Saturday, October 29, 2011

I've Moved!

The Kat Eye View of the World has moved to Come visit me at my new location!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bye, Bye Blogger

Exit of a Chicago el train station

Come Monday, The Kat Eye View of the World will have a new home! It's time to move the blog and everything else located here to a new location, integrated into my new website: Over the weekend I'll be doing all of the final work to launch the new site and the blog in its new location on Monday. I'm so excited to share it with you all!!

If I do everything correctly with the changes and redirects, this should be fairly transparent to everyone. Not being a full-time web person however, there are likely to be a couple of bumps along the way. You can't make a change as big as this one without going through some growing pains. I hope you'll stick with me as I learn the ropes and settle in.

I thought I might be a bit sad, leaving this cozy little place on Blogger that I created over time. But since the words and images go with me, and the new site fits so much better (room to breathe!), the sadness hasn't materialized. I just feel excitement and a smidge of nervousness for the transition, hoping it all goes ok.

Time to head out! See you on the other side.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exploring Texture

Does this image have texture? I think so. Maybe on a larger scale than we normally think of texture, but it is on the surface and brings more interest to the painting of the coffee cup painted on the side of this Florence, Oregon building.

We have finished up the first with of Exploring with a Camera: Found Texture, and as usual, you all have shown how much wonderful texture there is to capture with our cameras. We still have another week with this wonderful topic! Keep looking for texture, and link in below.

Take a few moments to look at the links others have shared, see what types of textures appeal to you. Look at how light and color all work together, when photographing texture. There is so much to learn, when we open our eyes to see. Thanks for joining me!

(And don't forget, there is a giveaway this time. You enter to win the postcards by linking in!)

FYI - Links will be moderated. Please use a permalink, ensure that your linked image is on topic, and include a link back to this site in your post through the Exploring with a Camera button (available here) or a text link. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At the Threshold of Balance

It's no secret that over the last two weeks, since returning home from Chicago, I've been thinking about balance. I started out by diving into a plan of how to achieve it, but realized that there is a bigger question that has to be answered: What does balance mean to me anyway? I can't develop a plan for balance if I don't have a target of what balance looks like for my life.

For me, balance does not mean focusing on any one thing to the exclusion of others. My life is a dance, moving from side to side of the dance floor. Each side has something different to offer, something different it needs. It encompasses so much more than one "thing." I don't think there is one word that can capture all of this: Photographer/Teacher/Writer/Engineer/Mother/Wife/Friend. There is no all or nothing.

In my photography, balance starts with deciding what is in and out of the frame before I take the picture. But it doesn't stop there, it continues as I play around with different compositions and views. I need to remember I'm doing the same in life - experimenting and playing with the elements that make up my life to create a balanced whole. There is no realistic expectation that says we will get it all right and perfect on the first try.  There is no realistic expectation that we will get it all right and perfect, ever. Maybe perfection happens for a brief moment in time, but life is subject to change.

I'm at the threshold of balance right now. Deciding what is in and out of the frame of life. From there I'll experiment with the details and see how to make things fit in a balanced way. It feels much simpler and freer to think of it as an experiment, where I'm testing to see the outcome, than as a commitment where I "fail" if I don't get it right.

What does balance mean to you? How do you manage this ever-changing process of achieving balance in your life?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicago & Me

Chicago & Me
We danced a little dance
of lines and curves.

Looking up, up up,
I forgot to look down,
and saw inside instead.

Saw that life
is play
and art
and travel
and friends.
Life is joy
in the moment,

A camera,
an orange umbrella
are all I need
to be happy.

City of lines and curves,
of light reflected back,
I see Me.

