"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spring Trees

    I shot these images last spring.  It was on one of those rolls of film that I forgot to bring into the lab.  I have mixed emotions about posting it.  These images were not of the kind that you can't wait to get back from the lab. I wasn't expectant.  And maybe I don't always need to be expectant.  It seems like I often get caught up in my mind telling me that "every image has to be a winner!" 
    And this starts me thinking about the role of showing and sharing my work.  A large part of me is dying for acceptance and it seems like there are many times when I am courting approval of my images.  I really want people to say "wow!" or "nice job" or whatever.  I really want to have my images accepted into shows.  And the scary thing here is that in courting approval I am putting a large amount of power in the hands of an audience.
     I need to realize that right now my images are not about the subject matter.  My images are not being made with showing in mind or receiving accolades.  Right now my images are about a journey I'm on.  My images are about process.  The process is about being in the present moment and noticing what I am noticing and then photographing what I am noticing.  It is a simple journey that really at this point has no place for an audience.  I think that may be a different journey altogether.


  1. Carol, I feel very much as you do about seeking approval vs. staying connected to what being on the journey is all about. I find one key thing I need to do is to really look at the images I'm making, rather than being dismissive of any of them, and look for strengths and weaknesses.

    As for your images here, first let me be clear - *I am in no way "approving" your work, nor am I "dissing" your work* :-). Can I just say what I find compelling about that top image? The colors are wonderfully saturated and create interesting zones within the composition. There is also an great mix of textures from the leaves of the tree, the brickwork, and the dusting of blossoms on the pavement. And those two areas of blue spray paint call to mind clouds, passing by the tree. So I would say you succeeded here - you obviously noticed a very compelling composition within a rather every day, mundane scene and made a great image of it.

  2. Carol, well said. As long as YOU are enjoying your journey, everything else is irrelevant. And to me, your photographs make me believe that you are
    really enjoying the ride.

    And may I just add..."Wow. Nice job!"

  3. HI Carol, from my point of view your images are definatley 'wow' and 'nice' job. I love all the ones you have posted and I can see you have a special eye. Carla

  4. Carol, thank you for articulating that pull - I think it's worthwhile to remain aware of it, and easy to be drawn into it. It seems to me that your presence in the moment of your photographs is what's most valuable about them ... and what makes it possible to make art from everyday life. For example, I'm guessing that your having been present contributed in a major way to your perceptions of the wonderful colors and textures in these photos, to your having seen the potential for photos in a way that's uniquely yours. I'm interested to know what your journey will be like.

  5. The second image is wonderful..when I look at this image it makes me wnder what the artist saw..how they would want the viewer to interpret their visiton..to me that is very important when shooting an image such as this..

  6. Hi.
    the second image is a clever work, it looks like yin-yang in a way.
    Doing photography is a good reflection. I belive images that we take actually represent a phase where we are right now.

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  8. Well I'm glad you decided to post these, great use of colour. What film did you use?

  9. I use Kodak Portra 160VC for all my color work. I also do some minor post-processing color tweaking/fine tuning. I am usually taking out a small amount of red/adding a small amount of cyan. I usually darken my images slighlty also.