Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so they say. I would argue that if you look closely and with openness, there is beauty to be found all around us. I enjoy bringing cut flowers into my home, brightening up our living space with a bit of nature’s beauty. But these beauties don’t last long, their petals begin to dry and droop, reminding me of the finiteness of life. But I am also reminded that what some call ugly can also be beautiful. I spent some time trying to capture the beauty in the wilting sunflowers in a vase on my dining room table. With the afternoon sun shining on them, I couldn’t help but pay attention to the deep colors and dry curly edges. There is something beautiful about this ugly.
Beach walks are spectacular this time of year. It’s still cool and the crowds are small. I noticed this balloon at the water’s edge from a distance, and upon closer look, I could tell it was once a baseball balloon, likely for a child’s party. There’s nothing beautiful about plastics in our ocean, but there is beauty to be found in this #litterati photo documenting this trash (which I picked up and disposed of properly).
Recess duty gives me the opportunity to watch students playing on the playground and to observe my surroundings. Not long ago white roses were in bloom on these bushes that are near the play structure. But on Thursday, I noticed the blooms were gone, but the empty stems remained. Ugly at first glance, but interesting when you get a bit closer.
These strange little spiky balls hang from trees not far from the house. I think the tree is a type of maple and I assume these balls are seed pods. I often find them on the ground, so it was fun to look up and see them hanging from the tree.
Our higher than normal rainfall this winter resulted in a spectacular wildflower bloom. But now that the rain is gone and the weather is warming, they are starting to dry out and lose that springtime beauty. A walk near the train tracks had me shooting the dying blooms with the Self Realization Fellowship (we call it and the neighboring beach, Swamis) in the background.
A long weekend watching our twin grandsons is a pure treat! (Who can resist the sweet faces and activities of 15 month old boys!?!) It also offers opportunities for new sights! This old house is visible from a walking trail not far from modern suburban homes…it seems so out of place here! I would expect to find it in a much more rural area.
And they grow their weeds large here! I started to notice dandelion puffballs about the size of my fist! I couldn’t get close enough for a great photo of the ball, but I think you can get an idea of the size from the remaining husk.
So, this is your week to take a look at ugly and figure out what makes it interesting (or beautiful) to you. You might find your inspiration in nature, in your home, or out and about in your community. Maybe it will inspire some action (as in the #litterati example), or at the least raise your awareness about what is around you.
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 #ugly for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Head out with your camera…and snap those bits of ugly. What interesting photos will you find to share with us?