Life is full of texture, the sense of depth and variation that makes it seem as if our eyes can feel the smoothness, the roughness, and the differences in surfaces that we usually notice with our fingertips.
Tonight’s sunset is a perfect example. Driving home from the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML), I couldn’t help but notice the ways the setting sun interacted with the clouds along the coast. Luckily, the rest area right off the freeway overlooks the ocean, so a quick stop when I was almost home allowed me to catch the sunset up close and personal–the perfect opportunity to enjoy the texture of the colors of the sun and the clouds as it dipped into the sea.
Other days, the texture is apparent in the lack of color. This week was filled with low tides at times that corresponded with the end of my work day. As I walked and watched the seabirds frolic and eat along the exposed shore, my camera captured the texture of the silvery waves, bird silhouettes, and shadows, turning the photo to black and white without the use of a filter.
Last weekend the light was just right to capture the glassy smoothness of the clouds reflected on the wet sand. This photo feels smooth and shiny, like I could turn the photo over and the same image would be visible.
While in Los Angeles visiting with my grandson, I found texture in lights. I was surprised to find a chandelier hanging in the middle of a street. The layers of wires and lights create a feeling of texture–I imagine what this would look like lit up in the dark!
Nearby, at the Museum of Neon Art, I watched these lights in constant movement, creating a texture and depth that the still photo just can’t capture. I love the idea that light also creates texture.
And then there’s pomegranates. Smooth on the outside, unless you look into the star-shaped end. I love the way the macro lens allows me to see the filaments where the fruit once bloomed.
Today marks the day that I learned to knit–at a digital media conference–as a way of learning about math! In less than 40 minutes I learned how to use knitting needles to create this swatch of a yarn textile. I can’t wait to bring this back to my students!
Drought resistant plants often have an interesting texture. This tiny bloom was surrounded by the kinds of leaves that preserve moisture and are common in southern California. The actual bloom is probably the size of my pinky fingernail!
So, take a look around. What texture do your eyes detect? What looks smooth? What looks bumpy or rough? Do colors create texture? What textures do you find in an absence of color?
You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #texture for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Where will you find texture? Head out and investigate the textures we usually notice with our fingertips…what textures will your eyes “feel?” Be sure to snap a few photos and share the textures you notice through your lens.