Forgive the random poetry, I'm reading a book of poetry right now and was inspired by the snippets of ideas strung together. These photos were taken at the Cloud Gate sculpture, aka "The Bean," in Millenium park in Chicago. It was quite empty as I walked past on my way to the Art Institute, and I couldn't resist a few self portraits with my orange umbrella. The moment just made me happy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paint the Music

Can you imagine a world without music? I can't. As much as I love the visual arts, I love music too. What a fun combination of music + painting I found a couple of months ago, in a window in downtown Corvallis. Bringing colors and sounds together, in one place. I had fun composing this shot with all of the bits and pieces of violins visible.

Music is on my mind today, because we saw Matt Nathanson in concert last night in Portland. Hearing great music live is a favorite thing of mine. Whether a symphony orchestra at La Scala in Milan or Matt in the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, there is a different experience of hearing music live. You feel it in deep in your body, you can't help but move. And when the whole audience loves the music and is singing along? Wow, what an energy! Music is another soul language, it short cuts the brain and connects right to your soul.

Matt is a great musician, and a fantastic entertainer. His live shows do not disappoint. This was Brandon's first concert (that he was awake for - he slept through a Matchbox 20 concert a number of years ago), and he was so excited. As we headed home, he said his favorite song, Faster, was even "catchier" live. I think he's got my live music bug. Maybe some will consider us irresponsible parents for taking a 10 year old to a concert on a school night, but I can't help but believe that learning to love music is an important part of his life education too.

We had another great side benefit, being introduced to Scars on 45, the opening band. They are from England and are definitely worth a listen. I'll leave you with a song from them today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back to Bologna

Yesterday as I was writing yesterday's Exploring with a Camera: Found Texture post I rediscovered an image for my market/wheels series. Taken over a year ago, this street scene in Bologna captured my interest for the texture, the scooter and the bustling street market. It was taken before I "discovered" my market/wheels series early last year. How many more images for this series do I have, hidden in my archives? I hope to find out.

As part of my goal to seek balance, I want to go back and sort through the thousands of images from my time in Italy. Seek a balance of working with the old and the new. Some of these images have been reviewed, edited and shared, but many, many more have not. I know I will learn more and see more with this review, both about myself and my photography. And hey, I can learn how to categorize and edit even more in Lightroom too, at the same time. Perfect.

I hope you all have a great weekend planned! I'll be working on my website, getting it ready to launch very shortly. I would love to have you to visit me in a few places, while I'm busy working...
- Musing on "home" at Mortal Muses, with a story of quilts, handmade with love.
- An interview on the Seek Your Course blog with me.
- Today I am the "Sparkling Sponsor" for the World's Biggest Summit. Yay! Welcome to all coming by! You can still sign up and join in this great, free class.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Exploring with a Camera: Found Texture

Yay! It's Exploring with a Camera day! After a week off exploring in Chicago I'm ready to explore with you all here on the blog. Today we'll be diving into Found Texture in our images. At the end of the post you will find a link up to share your explorations of the topic over the next two weeks. There is a giveaway going along with this too! Keep reading to find out more.

It is no secret that I love texture in my images. I remember when I first started capturing images of texture for texture's sake in Italy. I didn't know what was going on, why I was drawn to capture images of peeling paint. It made no sense to me at the time! Now I know... it's all about the texture.

In this exploration, we will be focusing on Found Texture, texture that is already existing and captured with your camera, not added texture in post-processing. Adding texture layers in post-processing is a popular and very fun way of changing your image, but that's not the focus of this topic.

Let's learn more about Found Texture...

What is Texture?

By my definition, a texture is found on the surface of a form. (Form is the representation of a three-dimensional object. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, visit the past Exploring with a Camera: Finding Form post.) Here's an example to help: Consider an object in the shape of a sphere. The sphere is the form, but the surface of the sphere may be smooth, like the tomato shown below, or rough, like the orange. If you are struggling with the concept of texture vs. form, think of this way: If you can imagine an object to have a different surface texture, but the underlying form of the object stays the same, you are distinguishing texture and form.

