LIGHT & FORM, Indoors & Out

Exploring light and form indoors and out, in photographs made in the last two months in and near my home.

***

Unconcerned with digging

for inchoate connections –

(the dark creatures in opaque waters that, once elucidated, put bread on the tables of critics and academics) – I

leap

from

image

to

image.

Somehow, most of them connect anyway, linked

like dancers in a chaos of flashing

lights.

Their empty spaces, shapes and colors

sympathize and

bounce off one another, writing

the alphabet of all I see,

a to z.

***

1. Paper calendars are still useful…reading glasses are, too, especially when the sun hits them.

2. The chiaroscuro of sunlight slashing a watercolor painting is the kind of thing that keeps me going.

3. Repeating shapes sustain me.

4. The delight of color and texture uniting nature and the built environment.

5. Texture, form. Yes, and color, too.

6. The sensuous curves of shells and teacup, the warm blues of the old Canton platter. Form, texture, color.

7. Outside, a corner of the swamp. Rich color, smooth textures, varied forms.

8. Form, color, light.

9. Color, light. (Wondering what it is? It’s an ant’s eye view of a yellow paper clip fastening a plastic bag and a post-it note.)

10. Pure light at home; glass on glass.

11. Light and texture at play as pond lily leaves spring back to life.

12. Light and texture. (Wondering again? It’s the dirt at the edge of a wetland, after rain.)

13. Sunlight entering the house is a joy that gives and gives. Light and form here, and texture, too.

14. Light, texture, form.

15. The colors and textures of last year are easy to overlook in spring but their beauty is undeniable.

16. Strong forms and subtle colors grabbed my attention one day, when the light was drab and flat. Adjusting shadows, blacks, texture, clarity, and dehaze in Lightroom revealed more texture.

17. Let’s not forget the coffee. This particular espresso macchiato was a memorable one, thanks to Urban Coffee Lounge in Kirkland, WA.

***

Maybe you disagree with some of my categories. Maybe you see light and texture more where I see form. That’s fine. I’d rather make a suggestion that you disagree with than make a pronouncement that you swallow without thinking about it.

***


65 comments

  1. An absolutely magical album, an earth magic that works even with some pretty prosaic manmade objects, paper clips and a plastic bag. (In the first shot, the warm flame from your reading glasses seems pretty wizardly, but I don’t know how strong those lenses are, maybe that’s closer to a literal flame, better be careful about leaving those in the sunshine! ๐Ÿ˜Š ) That gleaming mercury or silver in 8 and 12 goes with the alchemist theme, and creatures awakening and summoned out of the lake in #11, the cryptic messages left for passersby in 4, and the spiral symbolism in the #6 still life. And #10 with a mysterious vision beginning to coalesce. #3 is just a stunner, a silk fabric.
    And I very much like your freeform verse, Lynn, even with a bit of a dig at the critics/academics gnawing on dry crusts of bread, what a positive, happy statement and celebration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A little dig, yes, from someone who’s been close to academia and has seen the good and the bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But in the end, how can I not feel happy when I get to spend hours each day exploring like this? BTW, the sunlight in the first photo shot through the temple piece, not the lens, so that explains that. #8 and #12 were taken at the same place on the same day – the water really does look like mercury, doesn’t it? Back before regulations were as tight as they are now, my father the chemist brought a small vial of mercury home to us kids and allowed us to let little balls of it roll around in our palms – so cool!
      I love the way you stitched an alchemical theme together, something I certainly didn’t see. Imagining #3 as silk fabric is very intriguing, too. Thank you for dropping by and letting your mind unspool…hope you have a great week!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s always so interesting how you manage to combine such a wide array of subjects and tie them nicely together. Such curiosity and visual “hunger” speaks from these images – I guess that’s where my envy kicks in! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love the muted tones and colors of #3 very much. Inspirational, all in all though. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a pleasure it is to read your comment, Alex, thank you. Visual hunger, yes, and probably compulsion, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ #3 was fun to work on – I positioned myself so a third tree was right behind the paired ones when I took the photo and then darkened the sides and muted everything. Glad you like it! Maybe one day you can spend an extra hour at one of those properties you photograph and make some odd compositions. That would be fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Excellent series, Lynn. There is a leap in creative thinking when photographers see in this way- lines, forms, shadows and light – rather than simply photographing objects. All your images celebrate this. The light on your watercolor and on your yellow paper clip, the monochrome of the arrangement in the glass bottle, the color unity in the telephone pole and trees…all such beautiful moments of seeing. The still life of the shells is magnificent for its light, composition and mood. ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 2 people

