On Noticing

In Inspiration

There’s this image from my past shooting that has been haunting me lately. I shot it way back in 2011, and it’s truly not anything special, but I’ve been seeing it as I move about my day. Walking my son to the bus stop, there are those grasses gone to seed, bending with their own weight, glistening with dew and glowing in the morning sunshine. I see them again along the side of the road, all lined up and leaning out over the curb. These tiny little moments make me a little itchy to grab a photo of them, but so far I haven’t. I haven’t, but why not? I feel like my “noticing” has up and left me.

Here’s my best theory which often sounds a lot more like an excuse. For years I shot daily, and for 2019, I made the choice not to. Rather, I made the choice to not stress the “you must create at least a single photograph everyday” pressure of the 365 project. I would, of course, still shoot with a great deal of regularity, but I wouldn’t have to do it every day if I didn’t want to.

And, you know what? Those grasses are what I’m missing. I’m missing the tiny details of how the light dances around the changing leaves, how the morning dew makes a rainbow out of the lawn, the glow of a tulip, the spiral of the emerging hostas.

It isn’t that I’m not seeing these things, it’s that I’m not shooting them. I’d often grab these images in case something “better” didn’t come along. Looking back, though, these are the images that I stashed away in a folder so I wouldn’t lose them. These are the images that I kept seeing over and over in my photography dreams.

I think I need to get back into practicing my practice. I need to do that daily shooting even if I don’t do anything with an eighth photo of sun-kissed dew on grass. I think I need to make those images so that my noticing stops being taken for granted.

All the best,
Alison

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