janie’s composition

janie’s composition

i spent the whole day today hosting a college junior interested in design. in the process of showing her my workspace and what i do, we sort of accidentally made this image. i was showing her how i setup, how i pick a subject, the things i consider while composing, and the camera settings i use to make the photo. then i showed her how i download the images and pick the best one, and finally how i edit them to get the background to bright white. under the guise of teaching, i had inadvertently made my STILL blog image for the day. i rather like teaching.

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on shutting down the inner critic

tomorrow i am going to be hosting out of town guests for a full day of studio visits with some of the Twin Cities most innovative designers. it took most of my free time today to set up the itinerary and get commitments from everyone. so, when it came time to make a STILL blog photo, it was already late in the day, and i was preoccupied and a little bit at a loss. fortunately, there is my in-case-of-emergency drawer of colorful dried bits. equally fortunately, there is something about being in a hurry that shuts down my inner critic, and as a result many of my favorite compositions have bloomed out of the seemingly barren soil of distraction, hurry, and lack of resources. today i’m pleased to add another to the collection.

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meditation

meditation

my husband tried meditating last year. it got a little too busy around here with tax season for him to maintain the practice, but i hope he takes it up again this spring. i think his brain looks like this tendril a lot of the time. meditation seemed to take hold of his tangled thoughts, and stretch them out into a peaceful sine wave.

wild grape vine tendril

 

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teenage spirit

teenage spirit

these tulips were on my kitchen counter in this arrangement. i simply slid a piece of paper under them and took a photo. when my son saw me editing the photo just now, he said “no. just no.” (he often offers unsolicited feedback these days. he’s 14.) a little surprised, i asked him why not. “because it looks like you are trying to look like a moody aspiring photographer”, he said. so there you have it. possibly a tumble of wilting tulips displaying graphic arcs and fleshy but newly wilting petal heads. or possibly a totally pretentious and empty flirtation with the moody dark side of still life. thank heavens for the teenagers these days. they march on washington. they tell the truth. they give no quarter. they might just change the world.

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syrup season

syrup season

maple syrup season is mostly behind us here. we sometimes tap our big sugar maple in the back yard, but this winter was just a little bit too action-packed to make time for the long process of tapping and boiling. when we first started researching how to do it, and which trees to tap, we learned that box elders also make sap, and therefore syrup, though a little less sweet than maple sap. we later discovered that was because box elder is a variety of maple. and so when i was trying to identify these very maple looking seeds that i knew were not maple, i had to think for a minute before i could remember which tree it was that also made syrup and was sort of a maple but not called a maple. it took my 50 year old menopause brain a little bit of creaky exploring through its own obscure corners. but it came up with box elder eventually. i wish i had some homemade maple syrup to reward it with.

boxelder (maple) seeds in late winter

 

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