I’ve noticed that my state of mind plays a role in determining what I see. It’s so easy to overlook what is right in front of you, especially if you are looking for something else. This week I’ve been working to pay attention to what is in front of me. I walk past an art installation on the UCSD campus each day as I head to our Summer Institute. Fallen Star is a tiny house (back before the Tiny House movement) perched on the top of the engineering building. We’ve had many gray mornings (one of the downsides of being near the coast), the flat gray light seems to make things all blend together. But some early morning sunshine this week had me looking more carefully and noticing lines, angles and shadows.
The Independence Day holiday gave us some extra time to explore our surroundings. We headed out to a local hiking trail–a bit inland where it is hot and dry these days. This year’s rains mean the creek is still flowing, but our native foliage is drying out. I noticed these dandelion-like puffs along the trail, bursts almost like mini fireworks spreading their seeds as they wait for moisture to germinate.
There are lots of interesting cars in our area. Near the beach we often see vintage cars, especially “woodies,” those fancy old station wagons that are often featured in surfing movies. Low riders are much less prevalent. I’m glad that I stopped to look closely as a parade of low riders drove through the drop off circle at the beach. I watched the drivers “dance” with their cars, lifting and lowering, showing off and posturing to each other and the crowd.
I’ve been finding a lot of glasses on the beach glasses. Sunglasses are pretty common, often found with an arm missing, only one lens, bent and mangled from their time in the surf. I almost missed this pair of prescription lens buried in the kelp washed up on the shore. I’m sure that someone is bummed that these were lost!
After running some errands last night, we stopped by for a quick dinner. As we headed to the car afterwards my husband pointed to the almost full moon rising. As we looked to the sky we also noticed the oranges and pinks of the sun setting in the distance. We decided to take the coastal route home, hoping there would be a place to pull of the road and photograph the sky. The sun had already dipped below the horizon, but the clouds reflected the residual color.
And when I looked in the other direction, I saw the moon again, this time shrouded in cotton candy clouds. With just a hint of pink from the setting sun and a hint of the blue sky not yet dark, the moon was blanketed in soft swirls.
Earlier in the day, on my way home from work, I stopped by Torrey Pines State Beach for a walk. The weather was warm and muggier than usual. The tide was low-ish, but not too low. I walked in the water, letting the salty water cool my feet and wash away the work week, clearing the way for the weekend. As I walked I noticed a big brown rock-like structure in front of me. Or was it a rock? As I got closer it was clear it was an animal…a seal? A sea lion? Dead or alive? I was relieved to see it moving. It was a sea lion laying on the beach. As I approached, keeping my distance, the sea lion got up to warn some people nearby not to get too close. I started snapping, wanting to capture the movement and beauty of the wildlife. I’m hoping the sea lion was simply enjoying the beach and not sick.
So, be ready for what appears in your path this week. What will you notice when your mind is ready to see what is there and not what you hope to find? Be sure to keep your camera handy!
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 #beready for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Open your eyes and your mind to all that is in front of you. Be sure to grab your camera and take some shots to share what you find when you take the time to #beready!