Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Emotions

“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patti, this week’s host, writes, “Show us portraits or street photography that captures people’s feelings, such as happiness, anger, sadness, curiosity, or fear. Or, choose a subject or scene that evokes an emotion in the viewer. If you are able to shoot new images in your area, consider how light and shadow, the weather, warm or cool colors, the surroundings, and your choice of subject might impact the emotional response of your viewers.”

“All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”
― Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”
― Colette

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss

“But the love of sisters needs no words. It does not depend on memories, or mementos, or proof. It runs as deep as a heartbeat. It is as ever present a s a pulse.”
― Lisa Wingate

“Compassion is the basis of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

I find, as a photographer, that it is very difficult to capture a subject’s emotion without being intrusive. The most common expression when someone is taking your picture is one that is happy. When you’re in the throes of an uncomfortable emotion, do you really want someone snapping photos? To be allowed that privilege, the subject must either be very willing, trusting, motivated or without any choice. I would imagine babies are great subjects for capturing numerous human spontaneous emotions without any objection to being photographed. As adults, I suspect most of us would like to be more in control of what emotions we permit people to observe and record. Tricky subject, actually.

Instead, the photographer can use a simple object or scene to spark emotion in the viewer. Still tricky. What gives an object emotional significance at first view? That’s a good question for me. I’d like to explore this further in my photos.

Thanks, Patti, for the challenge!

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Patti challenges us with silhouettes this week. “They are a marvelous technique to add to your photographic repertoire because they can add drama, mystery, emotion, and atmosphere to your photos.  They can also tell a story to your viewers.”

Here are my silhouette stories:

I took this photo of my husband on the beach at my grandmother’s cottage on Lake Michigan with the Cannon AE1 film camera he gave me for Christmas when I was 17. The location is a place rich with three generations of memories. The subject is familiar and much beloved to me, but sadly also a memory. Jim died in 2008 at the age of 47. The sunset lighting adds a layer of romantic yearning that completes the picture. 

This silhouette is my youngest daughter on stage at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago. We were attending an opera comedy cabaret performance where the audience was seated at cafe tables onstage facing a smaller stage set up downstage. Emily has been in many musical comedy performances and studied play-writing in college. The theatrical setting and her curly hair are the perfect components of her personal silhouette.

Finally, here is a gallery of landscape silhouettes. The story here is that I love to be outside with my camera discovering how the light of the sky is a background for all that happens in the world. And the world is a wonderful place!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

In my mind, there can only be one theme for today. Today is my daughter Susan’s birthday. I’ve been photographing her for 33 years now. She is one of my very favorite subjects, not simply because she has a beautiful smile and is ridiculously photogenic, but also because she is an extraordinarily caring person. You can see how her warmth touches the other subjects in these photos. 

Happy Birthday, my darling daughter! May your endlessly creative variations continue for many more years. 

Variations on a Theme

Weekly Photo Challenge: That Marvelous Face

First Face:

mom laughing

My Mother’s Face had to be the first face I learned to love. I am sure that I gazed at her for long stretches while nursing. I learned to get over my teen-aged embarrassment at her lazy walleye, her “long Celtic chin” (as she called it) and the fact that she never wore make-up. Her face is particular and characteristic. Her prominent eyes and small nose and mouth have been gradually swaddled by more wrinkles and folds as she ages. She is now 81; this photo was taken 3 years ago. What I love most about this picture is that she is in her natural state – enjoying life! 

Second Face:

scan0012

This is the face I see continually in my dreams, the face of my true love. He was 19 when I took this picture with the camera he bought me – a Canon AE-1.  We were married for 24 years and had 4 children. He died in 2008. This face has echoes in the living expressions of my kids, and I love that they inherited his warm eyes, his strong jaw, his brilliant smile.  

I have what might be called a photographic memory.  I close my eyes and see faces. Sometimes they are faces that I don’t recognize. I used to play with that ability to imagine crowds of strangers with particular faces and wonder if I had actually seen those faces in passing or if my brain was just making them up. I do know that I pay close attention to faces and always have. Perhaps I do carry those faces within me and always will. No matter how many I collect, I think these will always be #1 and #2. 

Face