Apr 27, 2013

Spring Energy

I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle. I go out and explore and then fall asleep for what seems like a hundred years! But I've not really been gone, I've just taken spring by the horns. I've tended to my neglected gardens (or now, lack there of!) gifting the city with 20 full bags of leaves and other yard debris. I've spruced up the front of the house dealing with over a year's worth of weeds. I've torn down old wooden what-nots that are decrepit and no longer useful for holding flowers of any kind. I've cleaned off the back deck and gotten it ready to wash down, sand and spruce up for summer use. I've met with Alan the pond guy to see if my small pond is salvageable (it is and will be "easy" in his discussion of the facts).
I've planted a large urn of pansies and johnny jump ups at the curb and dusted off the metal do-dads that make it a bit more appealing over there. I've taken to getting up at 6am and out the door by 6:30am with my faithful 4-legged companion for a nice walk and have shed some of the "winter 10" that was giving me grief {smile}. I've spent the weekend in Newton, MA (just before the horror of Marathon week) celebrating the impending birth of a new little life. I've been to my centering place- spending a weekend with a friend in Vermont. Laughter, great food, lovely wine and tasty craft beer. Book store browsing, artisan shop goodies (jewelry for her, a beautiful etched stemless wine glass with birch trees for me), and 2 quilt shops all in one weekend adventure. I'll spare you the trip down into the "hollow" which was a sitcom waiting to be written! We never fail to find something that makes us laugh until we cry uncontrollably funny tears. 

And even if I'm not sewing (must get that construction top put together and to the quilter asap!), I am pursuing art. I've found my niche. I'm excited...I am enjoying every moment of my second level photography class. I'm not as experienced as some of the others in the room (and boy do I covet that professional zoom lens that is larger than the little girl who is sporting it!) but I am growing and finding a true passion for the nitty gritty. This week's topic was landscapes and street photography. We had models to work with to learn the fine art of direction. You'd think being a mom would make it easier to order a young 'en around- not so! "Make your bed" or "Pick up your clothes" rolls off the tongue a lot easier than "tuck your chin a bit" or "try this" or "try that". But My model was a joy ( yes, totally adorable and since I have a release form, I can share her photo). With "golden hour" approaching, we gathered up our gear and headed out to the streets of Troy. This is one of the first shots I took down at the river front. The sun wasn't where I wanted it just yet and this view was calling....

I couldn't resist this one:

these (as we came to refer to them) "dead bodies" were all over the River Street area. They were too ridiculous for words. New Parking meters, I'm assuming??

Now meet Mia. Isn't she beautiful? This is an untouched version of the photo. I did want to lighten it up a bit, but those files don't load in blogger, so this one will have to do for now. We were down near the river and the painted wall behind her just screamed backdrop. I have a few back and white shots of her that I'm proud of, but apparently I will need to format those to load in blogger as well. 

After working with Mia, I took to the alley ways. I'll spare you most of the urban decay that I shot, but I will just mention that this is the kind of thing I want to document. I have done the pretty flower, trees, nature thing, and it has yielded some lovely photos, but if truth be told- if I photograph another daffodil or budding tree or stark pre-spring landscape I will hit myself over the head with a bouquet! This is what I want to document- the raw, the gritty, street life at it's best (and worse). My favorite of the night is this almost unreadable painted sign on a ramshackle building near the river. I shot lots of doors to nowhere, rust encrusted windows, crumbling concrete and the "beauty" in it all. Remember- beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Just as golden hour hit, I was making my way back to River Street and caught this sun flare by putting my camera on the ground of Monument Park and hoping for the best. I am pleased with the result:

We did of course walk the lovely historic neighborhoods of Troy as well. I chose to shoot a lot of ironwork. There is such amazing beauty in railings and finials etc. This is one of my favorites from that walk:

I do love the repetition of pattern glimpsed through the front of the railing. Almost like a quilt/quilting design, no? Repetition at its best.

This railing finial and the back lighting in the door well was lovely. I wish it wasn't so painted over and "pristine".I love pineapples, and this one is no exception...

As night descended upon Troy we made our way to a private tour of the upcoming Photo Regional exhibition at the gallery on Fulton Street. How many ways can one say amazing?? I am so happy we got a chance to see it before opening night in the context of class. We could take our time, discuss what we saw, what we liked, the different applications and forms of photography. One artist (and they are artists in the truest sense of the word!) photographs with a pin hole camera of his own making- using an oatmeal box! Incredible photos. Incredible art.

I really wanted the evening to go on...and on....I was totally energized. But all good things must come to an end, and there is more to discover next Thursday night (studio portraiture). I came home to find the biggest full moon sitting over the neighborhood

and couldn't resist trying to capture it from the attic window (crazy lady that I am!). 

It has been a good week. Now back to that yard.....

** Morning update! Those "dead bodies" are art pieces! They are "Uncle Sam"s.....should have read All Over Albany before writing my post


Noel said...

Karen, Where to start? Your photography keeps getting better and better! The light in your Troy city/bridge shot was perfect raking light in a superb cityscape so don't feel you have to make any apologies over that one (one of my personal favorites - don't you love the parentheses of that bridge?)! Again we are alike in our love of the ironwork in which the Capital District abounds, but I especially envy the circular iron photo. Clearly you are learning your lessons well - keep that shutter going!

Libby said...

Your photography inspires me. My camera has been idle for too long . . . . now I want to get out and see what there is to see. I LOVE your pics. They are gorgeous. I cannot imagine working with a real model, though it's got to be easier than working with Larkin *lol*

McIrish Annie said...

I am soo happy that you have found your niche! These photos are fantastic. Kudos on the yard cleanup. We have started that back breaking process. Bags and bags of leaves and dead junk. Wish Mother Nature would clean up her mess so I wouldn't have to!!

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