Music and Art

Life Is In The Little Things (Or Why All The People At The Park Think I’m A Giant Weirdo)

In which I pretend to be a serious photography hobbiest and attempt to only take photos of texture.

Series 1: The Neighbah-hood

Pronounced as such because my New England roots are having a resurgence of sorts. This first series of photos was taken during a 70-degree walk around the cul de sac. (I know some people enjoy it, but I find that 70 degrees in February in Iowa is…creepy. There’s a reason I chose not to live in Florida.) I love the neighborhood where we live. It’s peaceful and quiet and safe. It’s also incredibly boring. Like so…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I took a bunch of photos, but the 3 least boring are below.

#1. “Sometimes I Like To Pretend I Still Live Near The Ocean”

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My neighborhood has an identity crisis. It’s basically a giant circle and half of the circle was developed in the 1960s-70s. This half has gigantic, mature 80-foot oak trees and a lot of personality. The other half of the circle was built in the last 15ish years and is a series of perfect, cookie-cutter condos. They also apparently don’t believe in leaves on this side of the circle. They do, however, have a random spot with these Boston-esque pillars around their man-made ponds. It’s very out of character, but also tres romantique in an odd sort of way. (Lately I haven’t been able to walk by here though because the Canadian Geese also like to hang out here and they scare the bejeezus out of me.)

Anyway, the pillars are textured so I took a picture since that was the point of this week’s self-imposed assignment. That’s about it.

#2. “The Drama of Shadows” (or “I felt like an idiot when a car drove by and saw me taking this photo”)

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I honestly considered not including this one because it’s pretty boring, but in the moment it felt very artistic.

#3. “A Statement on the Rigidity of American Society and the Superficiality of the American Dream”

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Just kidding! It’s a white, plastic fence. If I was feeling ambitious, I’m sure there’s a metaphor in here somewhere, but I’m writing this on a Saturday, so I reserve the right to not use my brain if I don’t want to. And I don’t want to.

Series 2: If It’s Going to Be this Warm, We Might as Well Pretend It’s Summer

Series 2 is from an out-of-season hike Adam and I went on in order to take advantage of the summer-in-February weather. For all the flack Iowa gets for being flyover country, they really have some pretty stellar state parks.

#1. “Apparently I Have a Thing for Fences (and Wide Apertures)”
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So I know this project was intended to be a study on texture, but it turns out textures are boring. Instead, I discovered that I love playing with depth of field and the aperture setting. There’s something about the background being slightly out of focus that is just sooooooooo dramaaaaaaaaaatic.

#2. “A Statement on the Downfall of American Intellectualism and Modern Democracy”
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Or, ya know, maybe it’s just a sign and since it’s winter, the rangers haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet?

This scene just sort of struck me as poetic. The only man-made object in an otherwise untouched state park (except, of course, for the hoards of people at picnic tables just off camera).

#3. “Signs of Spring (Soon to Be Crushed by the Cruel Hand of Winter)”

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Probably the best texture-based photo I actually took. I love the lighting and the way the bark pops and the soft mossy-ness in the background.

Things Learned from Photographing Texture:
  1. Texture is boring. Better photographers than I could probably do this topic justice, but I am not that talented. I think I prefer photographing people/life, like this sweet face.

    This is Loki. He lives on my street and is very aptly named.
    This is Loki. He lives on my street and is very aptly named.
  2. I feel like an idiot taking pictures. I know it’s something I just need to get over, but I feel ridiculous crouching down and moving around to get the right photo. I was definitely that weirdo during our state park outing.
  3. My neighborhood is boring.
  4. The colors of winter are boring. Why is everything orange??? (It’s not even normal winter colors!).

20 thoughts on “Life Is In The Little Things (Or Why All The People At The Park Think I’m A Giant Weirdo)

      1. Ahhhh cool, the quality is amazing 😀 out of interest, how do you upload your pictures to WordPress? When I upload pictures from my camera to WordPress, even well focused pictures come out blurry. Do you change the file format or crop photos before uploading? xx

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      2. That’s so weird. I don’t think I’m doing anything special. I typically edit/crop my photos in Google Photos first but then I just use the media upload option on WP.

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  1. I actually love your thing for fences. A part of me is hoping you one day have a gallery wall of JUST fence photos. Just…. dozens of photos of fences. And when people come over and comment on them, you just wave a hand grandly and cryptically say, ‘It’s a comment on modern society’ before changing the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these photos and didn’t think your neighbourhood looks boring. It looks sunny! 🙂

    I really like playing with depth of field and the aperture setting too, although I often forget how. I also don’t think you’re alone for feeling like a weirdo when you take photos. I feel the same…especially within a city. It’s better out in the countryside where there are fewer people to see you snap.

    Liked by 1 person

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