The surface holds the texture, and the texture gives an additional dimension to our photographs, making us want to reach out and touch. Even though we can't physically touch the objects in an image, in our imagination we can. Texture adds a tactile nature to our experience of a photograph. We know what smooth feels like in real life, so the sensory experience of smooth is added to our experience of a photograph. The texture can draw us in as a participant in the image.

Texture is not only on the surface of forms in our images. Something large and flat serving as the background of the image, such as the wall in the lead-in photo, is also a surface that can have texture. In the case of the photo above, from Chicago, you see the texture of the brick.

How many types of texture are there? Let's see if we can make a list... smooth, rough, gritty, sticky, crumbly, bumpy, velvety, leathery, prickly... add yours to the list in the comments below. We can capture all of this texture and heighten the sensory experience in our images.

Sources of Found Texture

When you start to notice it, texture is everywhere! Nature is a great source for random texture. Since my subjects tend to be in urban environments, I looked for natural texture while camping at the beach a couple of weeks ago. I found everything from the glass-smooth texture of the receding waves, to the rough-yet-soft texture on the trunk of a tree.

Humans have learned from nature, and covered our man-made world with texture. Some of it is purposeful and functional, to hide flaws in a wall joint or increase traction in a floor. Some of the texture comes as part of the process, such as in bricks. Some of the man-made texture in our world is purely for artistic beauty. The texture in the floor tiles below was created to be both artistic and functional.

The one thing I've noticed, however, is that man-made texture doesn't have the same randomness as nature. Humans like patterns and processes, and our created textures usually have some sort of repeating pattern. Sometimes it is obvious, as in the floor image above, and sometimes not so obvious. Consider the texture that may be applied to a wall, there is a limit to the size and depth of the bumps you find. There is some randomness within the texture, but the overall texture is controlled.  

When you add nature, in the form of time and weather, acting on the mad-made texture you get more natural randomness. I think that's why I, along with so many other photographers, like to photograph "urban decay." The added elements of time, weather and neglect increase the random texture in the images of everyday objects. It adds dimension and interest.

Capturing Texture

Now that you're seeing texture everywhere, what is the best way to capture it? As in capturing form, texture will appear differently in different light. Bright sunlight will create stronger shadows and light/dark highlight of texture, while shady or diffused light will create more subtle highlights of the texture. This wall below, found in Chicago, is an interesting study of light and texture since it's both in sun and shade. You can see how the sunlight enhances the texture. 

You can see a similar effect in this image from Greece as well, as part of the wall is in sun and part is in shade. There are multiple textures in this image from more than just the light, however, with the texture of the wall, rope and door adding to the tactile nature of the image.

Along with light, color has a great impact on how we perceive texture in an image. Texture can be enhanced or overwhelmed by color. Color is useful to highlight texture when the light is non-directional or the texture is very subtle compared to the overall subject being photographed. In the case of the staircase in Portugal, the light is very diffuse so the texture of the wall is communicated by the color gradation. You can still "see" the texture, through the color variations.

Color can also dominate to the point that texture recedes in terms of visual information. Consider the image of the oranges shown earlier in this post. What do you notice first? Likely, the complementary color is the first thing you notice. The texture of the oranges, basket, vase and table are noticed second. To highlight or study texture, working with monochromatic images can help. The image of the driftwood below, converted to black and white, further enhances the texture of the splintery wood. The range of tones from light to dark are what provide the texture information, since the light is fairly even.

The image below from Burano has color, but it still monochromatic. This allows the form and texture in the image to be the subject. While diffuse, the light is still directional and highlights the texture and form.

Using Texture in Images

Now that you are thinking of what texture is, where to find it and how to capture it, let's look at a few different ways of using texture in images.  One way of using texture is to capture it as the subject. This wall in Bologna was so interesting, I captured it just for the texture. Layers upon layers of different textures are visible.

The same with this wall in Greece, texture is the main subject. In both cases, I've included an architectural element to help ground the image in reality, but that is not necessary if you are capturing texture for texture's sake. Textures create great abstract images.

