I recently finished reading an encyclopedia of dinosaurs and the beginning of evolution, which sparked my idea to illustrate my own interpretations of the origins of the universe. In order to do this, I needed some clouds. After looking outside and seeing nothing but an overcast sky, I got discouraged. However, I awoke the following day not just to clouds, but to dark storm clouds lined with sunshine. Talk about inspired. The entire afternoon I photographed various storm clouds from the empty farm fields within the ten mile radius of my house. These images are Creation and The Big Bang. I haven't gotten to Evolution yet, partially because I haven't thought of anything and partially because I don't buy evolution anyway.
After discovering a fairly old Amazing Circles contest by accident on Flickr, I thought it might be fun to play around with the technique. Making circles is addictive, by the way. You can take any old picture and turn it into a spiffy sphere in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, a circle, no matter how remarkable, looks terribly boring all by its lonesome. So, I thought I might experiment with some botanical garden photos by incorporating the orbs. And I had a blast.
In the few weeks after Christmas, work slows down to the extreme of maybe going in a few hours a week if I'm lucky. To challenge the woes of boredom, I spent some time at the local bookshop flipping through photography books to get ideas. I was enamored by Bryan Peterson's book of close-up photography. He had the coolest photo of a cheese grater I have ever seen, which I tried to duplicate and loathed the results. However, his suggestion of oil and scrapbook paper really got the creative juices flowing. I spent an entire afternoon playing with dyes, oil, and bubbles on glass, completely curing my plague of boredom.
A few years ago, I discovered an unbelievable smoke photographer, thanks to a former co-worker. In the past I have made a few miserable attempts at smoke photography, and just this week found a trick to it. Before, I simply had a point and shoot (not that I'm going to dog on point and shoots, because some truly fabulous work can come from such cameras) and not enough light. My pictures came out blurry, and grainy, and downright awful. Thanks to mi esposo fabuloso, I am now the proud owner of a Gary Fong Lightsphere. So with my SLR and my lightsphere, I was able to capture spirals and loops of incense.
These photos are a prime example of the capabilities of a point and shoot camera. Oh, and the glories of Photoshop. I spent a rainy day photographing raindrops, bubbles, and rocks being thrown into the pond behind our house. Making the most out of a dreary day has now decorated my downstairs bathroom.
One of my more recent obsessions has been with kaleidoscopes. I love how even the ugliest scene can be transformed into geometric beauty through something as simple as mirrors reflecting off one another. More than one attempt has been made to capture the absolute grooviness of a kaleidoscope, but I was always left a little frustrated by the lack of clarity. And, out of complete naivety, I announced to my husband that we were going to make our own. A bigger one. After a long night, we managed to build a kaleidoscope large enough to fit over the lens of my camera. Of course, no really awesome kaleidoscope photographers will share their secrets of how they made theirs, but I'm going to be nicer. Mine was crafted out of 9 square mirrors, a beer case out of the recycling, and lots and lots of packaging tape.
A friend of mine informed me that I needed to take a self-portrait, which I have no desire to do. So, he suggested that I do something more abstract that I could perhaps pass off as a self-portrait. After some thought, I came to the conclusion that I would focus on photographing a physical representation of my aura. Something bright and cheery, maybe a little obnoxious, and airy (because I tend to flit from one thing to another). The answer lay in feathers.