Freelensing was first introduced to me over two years ago on a photography forum I belong to. Someone shared her experience of experimenting with detaching her lens to take pictures, and I marveled at what she came up with. The works were dreamy, flawed, blurry, photographic prose. I immediately grabbed my Nikon to try it out.
But…it didn’t work. I couldn’t see through the viewfinder, and only saw a black screen when I pressed the shutter button. What was going on?
Winter here was a bust. Two snowfalls, neither amounting to much of anything. Goo got to use her brand-new sled only twice, and the only snowman she was able to build was no taller than her shin. Though she and Chris had a blast, the dry, brown winter has left me in desperate need of a vacation.
Still, our trip to Cedar Point isn’t for another few months, and money is tight. So we went to the zoo instead. Perhaps surrounding ourselves in exotic animals–despite the sixty degree temps–would jolt us back to life.
When I think about my childhood, I’m often consumed with images of blue skies and crisp mornings. While our parents worked, my brother and I spent our summer days at our great-grandma’s house. It was an adorable little thing with blue siding and white shutters. The backyard was wooded with oaks and mulberry trees, of which we’d pick clean, and the limbs above always seemed to be alive with birds, the cheerup cheerup of robins and cardinals in the morning and the scream of jays in the afternoon. Hummingbirds buzzed by to take sips of the nectar Grandma hung for them on the porch. And the grass below was always filled with treasures: the powdery blue shells of robins’ eggs, bird feathers, pine cones still sticky with sap, and more mulberries. My brother and I would stain our hands purple and red as we popped the ripest ones into our mouths.
And when I look back on it all, I see the color blue. Blue eggs and blue skies and blue flowers and blue birds and the blue siding of her quaint little house.
Creativity starved, I brought out my camera, cranked the ISO to accommodate the dark and dreary morning, and pointed it at things. Goo was staring out the window when she noticed what I was doing and I snapped this before she had a chance to react. It’s hard to get candids of her these days, as she has grown to see my camera as just another one of my limbs and can’t resist making goofy faces. It’s possible she put one on at the last minute before I took this photo, but the shadows will never lift to reveal it. I kept the shutter speed high, despite the darkness of the room. I wanted to draw the light in from the outside and let it paint the rest of our surroundings.
Little tiny patches of light here and there, like the curve of yin dark enough to show a sprinkle of stars.
My husband has always been a dog lover–just the touch of their cold noses is therapeutic for him–and his dream has always been to add a purebred husky to the family. Something about cuddling with a descendant of wolves–descendants who appreciate snow as much as he does–makes his green eyes glitter with stars.
When Goo was born, the dog lovers in our house increased. Goo is always excited to see dogs being walked down the street, and beams wider than the sun when we see them at the park. No matter the dog, Goo asks each owner that crosses her path if she can pet it, and she laughs her little head off when the dog responds with kisses.
So, for the last several months, I’ve been (secretly) throwing the idea around in my mind to add a dog to our little family.
What better time to start a photography blog than on Friday the 13th, during a full moon cycle, as an ice storm approaches outside? I’m sure I’ll be at my back window with my camera when the thundersleet arrives.
I decided to start this blog because I’ve reached something of a milestone. I’m turning thirty in a few weeks (maybe less, I’ve stopped counting) and after spending my entire twenties pursuing a traditional career as an author, I’ve finally had enough of plotting, revising, writer’s block, and empty goals. This same “epiphany” happened around three years ago when Goo was 8 months old and I closed my writing program for two years.
But I still love to write, and I love photography. I’ve always toyed with combining the two. I think this will keep me in the present and remind me of the real legacy I’m creating. Because, if I’m being honest with myself, my books are not the greatest thing I will leave behind.
Life is short. It’s gotten even shorter, it seems, since Goo was born, and I can’t spend it working tirelessly on a dream that may never arrive. But I can celebrate life with this blog, and with this blog I can also celebrate my family, and myself.
Have a good Friday! To those stuck in this storm: stay safe and warm.