Often, I find that I use texture as the "backdrop" in the image. The lead-in photo is one example. In the case of this scene in Burano, the texture of the wall is a backdrop for the scene with the chair and pot.

This textured wall in Torcello is the backdrop against which the tree, window and architectural fragment are arranged. The wall is not the subject, but the texture enhances the interest in the image and ties the elements together.

Creating contrast with texture is a great way to increase the interest in a photo. In the image below of the sea weed at the beach, the gritty sand contrasts with the smooth, rubbery surface of the sea weed.

The worn walls and steps contrast with the smooth, round pots, both in color and texture, in the image below from Varenna. The color and texture contrast, along with the lines of the steps, draw your eye directly to the pots of pretty flowers.


It's time to start exploring Found Texture on your own! Here's a quick review of the topics covered:
  • What: Texture is found on the surface of form, and gives a tactile dimension to images. 
  • Sources: Nature, man-made and aged-man-made objects and surfaces are all possible sources of texture.
  • How: Light along with color (presence or absence) and tone can be used to convey the texture.
  • Ways to use: Texture can be the subject, a backdrop or used for contrast in an image. 
There is so much more to texture, I look forward to learning from you as you share your images! You can link in below, the link up will be open through 3-November. As an added bonus, I am giving away a set of my "Texture" postcards! When you link in your texture image, you will be entered in the drawing to win.

FYI - Links will be moderated. Please use a permalink, ensure that your linked image is on topic, and include a link back to this site in your post through the Exploring with a Camera button (available here) or a text link. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Morning at the Museum

Art on a rainy morning, what could be better? While in Chicago, I had a morning free to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. A wonderful place! The first major art museum I've visited since returning back to the US. I enjoyed the opportunity to see some new works of some of the painters I came to appreciate while in Europe, and learn more about American artists as well. The museum allows photos too - a very happy day for me!! My experience of art is always deepened if I can capture it with my camera.

Since I had limited time and I know what periods of art I like, I focused my visit on specific areas. American Modern Art (1900-1950), European Modern Art (1900-1950), and Contemporary Art (1945-1960). I also popped through Contemporary Art (1960 and later), Architecture and Design (special exhibit on Bertrand Goldberg), and Photography (although they were resetting the photography exhibit and most of it wasn't open - sad!).

As always, I was drawn to abstracts with bright colors. Paintings that highlight gradations and transitions between color in unusual ways attract me. A new find this trip was German painter Franz Marc, I loved this painting called The Bewitched Mill. Very much like my favorite Italian Futurists of a similar time. I am always drawn to the art of 1900-1920 or so.

I just loved his use of color! Isn't it gorgeous?

It was also fabulous to see more of Georgia O'Keefe's work in the American section, she has a style that has always appealed to me. I was pleasantly surprised by how large the museum's Impressionist collection was! It was great to see more of Monet's water lilies, and Cezanne's still lifes, among many others. I also very much enjoyed seeing these two paintings by Mary Cassatt. I've seen them before in texts but they are beautiful in person. She had such an amazing way of portraying everyday moments.

I left the museum refreshed and inspired. There is something about art, specifically painting, that just speaks to my soul. What a wonderful opportunity to connect with this again!

Emily, this last one is just for you. (Bueller... ? Bueller... ?)

PS - Lightroom 3 Update: I edited all of these in Lightroom this morning! I've had absolutely no instruction (books are on their way!) but I'm finding it intuitive to use and in some ways much simpler than Photoshop Elements. I will keep you posted as I progress!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
-- Albus Dumbledore in JK.Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I saw that flighty temptress in Chicago, in this sculpture at the edge of Millennium Park. I know it was her, because I've seen her before, in the work of my dear friend Carissa. She introduced me to that quote above and the temptress in her painting below, started at the Do What You Love retreat in May.

