Saturday, February 05, 2011

Looking Through the Window

It's not normal, is it? To be midstream in a conversation only to be derailed by glancing up at the window to see this:

I mean, I stopped mid stream in the conversation and took out my cell phone to capture this. I think I mumbled some sort of excuse... wrought iron creating the most graceful shadow through the gauziness of the curtain. Yummy. Fortunately, my friend (Pat Berrett) whom I was engaged in conversation with, understood. As we had just been discussing how observation is a must in creating good imagery. Be it via photography or otherwise. He teaches a series of photography classes at the University of New Mexico Extension Program. He was telling me how, invariably, when teaching his classes that he will randomly call upon a student and ask them to describe the person sitting next to them (without looking, of course). And, only once was someone able to do this.

I tell you, we get so caught up in I don't know what, but we get so caught up that we fail to observe what is in our immediate surroundings. I'm also reading a book right now called, "Sparks of Genius" which discusses the 13 thinking tools of the world's most creative people. Observation is one of those traits. I'm not talking about just noticing things. I'm talking about really observing. When Picasso wanted to learn how to draw (his father was an art teacher), his father gave him pigeon feet to draw. Picasso had to draw pigeon feet over and over again. He did this for quite some time before his father said, "Now you can draw anything you want." By then, he had every little nuance, every nano detail captured in his drawings. "By the time he was fifteen he could do faces and figures and very large compositions-often without models-because, simply by practicing on pigeon's feet, he had learned how to capture the mystery of lines, even of nudes." (p. 33 Sparks of Genius).

Observation. We all need to hone our skills of observation. And, in doing so, I think you will be surprised at what you really begin to see in the world around you. Juicy little details.

"Still-in a way-nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small-we haven't time-and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." (Georgia O'Keefe)

It's one of those "stop to smell the roses' kind of thing. Stop to see the shadows.

Every week, a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Hey Harriet. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted! You can view all of my 2010 Shadow Shot Sunday images on my Flickr account. Click here to view them.

I've also started (with Tracey's permission) a Shadow Shot Sunday Group Pool over in Flickr that is just for those of us who post our shadow shots here at Shadow Shot Sunday. If you'd like to join this group pool, send me an email and I will send you the invite to join. I hope you participate! It will be like having a great big album of shadow shots from everyone in this meme. The link for my email is located in the side bar of this blog. Or you can do the request via a comment.


Spadoman said...

First of all, you confused me. I had to scroll up and look at the date. It said Friday, not Shadow Shot Sunday. But I know you like those shadowy images, so I forgive you.
Just this morning, I saw a shadow out a window at the Black Cat Coffee Shop in T or C. I had my camera, so I took some shots. I'll download soon.
The other day, back home, i saw a shadow on the wall from crossbuck laticework on an entry door. A moment later, the sun went behind a cloud and it was gone. I have both images and need to tinker with them.
Observation, yes indeed. I need to practice so it becomes more natural and instinctive. I am aware more than years ago. It also lets me live in the now and just 'Be' while seeing what there is to see around me instead of thinking too much.
Good stufff as usual Paula. I'll wave from Albuquerque on Sunday.


EG Wow said...

It's amazing how playing memes has helped me to be more observant. I still have a long way to go but I am getting better. I enjoyed reading this though-provoking post, Paula!

sarayutouched said...

girl you are talking my this post. observation is key. it's not always about the obvious...anyone can do the's when you take the time to notice the small, the quiet, the it's not worth noticing...that's what i love!! if that makes us quirky to where we stop in mid conversation...bring it! I LOVE IT! great shot!!

gigihawaii said...

Stunning post and photos! I am not very observant because I lack the patience to do so. I'll try to be more observant from now on.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magical Mystical Teacher said...

No, probably not normal, but with the opportunity to grab a shot like that, who cares? :-)


Shadows may or may not be
Patterns of urbanity.
If a shadow threatens you,
Here, my dear, is what to do:
Grab the shadow by the throat,
Toss it to a billy goat,
So the goat can chomp and chew,
Keeping it away from you!

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Chiseled Shadows

Ralph said...

The motif outside your window is great! A complex scroll in an orange haze is cool, indeed. Observing the world and its nuances is a talent honed over a lifetime. I see the little things that many don't - an art I'd say...

sue said...

er, I think it's becoming normal to stop mid stream in conversations or to do a U turn and go back to get a particularly juicy shadow! Good post, lovely shots. I think I can almost justify a new phone with a better camera ;)

Sylvia K said...

Wow! Have I had trouble finding you today! Thank you for commenting on my blog so I could track back to you. For some reason I couldn't access your blog through Tracy's Shadow Shot???? I would love to join the group, just not sure I'm going to be able to access it! I'll keep trying!! Terrific post/shadow shot as always.


Cassie said...

That's funny about the students not being able to describe who is sitting next to them. I guess the power of observation really has to be honed. Now I'll try to work on that, as since I've gotten older I am having much more difficulty remembering how I "know" some people who seem to know me! I really do like your ShadowShots and am glad Pat understood your preoccupation!! Happy SSS to you!

BLOGitse said...

We're too self-centred to see what's around us. But it's good we try to learn...
This is a great post with beautiful shots.
Have a creative week ahead!

Serendipity said...

Certainly worth interrupting a conversation for!

rebecca said...

the art of seeing....

of this i am a avid disciple.

great capture.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Oh I sooooo love that first shot - it should be a painting! Love your thoughts....observations that little bit about
the pigeon feet....oh so true! I think this week I will try to be more observant :) have a great week Paula!

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Really lovely :)


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