Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I am a Poem"

words wait to spill
from my soul

syllables speak

i breathe
i inhale, exhale

words become pictures
of my life

shared sentences

without words
what would i be

this poem
would not

these insignificant
curves and lines

are significant

descriptions, details
that describe my life

tell the world
who i am

Dawn Blanchard
March 9th, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking Forward to a Quiet Day

No work tomorrow...  Everything is closed because of Good Friday. 

Sounds like a home day to me. 

After a hectic week, this will be very welcome.  This week, we have enjoyed Seuss!cal, put on by Bathurst High School; a Tuesday night swim; a fantastic Easter Basket Auction put on by our school (the basket donated by our family, "Photo Moments & Memories", brought in more than $150 for my children's school!); and a walk in the woods at Daley Point. 

An enjoyable week, but a busy one, to say the least. 

I'm ready for a quiet day.

In the morning, then, I will stay in my pyjamas until well past ten.
I'll make a couple of cups of coffee and read my book.
Then shower and slip into my yoga pants and hoodie.
My children will stay in their pj's all day; my husband will sleep the night shift away.
If I'm lucky, the dogs will have played themselves out and snooze, too.
Every now and again, I'll take a look to see if the snow is melting.
Drink more coffee, read more.
Make some more photos for my Camera Study.
Put my feet up.

If I'm lucky.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Flowers from Children

Some days, my children exasperate me.  I still love every inch of them, but it's true:  Sometimes they don't listen, and my patience wears thin.

Every day, though, there are those precious moments that make every crazy one worthwhile.

Yesterday, my 7-year-old son knocked lightly on the patio door while I was cleaning the kitchen.  In his hand, these flowers:

With a grin, he passes me the first spring blooms I have laid eyes on.  I didn't even know they were out there - the snow continues to cover most of the ground, and the air remains cool.  Somehow, though, he found these tiny blooms and thought of his mom. 

I am the luckiest mom in the world.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Camera Study (continued)

Here's another one of my camera compositions.  I am really pleased with how these photos have been (and are) turning out.  It would make sense, I suppose, that I would enjoy photographing cameras.  I have taken some before, but they were a different style, and I much prefer these.  Although I have a number of antique cameras, it makes me want to hit the antique shops to find some more!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Forgotten Camera

Years ago, my sisters found an old Leica at a a yard sale and brought it home for me.  At the time, they weren't very old - maybe young teens.  It was a sweet and thoughtful gesture.

Fast forward about twenty years... 

The camera is in a box, in my closet, almost forgotten.  I've collected other cameras, which I've photographed a number of times.  This time, though, I'm creating compositions of an old typewriter (I'll post some of those photos soon, too), and I'm not ready to put my camera away yet.  So I wander around the house, looking for something vintage to capture. 

Then, I remember the Leica.

With Christmas-morning-like anticipation, I explore the dusty contents.  Delighted, I find three forgotten lenses, and two filters I'd never even taken out of the packages.  I can hardly believe my luck (nor can I believe that I'd forgotten about these treasures!). 

So I begin a new project - "Camera Study".  I'm not done yet, either - I would have continued all night, had my battery not died.  (Note to husband:  Would love a backup for my next birthday!  Hint, hint!)  I was forced to stop, though, but not for long.  I'll be back at it as soon as I can...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There's Something Poetic About Photography

Poetry for the eyes...  Visual poetry...  Poetic vision...

I've heard all these things before.  What is it about photography (good photography) that makes it so compelling?  With all of the talk about simplifying and minimizing, why do we still enjoy looking at art so much? 

There seems to be a somewhat universal desire to be surrounded by beautiful things.  We put pictures on our walls, in our offices, even in hospitals.  Glossy magazines tempt us with stunning photographs. 

The best pictures take our breath away.

As do the best poems.

Photography, like poetry, expresses emotion.  It speaks to us; it comes from the heart.  We've all heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  Well, I think a good photograph is worth a poem.  Perhaps, a good photo is worth one word, if it speaks loudly enough.  Or rather, softly.

It could be there are photos worth writing poetry about; it could also be that there are poems worth being composed as a photo.  Maybe, a photo is a poem. 

I would like to think all three are possible.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Picture in My Mind

As well as take pictures, I teach.  That's my day job, anyway. 

I think I've mentioned before that I teach English Language Arts to late elementary students.  April being Poetry Month, we've begun a unit on understanding poetry.  This is so much fun.  The kids are loving it, and so am I.  It's refreshing to hear their ideas about what they think a poem means; it's also sometimes surprising how perceptive 9- and 10-year-olds can be.

Part of teaching poetry is teaching children how to visualize.  As you might imagine, this is exactly the kind of thing I love to teach.  Here are some of the words they brainstormed when I asked them what we do when we visualize:

                            picture    imagination          think         
     meaning         listen         wonder     
                                                  feelings      image        scenery     ideas 

         details     connections     

  focus      infer        setting    words

These wonderful words capture what we do when we stop and listen.  They are what we do when we read.  And they can be applied as easily to what we try to represent when we photograph.

How's that for inspiration from the minds of children?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pictures with... A Scanner?

Yesterday I decided to try something new...  I placed objects on my scanner, and took "pictures" with it.  Here is one of the ones that I came up with:

I love how the flower seems to pop out of the pictures, creating an almost 3D image.  (This has not been edited.)

Of course, the resolution is not near what it is on my D-SLR, but it is fun to do and it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for creating pictures.  I have some other ideas of compositions I'd like to create on my scanner, as well.  Oh, the possibilities!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Family Pictures

It's snowing (yuck).  The groceries are done, bills are paid, and my kids have no activities or birthday parties today. 

So we are not leaving the house.

It is a great pleasure for me to stay home for a day.  The weeks are busy with work and other commitments, and often the weekends are time to catch up on everything that does not get done during the week.  But yesterday, I braved the lineups in the stores and got all my running around done so that I could enjoy my Saturday at home.

One of the things I picked up yesterday was a couple of pretty new photo albums.  One of the other things about film (see post below) that I miss is that I used to send them off immediately, pick up the prints, and place them in albums as they came in.  With digital photography, though, they spend much too long in the waiting room of my computer. 

My goal for today is to organize about 200 of them into albums, then send more off to be printed.  These are the family photos, Christmas and summer, camping and playing at the beach.  While I couldn't do without my artistic photography, these are the ones that truly matter.  They are a record of my children's lives, carrying with them joyful memories of time sweet and short.  They are family and friends, who we are and who we were.  Most of all, they are reminders of how lucky I am, how full my life is and has been.

And I am looking forward to giving them a proper home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Film Fun

Bought some disposable cameras a few days ago.  I'm going to experiment with film for a change, try out a few "new" things. 

Funny how far away from film we've come in just a few years.  My old SLR, that I swore I'd never retire, has been tucked away in a closet ever since I upgraded to digital.  While I love the endless possibilities of technology, I sometimes miss that satisfying click when a photo has been imprinted forever on film.  Now, I discard so many pictures without a second though, taking extra - just in case.  With film, I was forced to think about things before releasing the shutter.  Every shot cost money, after all.  And there wasn't an opportunity to check it until much later, when I'd pick up the film with anticipation at the lab.

Now, film isn't so easy to come by.  Especially here, where our local photo lab (which I love, by the way) doesn't even print it anymore.  I should really get my hands on some before it disappears forever.

Slow down, snap, and wait.