The Flighty Temptress, Adventure by Carissa
Isn't that cool? I love to find connections like this. Similar themes or styles or ideas between artists in dramatically different places and times. It makes the art I found on the streets of Chicago more real to me, because I saw a connection to a friend in it. And then, of course, I had to capture it, edit it and share it - making my own art and my own connection to the flighty temptress as well.

Here's another cool connection I've been meaning to share, between my online friend Angie and I. She created this lovely stitched piece, inspired by a photo I posted here. I love how she took the basic elements of color, line and shape from the photo and interpreted it in the fabric and stitching.

Bollards and Ropes by Angie
Creating art is a cycle of connection and inspiration. There is nothing wholly new, we are all influenced by the world around us. Our contact with other art and artists can't help but show up in our work. The cool thing is in how it shows up - we change it, give it our own twist. We share our own unique vision of the world.

Do you have stories of connection and inspiration between yourself and other artists? It would be fun to have you share them here!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lines and Balance

Downtown Chicago is all about lines. Straight, angled, and sometimes curvy lines. Lines soaring to the sky and back down again. For my few days in Chicago last week I was in the downtown area the whole time. In between the convention I attended, I managed to take in a few sights... an architecture cruise on the river, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute. I would have loved to spend more time there, getting to know the city. I barely scratched the tourist surface. The bottom line - I'll just have to go back!

Today's image is one of the first edited with my brand new toy - Lightroom 3. My birthday is today and this software is now installed on my computer as a birthday gift from my family. I have had this growing urge to learn something new in the last couple of months and Lightroom came out as the winner as I looked into software. Apart from the overwhelming nature of learning a new program, I can tell this is going to be fun! You will likely be seeing all sorts of crazy edits here, as I learn the software and play around. Like any new technique, I'll go overboard and then will settle into my style again eventually. That's just the way I learn.

I can also tell, I haven't been doing enough of this - playing and spending time on my art. I haven't found a good balance yet between all of the things I want to do in life as an artist/engineer/mom/friend, and I tend to overwhelm myself with "to do" lists. Finding balance is something that will be a big focus for me in the coming days and weeks. My birthday reminds me I'm a Libra, Bilancia in Italian, and the scales are my symbol.

Change is coming. Not just because it's a new year for me. Not just because I have the new website (still!) in the works. Not just because of the season. Change is coming for me because I need to find a new balance point. The scales have tipped too far.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Heading Home

We are finishing up the blur theme at Mortal Muses today, with Muse Mosaic. For this theme, I had gone out to capture some intentional blur one rainy evening, on the street behind my house. I stood in the rain and played for a while, trying different amounts of out-of-focus-ness as the cars went by. I liked the feeling that these images brought to me. I imagined each of these cars were carrying people home, tired and wet after a long day, to a snug, warm house. Interesting how a dark, chilly, rainy image could evoke a warm feeling for me.

You can join in too! Click the button below to hop over and link in your "blur" image and visit the others. Have a great weekend! I'll be heading home myself, from Chicago.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inspired by...

I've been wanting to share how my studio is shaping up, with some lovely art to inspire me. It is so exciting to get things up on the wall, making the whole space more complete. 

The top painting is by Diana Mulder, a mixed media artist I met online over a year ago. She created this work of art from a photo I took, you can read the story about it here. I am enchanted by this piece for many reasons. It is from an image of my son, which endears it to me, but also for the connection it represents with Diana and other artists I've met online. I love how she took my original photo and added brighter colors. This image does not do it justice, there is a lot more texture and layers than is visible here. How perfect the color scheme fits right into my studio, too!

The middle painting is by local artist Jennifer Lommers. I found her at the Corvallis Fall Festival, a wonderful local arts festival held every September here in town. It turns out, Jennifer lives in my neighborhood and knows my son from the school bus stop. Small world! I am entranced by her colorful, swirly style. I absolutely loved the large original of this peacock, but settled on the print for now. I am happy to have it framed and gracing my creative space.

