Sunday, July 8, 2012

God Tryin' to get Your Attention


I was so excited when I captured this photo. I had borrowed my daughter's SLR camera and went out on a photo shoot with a friend from my photography class. We agreed that we should continue to meet after the class was over to continue supporting each other's progress. It was the first photography class I had ever taken. All of the students had varying degrees of skill and experience. Some used point and shoot cameras, some used professional looking cameras and long lenses. Most of my experience was on an Iphone camera. I had taken and stored over 4, 000 photos on it .But I had also been experimenting with my daughter's 35 mm Digital SLR Camera, so I brought that. At the time I was mostly using  automatic settings. I called the Teacher in advance to see what the class was all about.
 It was a three day class. It was called Italian Market Immersion Experience. 


First day: Meet at the Italian Market, each go our separate ways, Immerse ourselves in the Italian Market, and capture what appeals to us. Use whatever camera you brought. Capture any way you can. Have fun. O.K. I can do all that. When It came to capturing images, and angles, composition and framing: I felt confident. 
  I was also taking an art class at the time. My ninety three year old teacher had begun the class with this sentence, "Before you begin, 'Decide what it is you want to say' ." As an artist, there's always some underlying feeling or notion that strikes you in such a way that you want to capture and share it. You see an image juxtaposed against another, or an emotion displayed and it strikes you. 
It's like that Blues song by Keb Mo, called 
God trying to Get Your attention. 

"...Might look like a plan
Or a coalition
Or it might be God trying to get your attention
Ohhh
Well you might be deaf
Or you might be dumb
You'll get the answer
When the answer comes
It might be news 
On your television
Or it might be God trying to get your attention
It might be God trying to get your attention..."


And that's exactly how I feel when I have my camera in hand and want to capture something. 
It's the moment before I begin shooting. 
I've been struck with the message I want to convey.

 I've decided what it is that I want to say. 

 I'm never sure if the viewer will see it in the way I did.
 I'm never sure if it will strike them in the same way. 
But it doesn't matter.
It did what it needed to do, for ME.
 Maybe they will see what they need to see, in their own God-given way. 

Second Day of my first ever Photography Class. We were told to have chosen 6 photos and print them in 8x10's. Only 6. I had taken over 100. This task was daunting. Which ones do you choose when you are expected to present them and extrapolate? I chose these 6. 







We all presented and discussed our pictures. We all "oohed" and "ahhed" over each other's unique perspectives while still valuing our own. We helped each other choose 2 of the six for our 
Third and final day of class:
Meet at the frame shop to learn how to and mat and frame our work. We chose basic black metal frames and our work was then displayed back at the Night School Building for all to see. The two I chose were the Olives and the Knives. Choosing the six was hard. Am I looking for universal appeal? Am I looking for what might be considered classically a "good" picture? 
Or am I to choose the 6 that really show who I am as an Artist? How I see the World.

Who I am.

I think I struck it down the middle. 

But getting back to the first picture. The one that compelled me to write this post. 
  Butterfly hovering above the lavender. If you want to know why I am so thrilled with this picture, this is why. First of all, I captured a moving object by using the right shutter speed. And secondly, because of what happened-- what I noticed-- before I captured it. As I was fumbling with the lenses, and the shutter speeds--hoping in earnest to have the opportunity with this White Butterfly and these Lavender stems to  
say what I wanted to say
 - a gentle breeze came by. The butterfly, who had been fluttering about- from lavender stem to lavender stem had landed on one it found appealing, and despite the wind's most gallant attempt to remove him from the stem- 

It was determined to hold on. 
Perhaps for me to see,

or perhaps it's just what Butterflies do.

Or Maybe it's God Tryin' to Get my Attention.....

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