Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Looking for magic...

Behold, the golden hour light on the...hose reel.
I like to take pictures. I am not really a photographer, or even a hobby photographer. I have photographer friends and they read way more and take way more classes and they always have their cameras. I often don't and if I do, I feel awkward asking to take photos or worry about looking like an idiot as I pose my child against a brick wall in a public place and start snapping away. Their photos are amazing and it is probably a lot to do with the fact that they are so  much braver than I am.

I think I also have the handicap of making the perfect the enemy of the good. I (kind of?)  know someone in my photographer group who lives in Hawaii. Oh. Mah. Gosh. Not only is she an amazing photographer but her backdrop is stunning. I mean, freaking Hawaii, am I wrong? People tell me to shoot my own home and look for the magic there. This is generally not a bad idea given that this is where I live so these are the things that I can photograph without hopping a plane to a tantalizing destination but...often they have this idea about living on a farm. It is a cute idea...just not a realistic one. It is not all Elena Shumilova. Honestly, there is a lot of poop. So much poop. Because that is pretty much what animals do. They poop and we move it.

But you know, Russia is pretty modern place. I am sure she has to shoot around plastic Homer buckets and things like green plastic garden hose. Probably? Maybe?So I tell myself? So here I am, shooting this farm and either carefully editing the photos using cropping or just plain photoshopping out things or being really careful to set up my shots so that they look all cool and magical and I guess, Russian. Sometimes it works pretty well and I am not sure if that is a good idea. I mean, how much artifice do I need to put on things? That photo at the header of the post is the well head at golden hour after a good storm. The light was amazing and it softly lit the green garden hose. I suppose I could layer the shot with one of the kids so that it looked like a child out there and I just might do that, but then it isn't real. It might not be a problem to do sometimes but I think that do only do that would be just a bit sad.


The world that we live in is a real one and I think that the images that we see are largely not real. I worry that it makes us less happy with reality. I really like this shot of the farmhouse. It was taken the same evening as the first shot but it was taken first and the sun was a bit higher. The light just cut between the house and the lilac bush and highlighted the dandelions going to seed. By the way, that kills my husband, Ben. He just cannot.Not even a little.The yard means something to him that it doesn't to me. In this shot are some pieces of reality poking through, besides the crop of weeds to come. You might notice the satellite dish that belonged to the uncle who lived her previously and though we have never had service, we have yet to remove it. You might notice the white bucket on the chimney to the furnace. We are in the 50s today, twenty degrees cooler than yesterday, but sucking it up and not heating. The bucket keeps out the rain. I debated for a long time about whether to photoshop those to death. The siding would have been tricky for me but doable but not worth it. There is a bucket on the chimney and a stupid dish on the side of the house. The photo is pretty real.

Believe it or not, this is the woodshed. I cropped out
the gas powered wood splitter and the piles of wood.
I am not totally okay with that but that is my own character flaw. I think I am going to leave them there to just be a little bit of reality. As for the dandelions? Ben is taking them out. The belly PTO mower is on the tractor and he has vengeance on his mind. Those pretty little fluff balls are going down. Good thing I snapped a photo when I did.

2 comments:

  1. The funny thing about pictures is that your picture is only half of what's happening. What looks beautiful and real or magical also depends on the eyes of the person looking at it. To me, sitting near so much concrete and tech industry refinement, your dandelions and garden house and furnace-protecting bucket look beautiful.

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