The bottom painting is an original watercolor, purchased in Burano, Italy. As Burano is my favorite place for color, this was a perfect add to my studio as well. Other little bits of inspiration on the shelves are a Murano-glass clock, a cute cat figurine purchased in San Marino, and a little die cast scooter I purchased for my son on my first business trip to Italy, before we ever thought about moving there. Everything in this space is a source of inspiration.

Do you have a creative space? Do you fill it with things that bring you joy?

Linking in to Paint Party Friday, to share the art of these inspiring painters with others this week! Kristin and Eva, I hope that's ok.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Colors don't Fade

One of the great things about photography, the colors you capture never fade. You can come back to your images again and again, and the colors remain the same. In the depths of winter, when life can seem monochromatic, this is a joy. Bright color is always to be found in my photo archives!

I hope you've enjoyed studying color for the last month, with the Exploring with a Camera themes of The Color Wheel, Part 1 and Part 2. From monochromatic to triadic, you all found some great color! We finish up Part 2 today, with a bit of fall complementary color I found on the Oregon Coast this weekend.

Since I'm in Chicago this week, there will be no new Exploring with a Camera tomorrow. I have a great one brewing to share with you next week, when I am back home. In the meantime enjoy some dynamic color as you visit the links shared in Part 2.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Standing Tall

At our favorite place to camp on the Oregon Coast, Washburne State Park, there is a half-mile (~1km) path to the beach from the campground. I find it the most interesting path, because the forest changes dramatically 3 to 4 times along the short distance. It starts out in this stately forest and ends in grass covered dunes and an expansive beach. I love this forest, where the trees stand tall and the ground is covered by layers of soft and squishy pine needles and moss. It's very quiet and peaceful, walking through these trees. It can also been very eerie, depending on the light.

Lucky me, the sun came out from behind the clouds and lit the trees up from behind, making them glow.  I tried black and white with this image, and it does look great, but I couldn't let the green of the moss on the ground and the trees disappear. It's too much a part of my experience of the place. Which do you like best?


Don't forget...

Monday, October 10, 2011

From Windy Coast to Windy City (Coming to Chicago!)

We spent a wonderful, relaxing weekend camping at the Oregon Coast. "Camping" is a relative term - we have a travel trailer so we camp in great comfort. The trailer is especially important in Oregon, where it rains. A lot. Over the years of living here we've progressed from tent to tent trailer to travel trailer, and have extended the time of year we are able to all seasons.

This weekend we had a rainy Friday night and Sunday morning, but a gorgeous day on Saturday. It was an enjoyable day of walking on the beach and then visiting Florence, a cute little town on the coast. I captured the remaining piers of Florence's former ferry landing, inspired by this week's Picture Inspiration prompt, "long and tall."

But that's the not the big news - I'm coming to Chicago this week! It's a last minute work trip, planned Friday afternoon. There was a need for someone with my background to go and recruit at a conference, and I've never been to Chicago. After several months back from Italy with no travel plans in sight, I'm ready to visit someplace new and jumped on the chance.

If you are in the Chicago area and would like to meet up in downtown Chicago for a coffee and a photowalk this week, contact me via email: kat [at] kateyestudio [dot] com. I'll be in town Wednesday through Saturday and will be squeezing in sightseeing with my camera as much as possible. I hope to meet a few of you there!

Linking in to Lisa's Creative Exchange today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving off Auto

There is so much information on digital photography on the web, it is fantastic. It can also be overwhelming, when you are a beginner. Where do you start?

I thought I would take a moment today to talk about Digital Photography Basics, an online course I'm teaching starting October 16. I've mentioned registration is open but I haven't talked much about the "why" behind this course on the blog. 

