Some weeks I find myself retracing my steps, traversing paths that are familiar, my feet knowing the steps almost automatically. But sometimes I have to stop, bend low, and take another look to see the path in a new way. I felt that way in my back yard earlier this week. It’s been raining a lot here this winter–or at least it feels like a lot after six years of drought, so plants are growing, weeds are growing, cacti and succulents are sprouting these magnificent blooms. And the scented geranium beckoned with a green that nearly glows. I love the sense of abstract art conveyed with this shot.
Over the long weekend I was lucky enough to be in Los Angeles (playing with my grandson) and hanging out with my son and daughter-in-law. My usual path as the sun sets leads me to the ocean. But in this part of LA, the ocean isn’t near. I found this sunset while standing on the upper level of a parking garage, looking out over the LA skyline.
I frequently walk this path at a local beach…this is the place we call “the corner,” where the beach seems to turn slightly. It’s also a place that is difficult to get past when the tide is high. This particular shot feels like a painting to me.
I’ve been playing around with black and white this week as the clouds create paths in the sky and diffuses the light, creating shades of gray.
Yesterday, after a rainy morning and with forecasts of rain all day today, I decided I needed to squeeze in a walk on the beach on my way home from work. I stopped at Torrey Pines–a path I frequently drive by, but seldom stop to walk. I’ve been thinking a lot about Ansel Adams as we’ve introduced him to our students through the book Antsy Ansel written by our colleague and friend Cindy Jenson-Elliott as part of a study of photographers, photography and biography. As I walked I found myself drawn to light and shadow, trying to capture the contrast knowing that I would be transforming my image with a black and white filter. I know from experience that I need the right image to get my intended effect in black and white. I loved the path the sun was taking across the lifeguard tower, the dark of the cliffs and the shades of white and gray of the clouds in the distance. Here’s the original photo (no edits).
And here is my Ansel Adams inspired black and white version.
I do love the effect!
As predicted, this morning dawned wet, painting my morning’s path with raindrops, puddles, and watery lights reflecting in the darker than usual sky. I couldn’t resist a quick photo while stopped at the intersection, capturing the action in that split second. It was also a reminder that I would spend my day inside with more than 40 energetic children excited by the wind and rain, a path that we don’t often travel in this arid climate. Mixed blessings…needed rain, the exuberance of childhood, and an opportunity for me to practice patience and appreciation. I do love my work!
So, as you head out on your daily pathways what will you find? What’s usual? What’s unexpected? Will you seek out a new path with your camera in hand?
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 #path for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Whether you let your feet determine the path or your eye, head out with your camera and document what you find. What will your path reveal?