With 5 more student days of the school year ahead of me, I’m working to keep myself focused and in the moment. These are those bittersweet endings that are inextricably intertwined with the anxiety of pending deadlines (report cards, classroom organization, classroom musical…), the excitement of summer, and the uncertainties of the changes ahead. So this week, my photos remind me about perspective.
A meeting earlier this week to do some planning for this year’s Invitational Summer Institute (SI), brought me into contact with a friend’s dog. I couldn’t resist this photo of Siggy curled up in a favorite chair, complete with a red wrap to both give him that fashion flair and to keep him comfy. Siggy definitely reminds me of the importance of self-care and the value of down time.
This is the last year of my beloved multiage class. We have so many traditions…one of which is taking our third graders rock climbing as a way to celebrate the end of their three years with us. Rock climbing seems like such a perfect metaphor for all that happens over the course of three years with the same students. We get to witness such growth in confidence and risk-taking as they take on more and more leadership within the safety of the classroom. And who can resist the perspective of a student in flight, hanging in midair perfectly relaxed, enjoying the view from new heights?
The fair’s in town! The state fair is always here in June, running through the 4th of July. I’ve been going to this fair my whole life, walking through exhibits, sitting through cooking demonstrations, viewing student art, and petting goats. Living where I do, the arrival of the fair also means an increase in already heavy traffic. I knew I would be dealing with fair traffic as I headed home from the university the other day. I started to feel annoyed, knowing the commute would crawl through Del Mar. Instead, I decided to change my perspective and pull off to take some pictures. I found a parking place and walked up to the mouth of the lagoon where you can see the fun zone of the fair from the back. It was fun taking photos and looking at the fair with fresh eyes.
I crossed the street and found this dramatic entry to the beach. I ended up walking back to my car by strolling on the shore of the beach, enjoying the sea breeze and watching egrets navigate the surf. When I got back in my car, the traffic was no longer irritating me!
Back in the classroom it’s been Ocean Week. Every year our entire school takes a week to focus attention on the ocean (it is right outside our door, after all!). Traditionally we have a sing-a-long and ocean parade on the last day, with all our young students wearing ocean-themed “costumes.” In our class, we decided to stretch the definition of costume this year and instead have the kids make signs to carry. They came up with informative slogans for one side, collected beach plastics and other trash in the week or so before the parade, and created a watercolor sea creature to swim among the trash on the other side of the sign. Wearing all blue, we became a sea of activists advocating for the sea! (And hopefully changed some perspectives about this precious resource along the way!)
A Friday afternoon walk on the beach has become a pretty regular habit for me, and as the weather warms, for others as well. As I knelt to take a picture of some trash I was picking up, I ended up with this shot of a woman reading as she walked along the beach. You can see that I missed the trash in my shot, but I kinda like the blurred shot of the reader.
I’ve included quite a few shots of stacks of rocks along the beach lately. And yesterday there were more stacks in some different places along my route. I was drawn to this tall stack that looks out on one of my favorite parts of the beach.
So head out in search of a new perspective. What will you find when you look at the world from a different angle? You might literally move behind a familiar scene or kneel low to change you view or simply change your outlook and look with fresh eyes.
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 #perspective for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Grab your camera and change your perspective. What will you see? Be sure to share your photos with us here!