24 May 2011

eyes wide open.

Quote love: "If May had a soundtrack, it would be rain falling and pages turning and keys clicking as I type my way through the night. May sounds like a storm pressing down on the roof and a prayer on my lips and a summer love song still vibrating inside my heart." Natalie Lloyd. 
I like: the way the sunset turns the trees into green-grey smudges.

I'm not sure where this post is going, but that's ok. My mind's a little all over the place, and, as a result, this most likely will be. And all the photos? Well, there's an explanation for them too.

It looks like it's going to rain tonight. There's a particularly ominous cloud creeping closer to us, just barely covering up the sun. The storms are my favorite part of spring. There's just the right balance of warmth during the day, a light storm just before the sun sets, and clear skies by the time the stars come out.

This weather begs for a book and a cup of tea, a camera capturing it all. Instead of sitting sprawled out on the wicker porch swing, creaking a rhythm of back and forth and back and forth and back, I'm sitting in the living room. The light is gorgeous tonight, smooth and creamy, and, if you hit it at the right angle, just dreamy enough to put a soft haze around whatever you're photographing. 

Libby, blogger and photographer extraordinaire, wrote a post yesterday that hit straight home. Speaking of forgoing editing in the photo process and just focusing on the photo, she says,
"Of course, editing has a place. But I really want to get the skills of light and composition and depth before I learn the skills of saturation bars and resizing and tinting. To me, it's important that I nurture those raw, instinctive skills of just a camera." 
And so, today I took time to simply "do photography," as Libby puts it.

I took my camera and my 50mm outside, and I looked. I watched. And I saw.

Things look different through a camera lens. 

You notice things you wouldn't have noticed without the viewfinder. Small, insignificant things stand out.

One of my favorite movies is Sabrina. In this story, Sabrina travels to Paris to work for a fashion agency. A friend teaches her how to use a camera, and she documents Paris with her camera. Fast forward, and she's back in America photographing a house for her father's employer. Sabrina explains to him why she loves photography, saying that every time she looks through a camera, it's like finding herself in the middle of a story.

I love that. For me, taking photos (yes, it's cliche) (don't judge) is about capturing the memories. It's about seeing the small beauty with eyes wide open. In Natalie's stellar book Paperdoll, there's a particular paragraph that speaks volumes to me. She writes,

"Anybody can find beauty when it's obvious. Finding subtle beauty and looking for a holy moment in an ordinary day is more of a challenge. And it is usually far more amazing."

And that, friends, is so very true.

Today was heart shaped bokeh, eye doctor appointments (new glasses? oh yes!), re-reading inspiring blog posts (dear Natalie, you never fail to amaze me),  and, of course, picturepicturespictures.

What's happy in your lives right now?


  1. I love the photos: the color of the flowers and the crookedness of the fence and the heart-shaped bokeh. :) It's wonderful just watching through a camera lens, the details you find. Couldn't have said it better myself!

  2. Lovin' the bokeh!!! Great post, yet again :) Better now? ha

  3. Very pretty photos :D It makes me want to go take some pictures myself, but I don't think they'd turn out that nicely.

  4. You just inspired me to make a post...all about my life. (You know, the parts that you don't know yet. My constant thoughts. Gosh, it's going to be hard) But still, this post was simply astounding! Amazing!! I love it. Your photos were just LOVELY, I adore the heart-shaped bokeh :))
    -Jocee <3

  5. I remember when Natalie blogged that quote. I LOVE Sabrina. LOVE IT.

  6. Such beautiful photos! And thanks for quoting me, it's such an honour! :)
    Love the heart-shaped bokeh, and I love Natalie Lloyd's post that you linked to. It's in my bookmarks as well, somewhere in between articles about Holland and a recipe for saltwater taffy.

  7. My first visit here and I scanned your pictures. Through them I saw you had soul. Then I read your words. Through them I saw you had heart. Your words have meaning, poignancy, depth and they were stirring creative thoughts in my own mind. Truly a treat to have stumbled through your world!

  8. These pictures are so pretty, thanks for sharing.

  9. I love your photographs!
    As for things that are happy in my life right now: I would say that I am just happy to be with my family this weekend :) Spending time with the people you love!


  10. Kendall- thank you so much dear!

    Ali- tons better :)

    Ashley- that's pretty much the best thing for a photographer to hear :)

    Jocee- awesomesauce! I can't wait to read it :)

    Jodie- dude. I love YOU too!

    Iona- thanks dear!

    LF- Sabrina is one of my favorite movies ever. So glad you like it too :)

    Libby- of course! Natalie inspires me so much. Her blog is so beautiful. Holland! I.LOVE. that country.

    Gabriella- thank you :)

    Julie- oh my word. thank you SO much for that comment. I cannot believe how sweet that is. It almost made me cry...thank you so much.

    Toyin- thank you!

    erinJO- spending time with family is always good :)

  11. Oh you MUST see the original Sabrina... with Audrey Hepburn. It's fantastic!! :D :D

  12. all of the photos look great. and every thing looks different through your camera lens. i wish i had me a fancy one!


  13. Beautiful photos, Katie. And like you and Libby, I totally agree with that quote. I think people get ahead of themselves and think "I'll fix it in post." I've hardly ever agreed with this concept (except for when the post-work is built into the end product, first).

    Here's a link to my VFX favorite guy, who says that Fact/Moment/Light is what makes a photo great. I try to ignore the fact that the perfect photo = FML. ;) http://prolost.com/blog/2009/4/13/fact-moment-light.html

  14. Caroline- so, how is it comparatively to the new version?

    Sharde- thanks so much!

    TCG- love that post. thank you SO much for the link. :)


go ahead. make my day.