One of the types of subjects that I have always enjoyed photographing since I took up Photography in 1982 is the ‘everyday things’ that we come into contact with.
Prior to taking up photography, I certainly was not aware how beautiful mundane subjects were. Photography created a new awareness within me and since I took up sketching and painting, this awareness of my surroundings has deepened.
It really is amazing at just how many beautiful subjects there are if we only would take the time to notice.
I’ve included some images below that I hope you will find as interesting and as beautiful as I do. All were taken in 2022.
I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog my love for walking and the reasons I enjoy it, namely:
Exercise leading to increased health
Listen to music, podcasts of Nature
Time out to think
I’m located approximately 60km South West of Sydney, Australia and as I sit here today, we are entering week four of the latest lockdown, this time for the Delta strain of Covid-19.
Walking is a fairly regular activity for me and I generally see a few people out walking in normal times, however, as a friend posted recently on Facebook, ‘nothing spurs people more than a lockdown to take up exercise…’. As a result of the lockdown, there are many more people out exercising.
Whilst it is great to see more people out and about exercising, it’s a shame that it takes a lockdown to ‘spur them on’.
It probably goes without saying, but I carry my phone with me with to:
Measure the distance walked
Today, I will focus on the photographic opportunities.
As we all know the ubiquitous mobile phone has become an indispensable tool in modern life, sometimes too much so. People seem to be slaves to them. One of its most usable features for me is its camera.
I have an iPhone 8 Plus which is probably getting ‘long in the tooth’ now, technology-wise and we will probably update them in the coming twelve months. There are better camera phones out there for sure but this one is doing ok at present.
The camera I would really like to be taking on my walks is one I haven’t bought yet as I have had other priorities. More on that in a later blog.
For the time being I will make do with the phone camera.
Taking up photography in the early 1980’s increased my awareness of what is around me in terms of beauty and design. Taking up sketching, drawing and painting I believe has increased my awareness even more.
Below are a few examples of the things that attract my eye as I go walking. When I go walking, I seldom see other people taking photos on their walks. I wonder if they are aware of the the beauty and design that surrounds them?
Now it is more important than ever in this current world climate where we can only go out for ‘essential’ reasons and fortunately, one of those reasons is exercise.
There is no better time (if you are able) to start a walking programme as it will not only help your physical fitness, it will help you mental health as well, I believe. Staying cooped up in a house all week can be challenging, whether you are an Introvert, Extrovert or if you are like me, an Ambivert. I started off life as an Introvert.
Even before the COVID-19 crises, I loved to walk. I find it relaxing, fun and great way to clear my mind. I get many ideas on my walks for paintings, photos, articles for my blog, poems and even business ideas. It is also great for physical fitness.
I usually start off listening to a podcast e.g. usually something to do with creativity and once that finishes, some music or if I am walking in natural surroundings I will just listen to the sounds of Nature.
On Easter Saturday, I set off for one of my walks at about 6.30am and finished up walking 5km (3.1miles). The Sun was not yet up but light had started emanating from the horizon. It’s a beautiful time to begin a walk.
I love sighting ‘not so hidden gems’ on my walks. These ‘not so hidden gems’ are often in plain sight, we are just not always aware they are there. I credit my awareness with taking up Photography in 1982 and Painting in the last few years. Both disciplines force you to look at the detail and help you become more aware of your surroundings, in particular the way light interacts with things.
Below is a selection of ‘not so hidden gems’ that I discovered on my walk yesterday.
One of the things that happened when I first started using a camera to explore the world was that I started to become more aware of what was around me. Initially, this was only on a conscious level. Gradually, over time I trained my eye to seek out things that which others would walk straight by. This now happens on a subconscious level.
Coupled with this is my sense of humour, so that when I was walking along a pier and saw these boots, awareness & humour combined to form a memorable image for me.
This is one of the wonderful things in life. We each have our own personal vision of the world. Our personal vision is shaped by our environment, our beliefs and influences.
In picking up a camera, a paintbrush, a pencil, clay or other artistic media we can express, through our imagination that which others cannot, i.e. our personal view of this world.
Awareness, personal vision and imagination. Three important tools to communicate your message.
I was leafing through an old photography book and I came across the above quote by Ernst Haas. He was (and remains) a great influence on me.
There are quite literally millions of things to photograph and no photographer could rightly claim to have photographed everything there is, however we do not need to.
I often hear the comment, ‘there is nothing to photograph…” An amazing statement really… As I look out the window (in suburbia currently), I see many subjects and many ideas come to mind of what/how I could photograph them.
The problem isn’t the lack of subject matter. The problem is that we wander around blissfully unaware of our surroundings and we also get caught up in the world, rushing here rushing there.
STOP!Just for one moment wherever you are reading this! Look around.
Do you see a tree? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a tree, but an idea generator, branches as conduit bringing forth ideas (leaves) and photograph it accordingly…
Do you see a fence? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a fence, but a palette. A palette that has light dancing over it creating form and texture, lines and shapes.
Are you a glamour/nude photographer? View the body, not as a body but as a sculpture; view it as part of the landscape and photograph it accordingly…
Are you a flower photographer? View the flower, not as a flower but as a person with a personality…
It is not lack of subject matter, it’s a lack of ideas.
The continued challenge as a photographer is that we need to reinvent and apply new ideas to the subject matter or as Ernst Haas eloquently puts it…
“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
Poetry and Prose by Author of #1 Amazon New Release, Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, Spillwords Press Author of the Month, Jan/Feb 2022, and Monthly Contributor to MasticadoresIndia/USA, 2022.