Don’t you love free online classes? I certainly do, especially when I get to have lessons from photographers I admire. Christina Greve is one of those photographers. When I saw the class description, I though first, uh, not my “style.” I struggle with still life photography. I don’t know enough about setting up the scene and styling. And my props are next to none.
But then I read the philosophy. It’s NOT a photography class. It’s really a series of prompts to get us to stop, listen, see, smell, taste, hear, and feel the everyday. I think it’s all about contemplative photography practices, but I’m not telling her that!
This is the assignment for week one: look for the “little” things that are all around that we may take for granted because, well, they are all around us every day. I’m thinking: there are the orchids currently in a dormant state; the yellowed ivory of the piano keys; my wedding china in the china cabinet. Outside are the zinnias and Queen Anne’s lace and the sharp lines and ridges of broken shale rock, the softness of moss, crinkly lichens on trees, rough roots (that have a tendency to jump up out of the ground just to trip me up!), fallen red “trumpets” from the trumpet vine, a lone purple Rose of Sharon bloom. . . . I was so busy looking this morning, I forgot to take pictures!
I think this is one of the things that the practice of contemplative photography does: it develops in the practitioner the habit of seeing the details of everyday life, the ones we often overlook. I confess that sometimes I forget to look in directions other than straight ahead as I march through the days. This morning, I walked around the ponds, and I KNOW it must have been there the first time I marched around the big pond. It was on the second lap that I found the feather. (It’s in my pocket to add to my treasure box of feathers and shells.)