It is no secret that I love the creative aspects of photography. I love to study composition, and why a photograph works visually. I love exploring how to express myself through my images, and helping others do the same. Underlying all of that, there is a technical foundation that I build on. I couldn't express myself in the way that I do without having a good understanding of how to use my equipment. Exposure and post-processing are just as critical as composition for that expression, look at today's photo as an example. The technical and creative aspects all work together.

That's where Digital Photography Basics comes in. The technical foundation you need for expression is not as complicated as you might think. There are some basics you need to understand about how a digital camera works, and how you can use that basic information to create better images. It doesn't take expensive cameras or complicated software to create great images, it takes your unique vision and an understanding of the camera and software YOU have. This course helps you learn to use what you have better, whether it's a point-and-shoot or a dSLR. It takes you off "auto" so that you can express yourself in new ways in your photography.

Here's what past participants in this class have said:
"[My favorite thing about the course] was the simplicity of the technical information. There was no confusion - just straight forward... here's the info of how and why, set your camera like this, go play. Perfect!"  
"I loved learning about the technical aspects of photography. I'd always found it challenging before but you presented it in an easy, understandable way. I loved that you paired each lesson with photographs. That made everything so easy to grasp."  
"You really do have an artist's eye and a visual way of presenting the information, yet with the thoroughness of a scientist... both of which I appreciate." 
I especially like that last one... I think this course may be where my artistic side and my technical side truly do come together. As an engineer for my "day job," Digital Photography Basics is the place I bring that "techiness" to my classes. For me, the technical aspects of photography are secondary to the artistic aspects, but only because I understand the technical part enough I don't have to consciously think about it. It takes a little bit of time and study to get to that point. You can get there too!

If you are looking to get to "move off auto" and get a better understanding of the technical side of photography, Digital Photography Basics is a great step for you to take. I'd love to have you join me! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Share Your View: The Color Wheel, Part 2

On the Line {1/365}
On the Line {1/365} by Dorian Susan

Color, color and more color! We continue with The Color Wheel, Part 2 this week. Today's images are a couple of triadic color scheme images shared in the Flickr pool. Isn't it fun to see these "found" color combinations?

You still have lots of time to share your view! You can link in below or share in the Flickr pool. An easy way to participate is to go through your archive, and see what color combinations you find. I believe you learn as much from a good archive review as you do from going out to shoot new images. And, you take that learning with you on your next shoot!

And a side note, today is my 700th post! Wow! Who would have thought, when I started my blog in 2008, that it would lead me to the place I am today. I could have never guessed. Thanks for being here with me!

“Produce great pumpkins, the pies will follow later.”
"Produce great pumpkins, the pies will follow later." by CindiK.

FYI - Links will be moderated. Please use a permalink, ensure that your linked image is on topic, and include a link back to this site in your post through the Exploring with a Camera button (available here) or a text link. Thanks!


What's going on around Kat Eye Studio...
  • I am over at Mortal Muses today, musing on Blur. Come by and say hi!
  • Registration is open for Digital Photography Basics! Class starts October 16. Visit here for the details.
  • Want to know what's going on in the studio? You can subscribe to the Kat Eye News to stay up-to-date on all the activities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tied up in Knots

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
-- Anna Quindlen

I was surprised by the response to yesterday's post. It seems that many of us feel that we are the loner much of the time, different and outside of normal. I thought it was just me. It is ironic that we may feel excluded by our differences, yet in our feelings we are experiencing the same thing.

My current morning reading, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown, speaks to the universal human desire for love and belonging. We want to be in the bucket, with the other flowers. The irony, she points out, is that we often strive to achieve love and belonging by fitting in and "hustling for worthiness" and acceptance. When we strive to fit in, acting like we think others want us to act, we no longer honor our authentic selves and we short circuit any true connection. She says, "... To fully experience love and belonging, we must believe we are worthy of love and belonging."

