My family and I took our first trip to Europe together last month. It was a much anticipated experience for our foursome. About a year of planning went into making it all happen, and I am happy to report the trip was everything we could have hoped for.
I took hundreds of photos I love of famous museums, monuments, tourist attractions, street scenes and water (I’ll post about my underwater adventures soon, I promise), but I left plenty of room for the unexpected too. In keeping with my last post about staying present and mindful when I combine family travel and photography, I kept my approach loose and open as often as possible.
And that’s how I happened upon the story of my two boys and a teeny tiny soccer ball. It’s not unusual for us to purchase a new ball when we travel —- it occupies our active boys and usually leads to a new friendship or two. But something about my boys and that little ball on the spectacular streets of Rome delighted me and I was curious to follow the thread with my camera.
Notice, if you will, words like mindful, present, curious, open — my spiritual practices are weaving their way into my art more and more and I love it. But now, back to that ball . . .
Tiny enough to fit in my tote with my camera, the ball went with us on all of our adventures.
Somewhere along the way, we dubbed the mishmash of hand ball/soccer “Roman Street Ball” and the name stuck.
Particularly helpful during leisurely multi-course meals. This one (below) was taken from my dinner table as I sipped an Aperol Spritz (because, Italy).
Not to mention those quiet moment when you just want some rest from the heat and crowds . . .
Their hands got so filthy (!) — a major downside for this germ obsessed mother — but I got in the habit of carrying hand wipes everywhere for those moments when we needed a quick refresh.
I explore the world with my camera and my children do through play. And actually the two are quite similar if you think about it. Both allow us to engage with our surroundings, they stimulate and challenge us, and help us connect with the new people we encounter, or to help us see things in a slightly different way.
A note on the editing of these photos: I used the Lightroom presets from Mastin Labs, in this case their Ilford Pan F 35mm. I removed the grain and made my own adjustments to the exposure when needed but otherwise what you see is the work of their preset. I don’t typically use presets but I love the dramatic contrast (and the super quick edit!). Fellow Viewfinder Kirstin McKee did a fantastic review of the Mastin Labs mobile version called Filmborn. You can read it here.