Welcome back to Week In The Life™ 2014.
On Monday I took a lot of shots that included me and the people I interact with most. Today (Tuesday) I decided to simply focus on what I see and use that as the jumping off point for my images and my words.
As some of you noticed yesterday, I generally like to use a wider angle lens (the 24-70 opened all the way up) because I like to include the environment in my photos. It goes along with my "tell me more" philosophy. What else tells a story within the photo? What insignificant background stuff will be interesting in years to come? How can I tell more of the story?
Today I went for a bit more balance and intentionally included some closer shots as well as more stuff around the house.
Every photo we take includes a story - many include multiple stories that go layers deep. You tell one and realize how hard it is to tell one without telling another (or giving context) and so on. So many threads and opportunities in each photo.
The story of today includes these thoughts:
- My kids are growing up. Wow. And this isn't in the sad, longing-for-those-baby-years sort of feeling. My main thought right now is this: my kids are RAD. They are good kids. Of course they both have their own stuff, like every other human on the planet, but I love the people they are becoming.
- I'm doing the best I can with what I have in front of me right now.
- Have you guys noticed how people are talking about story everywhere? I know it's not really something new and maybe it's one of those things where once you become aware of it you see it all over the place, but man, it's really everywhere. From business to sports to global development to fundraising to education and on and on. Stories are powerful things. I was reminded again how lucky we are that we get to tell our own stories, that we get to define the narrative of our lives by simply taking photos and writing down the words. How awesome that we get to give our voice to the world and our families and friends - however shy, loud, etc.
- Today is also the day that I remind you that this isn't a competition or a race.
- The concept of seeing your life, and yourself, though the lens is a powerful one. Adding words to those thoughts adds a whole other layer of context and depth.
TUESDAY PHOTOS & STORIES
About 100 DSLR + about 19 iPhone shots
Tuesday began and ended with rain. The hard kind of rain that you can hear stomping down on the roof.
I saw myself, up at about 6:30am after multiple snoozes, sitting at my desk first thing even before a fresh cup of coffee. Checking in, reading, thinking, planning, assessing, responding, deleting. I'm one of those people that starts fast - before I'm out of bed I've got ten things I'm clicking through on my list.
It's a blessing and a challenge.
I saw myself getting my first cup of coffee, taking my medications, and playing with the self-timer again.
Something I'm personally working on with my photography as you might have noticed, is embracing the contrast between dark and light and figuring out how to effectively capture that through my lens.
I think sometimes I shy away from darker images because I want the nice, clean, bright white images (or because that's what I want my life to look like - how many times have I said I want to dip my entire house in white paint?). But man those darker ones tell good, interesting stories. They communicate a completely different mood and often a different time. They actually feel different. They are far from perfect, often including grain or noise.
Much like life itself.
I saw myself at the breakfast table with Anna again this morning. Banana & cereal for her. Coffee for me. I stopped getting the local paper recently and I'm missing it and not quite sure what to do with myself when I sit down at the table in the very early morning.
For those of you who feel like you do the same thing everyday (there are elements of that in play here), consider different angles. Yesterday I took a shot of Anna and I eating breakfast from the other side of the room, today I set up the camera in the kitchen and set the timer.
I saw Anna, hot pink hat and rainbow shoes + her school uniform, in the backseat holding the iPad in her lap. Technology is intrenched around here again and I'm assessing how I feel about it for myself and for them. I set limits. I get lax. I want conversation. I want quiet. A lot of paradoxes all around.
And man, she's great at loving words. That's actually what comes to mind when I look at this photo tonight. She is mighty but kind.
I saw Simon, excited in his new glasses, happy that it was Taco Tuesday.
After dropping the kids off and filling the tank with gas I decided to see what I could see around the yard and in the house. I was looking for things that captured my attention. Things that represent the current season - in weather and in life.
I saw dahlias hanging on.
And tomatoes past their prime which tell a story of best intentions, of travel, of distraction and decay.
I saw George sleeping soundly on the couch after a night out.
I saw images and art on the wall and made a mental note that I want to add more and move things around. It's been a long time since I made that a priority.
I saw well-loved dolls and stuffed animals in a crib waiting for attention to be paid.
I saw the lock that needs to be replaced.
I saw outdoor chairs and a table that were purchased from a second-hand store the week we moved into this house.
I saw dishes from last night and this morning.
I saw Anna's handwriting on her door and the glass knob that needs adjusting.
I saw myself adding dishes to the dishwasher which is an act of procrastination as much as it is a necessary task.
I saw myself washing my hands in the sink and looking out the window which is one of my favorite views into the backyard.
I saw myself back at my desk. Working through a long list, yet distracted and off-focus. Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard. Listening to Dave Matthews and NPR. Chatting with Cathy. Watching the clock as it ticked toward the time I need to go get the kids.
I saw George again and wished I was curled up in that bed too.
I saw my desk filled with the current tasks at hand.
I saw the leaves changing color on the way to pick up Anna. Driving on this street (Jefferson) at this time of year is one of my favorite things because of the trees. They create an amazing canopy of bright autumn colors with trees on both sides of the street reaching out to touch the ones on the other side. I took this shot with the sunroof closed, holding my camera in one hand as I was stopped at a light.
I saw drops and drops and more drops of rain on my windshield. This is western Oregon after all.
I saw Anna at gymnastics and got the news that she's been invited to join one of the development/pre-team classes. She was super excited to know that she was going to get to start going twice a week next week.
I saw Simon's teacher filled in his martial arts worksheet. He'll be happy to turn that in during his lesson on Friday.
After returning home from after school activities (Simon at lego club and Anna at gymnastics), I saw them go about the process of putting away the dishes I had loaded earlier while I got dinner ready. I saw myself get frustrated with Anna as she melted down in the middle of the task. I saw Simon bristle at the confrontation and de-escalted myself in reaction to his body language.
I remind myself that she's five, almost six. It goes with the territory. Around here we call it "hangry" (hungy + angry = hangry). It's an after-activity-before-dinner episode that would be eliminated if I just got it together and brought her a snack to have on the way home from whatever activity she just completed.
Note to self | don't forget the after-the-activity-snack + the after-school-before-activity-snack.
This is where my Mom would tell me I was exactly like that when I was a kid.
I saw him put on his green ninja Halloween costume that came in the mail. I saw Anna run up to her room to put on her Tiana costume. I saw them chase each other around a few times with swords and a light saber. I saw him retreat when he'd had enough into the little room off the foyer and turn on the Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
I saw her get her PJ's on, brush her teeth and then climb into my bed.
I had one of those days with her where I said "just a minute Anna" one too many times. Totally on me. I saw me not giving her the time she needed to connect with me because my list is long. Thankfully I get to try again tomorrow. To keep recalibrating. To remember what are the most important things and to get stuff done in the time scheduled. Work in progress.
I saw her walk into my office a half-hour or so later and proceed to work on writing letters and, as she calls it, "math-ing it' - meaning she was writing out numbers and counting and laughing out loud about how awesome she thought it was to add up numbers. It's hard to tell her to go back to bed when she's learning (and she doesn't have school for the next few days due to conferences).
SHARE YOUR TUESDAY
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