In the light of that lone flower, we must each embrace our own differences and take them to heart. Stand alone with confidence in our own value and worthiness. When we say, "Here I am, with all of my quirks and differences, take it or leave it," we are accepting ourselves as we are. From that grounded place, when we reach out to others and feel a connection, the connection is real. It is whole. It is sustainable, because there are no pretenses to keep up.

Have you ever tried to keep up pretenses in a situation? Yeah, it ties you up in knots. After a while, you don't know which direction you are going. You don't know where you are, in the midst of it all. It's not sustainable.

I'm learning, again and again, how important it is to occasionally stand alone, in order to be myself. Whether it is in my art, sharing the photographs I love regardless of technical perfection or perceived photographic ideals, in my relationships, being honest about who I am and what I need, or even at my corporate job, sharing an opinion that may be contrary to the group, I have found the result of standing alone and embracing my differences is true connection. Instead of connection built on the unstable ground of insecurity, it is connection grounded in confident stability.

When I value myself for who I am, others value me too. Go figure.

To all of you who identified with that less-than-perfect lone flower I say: Congratulations. All you need to do now is untangle the knots and stand tall, confident in your uniqueness. Not an easy process, I know from ongoing experience, but so worth it. The reward I have found is connection, with people who are equally as unique, like you.


What's going on around Kat Eye Studio...
  • Did you recognize today's photo as a triadic variation? The current Exploring with a Camera theme is The Color Wheel: Part 2. Check out the post and join in the exploration.
  • Are you ready to get your camera off of full auto and see what you can create? Registration is open for Digital Photography Basics! Class starts October 16. Visit here for the details.
  • Want to know what's going on in the studio? You can subscribe to the Kat Eye News to stay up-to-date on all the happenings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Loner

One lone flower, tossed aside. 

It makes me ask, can an image of a "thing" evoke emotion? As a "thing" photographer, I would answer yes. This image speaks to me through the isolation of the flower, discarded for not being perfect. The flower is not even in the bunch with the other discarded flowers, it is off on its own. Truly alone. But in its isolation, the remaining beauty of the flower can be seen. The gorgeous color and the shape, jump out at me against the concrete in a way that would be lost in the group.

It seems there is a message here, that can be brought into my life. It's ok to be less than perfect. It's ok to be out there, on my own once in a while. Once in a while, being outside the group can help me shine my unique beauty. My unique view on the world.

What do you take away from this image?  Does it speak to you too?


What's going on around Kat Eye Studio...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Expectations Lost, Happiness Found

What is it about photography, that makes me happy? I've noticed lately, that whenever I go out and photograph, even if it's just for a walk around the block in the rain, that I return in a good mood. I am smiling and there is a spring in my step. I feel buoyant. The sheer act of capturing photographs, whether they end up good or not, makes me grin.

Thinking more on why photography makes me happy this morning, I found that photography is one area of my life where I don't have huge expectations or plans. I've learned to embrace the fun of letting myself be surprised. I follow my intuition and interests, as they pull me along in new directions. I find great joy in discovering what catches my eye on any given day. Amazing things have resulted as I follow those internal nudges - in photography, writing and my study of art in general.

Take Saturday's photowalk visit to the Farmer's Market, for example. Of course I photographed the colorful vegetables, but what really interested me were the flowers on the ground as the vendors sorted and tossed and created beautiful bouquets. Normally I would be attracted to the finished bouquets, but at this moment I was captured by the haphazard nature of the flowers scattered on the concrete and in the buckets. To me, on this specific Saturday morning, these images were the most interesting to explore and compose. These were the images that held a story. Next Saturday, in the same place, it will be completely different.

This gets to the "heart and soul" aspects of photography, or any art. Creating has the power to change how we feel. When we let go of expectations or plans, wonderful things can result. There is an interesting parallel here to the rest of my life I've needed to focus on as well: Letting go of control and expectation. It's something that I am slowly, and surely, learning to do. It's been a long road, but I am lucky to have something like photography to show me the way, with a smile on my face. 


What's going on around Kat Eye Studio...