Friday, April 28, 2006

Spring is here. Brrrr!

The sun is bright and...well...sunny. It looks like bathing suit weather out there. But that wind is CHILLY. Brrr. Brrr brrr brrr! Took a walk around to bring you some sure signs of spring at Dance's house. The japanese maple leaves are coming out. It amazes me how they come out and look like dead butterflies, and slowly open like umbrellas into their cheerful red selves. It will be at least another week before these look like actual leaves. What is concerning however, is only one small branch is leafing out. The rest of the tree is bare. Buds, green under the bark, but no leaves. Perhaps the rest of the tree knows something weatherwise and hasn't told THIS branch yet. I love how the deep red works with the green from the grass and the bright white/grey of the stones and concrete of the patio. Next we have the asparagus patch. It is a little weedy yet, the gardener hasn't come to do his clean up yet. I am no longer "the gardener". I just can't do the bending or pulling anymore. I tried getting a special weeding rake, and it does work. But it's no better on the back than hand pulling in the long run. So thus, a gardener. At least he, unlike DH, does exactly as I tell him ;). Thought some of you who didn't know that asparagus actually grows from the ground might like to see it. Tee hee! I get about this much asparagus a day in the spring, which I eat all by myself and do not share. And this is Jasmine, posing pretty on a kitchen chair. In a few minutes that sunbeam will be fully on her, and she is just the type to sit and wait for it.

Now that the "show" portion of the day is overwith, let's get on with the "tell", shall we? How about I tell you that my DH is a photo critic. His idea of a good picture and mine are totally different. He normally takes our "holiday" photos. Birthdays, christmas, vacations, things like that. Now, I am not saying he takes bad pictures, because he does not. But when I take a picture it is usually for artsy fartsy purposes and not to document an event. I take close ups of things, whereas he likes to get a LOT of background in the photo. I can see some bent pieces of grass and think "wow, what a neat background for some stationary" and he asks why I am taking pictures of weeds????

The japanese maple leaf photo above is a good case in point. I know they don't look like leaves. I wasn't aiming for a perfect leaf photo. What I wanted was a composite of the various colours (red, green, white) and textures (leaf, fence, stone). He looked over my shoulder and says "That looks like crap". Thank you. Now move along. It would never occur to him to snap a pic of growing asparagus or the dog's tail. An aside here. You won't be seeing Ruby's tail photo. For some reason, it does not picture well on it's own. I wanted to post a pic of her curly piggy cinnamon bun tail, but it ends up coming across looking like a pile of feces - literally like a pile of fuzzy dog poop - or male genitals. I have decided in the spirit of keeping this a somewhat PG blog, that the picture would not be received well and deleted it from the camera card.

He will watch me drape a piece of knitting or crocheting over something else and say "if you move it over you can get that other thing right out of the picture". Um, no thanks. That 'other thing' is in the picture for interest purposes. I also like to futz with my pictures. I crop them, I play with the brightness and contrast. Sometimes I adjust the colour. I have been known to 'smudge' the background a bit or paint items out of the background. And I ALWAYS remove the red eye (unless I find it amusing). He basically shoots and prints. If I had asked him to take a picture of the maple, it would have been a tiny thing in the middle of the picture with a wide swatch of the street around it. I, on the other hand, sometimes go for the 'extreme close up' angle.

When taking pictures, and with many things in life, I like to take risks. Get creative. I am not afraid to lie on the ground or stand on a chair to get a good shot. I once took a close up of the newly cut lawn with a few leaves on it, blew it up, printed it four times on legal sized paper, and had them mounted and laminated as place mats. I LOVED those things. He thought they were a little odd. He would rather have taken a regular photo of people milling about and used that. I think maybe I am more abstract and he is more literal. He says "SMILE" when he is behind the camera. I say "Lift your eyes towards heaven and think sad thoughts" or "show me perky" or "Pretend you are a showgirl!". One of my fave pics of DD, she is wrapped in a blanket with her pooh doll and she is sad. He says too bad she isn't smiling, but it is the sadness of the photo that makes it so touching for me. Another was a spontaneous tilt of the head, hands under chin, and eyes towards heaven with a peaceful smile. He didn't like that one at first and dismissed it as silly, but it has grown on him.

I don't fancy myself a photographer or anything like that, but I like to get creative and use the camera as a means to an end rather than just take pictures of people eating and waving and smiling and call it the end. You know?

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