Through my photography and my writing, I have learned many lessons about perspective and subject matter. Landscapes can get dull after awhile. Writing about concepts in generalities can lack color and interest. Shooting the same flowers that I see every day on my walk can be mundane. Writing about issues that many people face can get repetitive.
Landscapes. You see where I am going with this. It is not a new concept. A landscape photo can be just another boring photo. Or, it can have color, composition and depth. The same goes for writing. Drafting a poem about my experiences as a young mother, I took a colorful look at what my thoughts and longing were at the time. In “Summer, 1979”, for example,
It was 1979 when I stopped wishing for Woodstock days,
but began mourning the dead. Floating, facing the August sun
that burned the skin I should have saved, I wouldn’t last.
Instead of just saying that 1979 was a hard year for me, because my brother died, and I thought I wouldn’t get past that, I took a colorful view of the events. I communicated the color and depth of that experience by using references to culture and provided a significant contrast with my personal interpretation.
Flowers. I walk the same path every day. Yes, the flowers change with the seasons, but sometimes, they stay the same. I have learned to walk at various times of the day, change settings on my camera and look for angles and backgrounds that add interest and color. For example, In “Daisies, This Time of Year”, I simply ask my audience to be a flower.
Please, just be a flower.
Not a daggered rose.
A sweet buttercup, a gentle Lilac.
Never mind that I made a word up, but I provided an opportunity for my reader to take on the identity of a flower, not a thorny rose, but a gentle sweet flower. In trying times, it is a blessing to take on a sweeter persona, but being a flower adds a new dimension to the concept.
Now, it is your turn. How can you add depth and color to your landscapes? How can you use metaphor to communicate universal ideas. What focused angles can you take on the same situations that you face daily? I have provided some examples, but as we know, we practice our art through experimentation.