The Simple Joy of Taking Photos

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Still quiet on the creative front.  Without “producing” anything, I almost forget to blog!

But as I reflect on the month, although not robust or showy, I still am embracing the creative daily.

For the past month I have been painstakingly & slowly photographing and loading my work onto Etsy.  I knew it would take a long time and with this knowledge I have pushed it off for years.  But my intuition has been saying “NOW” and “DO IT” and “GET IT DONE” and who am I to argue with the big voice inside me?  Heck, it generally knows more than my ego bird brain!  … so I sit day after day, at my computer.  I have read up on Etsy strategies.  I’ve been struggling to understand the best way to calculate shipping…day by day I am learning, tuning in and observing.

It’s through this quiet process that my photography has greatly begun to improve.  It could also be that I am always rushing and I don’t give the lens it’s proper due, but in this month I have really stopped and tried to take better photographs.  Here are some examples:

These two images above were taken on white fabric using a light box.  They are perfectly acceptable or one might say perfectly average.

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Now these photographs were taken incorporating backgrounds and visual texture.  As I read the Etsy strategies, it was explained that a better approach to photography is to try to incorporate where or how someone might use the product.  If you have a piece of jewelry, photograph it on a dresser where someone might put it in their own home.  If you have a piece of pottery, photograph it on a hutch or filled with flowers, giving ideas to the person on how they might use it.

More examples:

Above plain old backgrounds… or….

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…the products can become more personal and interesting.  You can better envision incorporating them into your life.

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Again, above is a plain photo…… or…

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Show your potential customer how they can use your product.

So, if you are a creative you might be saying “Big Duh!” to this simple concept, but for me, I sometimes forget these big duhs!  I was totaling planning on plowing through all of my inventory with the trusty old light box.

I’m glad I took the time to read some of the Etsy tutorials and slow down enough to pay attention.  In doing so, this project which I dreaded for it’s monotony and data entry foibles has become quite fun and enjoyable.

When I look at my little Etsy store and how it is coming along, I can now take pride in my work , I can see my progress as an artist and I can see the joy I exude from being creative every chance I get. It feels really good.

…..Amazing Awesomeness Baby!!!

 

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Intelligent Design

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I look no further than my back yard for proof that their has got to be an intelligent life force working around us and through us.

How could this little pod know when to break open and release this amazing child into the universe?  How could this butterfly weed plant design this extremely delicate filament to carry its seed most magnificently?  The seed is so graceful and hovers over the earth until it finds the best place to begin its life.  To settle in and put down roots.

How?

How do it know?

The Divine in the Mundane

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Asiatic Lily

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Sedum

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Hosta

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Lichen

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Magnolia

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It’s amazing I ever get where I’m going because I’m always getting lost along the way!

These images are from my front yard.  The most typical of suburban plants you can find.  Yet I get mesmerized from my mail box to my front door every morning.

It most likely stems from being cooped up for way to many months.  All of a sudden one blade of green grass is enough hope to allow you to dream of being warm again. But the morning dew is what distracts me enough to pull out my camera.

My camera is like a microscope and telescope all built into one.  It allows me to filter out that which is over-stimulating and at the same time see the world at a distance.

I can only imagine what my neighbors must think about the woman sitting in her front yard flower bed talking to herself (but then again they must be used to it).

But I was talking to myself. These words came right out loud and I was not thinking them:

Even the most common, through a lens, looks majestic.

Now this is where I started talking back to myself.  I thought where ever that beautiful observation came from, which I swear was not me, I agree with you!

I said out loud. “You are so right!”.

When you here a voice inside you that you know not to be your own, yes, you could call yourself bat-shit crazy. But, I’m of the opinion that we all have a higher Form within us.  You can call intuition, you can call it God, your Higher Self –whichever; it’s there.

It’s that we don’t hear it until we are quiet.

I urge you, while your walking your dog, walking yourself or walking to the mailbox, try it.

Grab your camera and hone in on your little part of this world.IMG_4370

Even the every day can appear majestic! 

A Walk in the Park

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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Are these designer trees? Nah, Mother Nature couldn’t have made something that cool.

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“I live here!”

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It’s funny. I live in rural Rhode Island.  It’s filled with nature. And yet, my kids want to go to Central Park in New York City to see “spring”.  “REALLY???”

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Well, actually they wanted to slide down the granite slide in the park.  It’s my sons favorite thing in New York City.  We drove all the way to NY to slide down a slide.  Yep.  He’s a cheap date.

It’s a glorious place that Central Park and it’s free.  I think most of the best places in the world are :)

Emilie Ruecker Wildlfe Refuge

For the next three months (or as long as my attention span can hold out!) I will be exploring landscapes.  I only briefly touched on them during my 365 and there is so much more to learn and explore.

This prompted me to take a hike with Jeanine the head of RI Families in Nature.  We set off yesterday to hike some trails in Tiverton, RI.  I’d never been to that neck of the woods which was plenty enough reason to go!

Thinking of painting compositions all along the trails, this was some of the beauty I took in.  I thought I’d share it:

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What a gorgeous day.  I received plenty of inspiration. Thank you Universe!

Upon Closer Inspection

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I take a few moments every day to wander. Sometimes mentally. Sometimes physically.

I picked all the Chinese lanterns from my garden.  I love them for their color of course.

But wow.  Look at how magnificent this little pod is.  It is so delicate and miraculous in its detail. It gives you a glimpse of the fruit inside and reminds us of perfection.  This plant is perfectly designed to dry its seed and spread it.  It has perfect protection only until it is no longer needed. At that precise moment its walls will wither and it will have done what it needed to do. Plant the seed.

Don’t we all have protective layers but do we shed them at the right time?   Hmm…deep thought for the day…

Man, there is just so much to learn about life, when we stop to pay attention.

If you don’t already have these in your garden, here’s a little more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_alkekengi

FULL CIRCLE

 

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My gift to the birds is to provide them with plenty of seed to eat.

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Their gift to me is to plant the seed.

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When we allow it, the universe works in perfect harmony.

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This is one of my largest lessons in life, control.

“I want this to happen…I really don’t want that to happen…I need to think harder…work harder…make things happen!”

I work very hard at attempting to manipulate my piece of the universe.

…but guess what?  It’s not working too well! 

I just wind up exhausted and empty.

When will we learn to get out of our heads and trust that everything is exactly how it should be?

Without our TOTAL CONTROL, the world just seems to be a better place.

I’m thankful for this beautiful flower. It is yet another reminder.

…that quite simply,  I have nothing to do with it :)