenic so I decided a lovely candlelit bath would portray warmth for me. I covered my lampshade in a pink vest, 😀 set up candles around the edge of the bath, got in, and tried not to drop the camera whilst I took the picture. Eventually I found I’d taken one I like. To be honest I can’t remember the last time I had a bath, I’m more a shower kind of person, but doing this shot has me wanting to do it again, without the camera, it was so lovely to be in warm perfumed bubbly water, it would be fab to wallow and enjoy it.
the quality or state of being physically strong
the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force
the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.
Be bold in claiming your strength. If needed, be gentle in the recognition that today might be a hard day…but hold the idea (for yourself) that strength assuredly lies within. Show us (remind yourself of) your strength.
I have a rowing machine I bought because I’m getting older, and I wanted to keep fit, and strong. I liked the rhythmical rowing action, had my headphones and music on. But the seat broke a while back, so I haven’t been using it. I sat in it anyway to get the shot and now I’ve asked Phil to fix it so I can start again.
the quality or state of being calm or without noise
making very little noise
marked by little or no motion or activity
to make (someone or something) quieter, calmer, or less intense
in a quiet manner
What does quiet sound like? How does it feel? Are you comfortable with quiet, or does it make you anxious? Is life quiet today? Are you quiet? Or is it a bit too loud?
Hah! I thought when I read this, my life is never quiet. At work there are machines, TV, and people. At home Phil has his rock music on most of the time. I used to go and sit by the sea to find moments to myself, but the North Sea is crashy, and the seagulls piercing cries don’t make it a quiet place. And then I remembered my shed, which I’ve neglected since December, where I do my mosaics, and there is only the sound of distant traffic, or tweeting sparrows and blackbirds and I get lost in cutting tiles and sticking them down. So I returned to my shed for this picture, and got all fired up again to get back to it.
Day 4 ~
a state in which opposing forces or actions are balanced so that one is not stronger or greater than the other
a state of emotional balance or calmness
What does a sense of evenness (a sense of equilibrium) feel like to you? Do you have tools and practices that help you feel this way? When you begin to teeter (because we all teeter from time to time), how do you return center? Does the evenness rest in your eyes? Does it make home in your heart?
This was the easiest to do, because I know I will never feel emotionally balanced. My son and grandson live so far away, and I can’t see them very often, my heart is always aware of missing them, even when I’m fine and happy with life. I cried when doing this shot.
a formal ceremony or series of acts that is always performed in the same way
an act or series of acts done in a particular situation and in the same way each time
done as part of a ceremony or ritual
always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time
What are the rituals and routines to which you turn frequently? Do they soothe you, motivate you, inspire you? Is the time of day important? Or a particular taste? Or a color?
This one really stumped me! Rituals?? Apart from getting up in the morning, having a wash, getting dressed, having breakfast I have no rituals. I could have used any of those, but they don’t mean anything to me, they don’t motivate, inspire, or soothe. They just are. So I contrived (again) a ritual I don’t have, of cleaning all my lenses for my camera. I’m going out to photograph stuff with Sophie on Sunday, and I thought it was time to clean all my lenses in preparation. It wasn’t a ritual, but it will be now. It was so satisfying to make everything clean and shiny, and to know I won’t have to use the spot healer in photoshop to get rid of dirt spots on my lens!
So that was the 5 day challenge. I felt I was a fake, apart from the equilibrium shot, nothing seemed to come from the heart, my photo’s all seemed so contrived, like trying to pass an exam. That’s given me heaps to think about regarding myself, and my photography.