    • It wouldn’t be much fun to simply photograph things without investigating them or seeing them from a different viewpoint, right? I appreciate that you pointed that out. Confession: The colors were manipulated in the telephone pole and cherry trees image, but it’s not terribly far off what I saw. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m pleased that you see a nice mood (and composition, which was revised numerous times!) in the small shells in the teacup…thank you, Jane, have a great week. Back at ya with the icon, which I can’t do but you get the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s fortunate that #2 doesn’t mean “three stripes and you’re out.” I count plenty more than three in #14 (and my brain craves a dark border around that picture, even if a thin one, to keep the light areas from blending with the page outside the frame). #13 strikes me as especially nice, probably because of the different opacities of the shadows in it; well done. #11 surprises me with its darkness; was the scene really that dark, or did you “print” the picture that way for the effect? I like the abstraction of glass on glass in #10. Without your caption for #9 most viewers (me included) wouldn’t’ve known what we were looking at. The first vertical number on the pole in #4 just cries out for someone to say whether it’s a prime. Apparently it is, and so is 453797, giving us a pair of so-called twin primes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can see what you mean by the benefit of a thin dark border around #14 – good idea. #13 was not adjusted very much; sometimes when the light comes inside, it’s such a gift! Especially when you go all winter with so little sunlight. Your hunch is right about #11 – it was not that dark at all. I liked what happened when I darkened it. My better half thought it was too dark so I eased up a little. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, you read so much more into things than the average person, particularly numbers! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it – that’s terrific. (But I’m a little confused – which is the first vertical number then?) Thanks, Steve, enjoy your week!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Excellent series; A creative eye finds beauty everywhere; beauty in itself.. rather than beautiful ‘things’. I go for the complex; mysterious Nr10.
    I will get my vaccination this Saturday; AstraZeneca.. This morning Bundeskanzler Merkel announced that they will stop using it on females under 60.. The reason is the discovery of dozens of cases of thrombosis in the brain; 6 people already died… Feels a bit creepy; but Covid19 as well. So, I’m gonna take the very small risk; but with some doubts now. See you, Lynn.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Harrieโ€ฆI wish the vaccine situation was easier. We got lucky, but of course, weโ€™re very old! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Weโ€™ve been hearing about the blood clotsโ€ฆour neighbors to the north in Canada are pausing the AZ vaccine for a little while (for all people under 55) until more data comes out. Itโ€™s such a rare occurrence, Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ll be fine. Itโ€™ll be good to be protected. Weโ€™re taking our first road trip today โ€“ only one night โ€“ to the other side of the mountains. Itโ€™s been so long since weโ€™ve traveled at all! Looking forward to more of that for everyone. By the summer maybe you guys can do another bike trip. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When we do beach visits here, I always study the shoreline for the shells that the tides have left, and so find myself especially drawn to your image of the eroded shells in the teacup. No. 8 is delightfully Escheresque, and No. 11 provides just the right stuff for as much serene meditation as one could wish for.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There’s nothing like being at the beach and exploring what the tides have brought. I don’t have to tell you that a shell doesn’t have to be whole and perfect to be beautiful. It’s cool that Escher came to mind…and it’s always good to read your comments, Gary, thank you. I hope all’s well in NZ!

      Liked by 2 people

      • It could hardly be better, thanks, all things considered. The whole country here is down to risk level 1 and we’re planning on undertaking a couple of (in-country) family trips in the next few weeks. We can only hope that the US situation improves, though, so we can make it back in the reasonable future. Thanks so much, Lynn.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It will improve eventually and you’ll return – perhaps at a greatly reduced airfare! It’s good to hear you’re planning trips. We just took our fist in over a year – only one night but we went to a desert area, so it was completely different scenery. I don’t know if I’ve ever gone so long without traveling at all!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Iโ€™m sensing (or imagining) a rebellious tone in this postโ€”and enjoying it. I love #4, for the reasons you give: color and texture, but for me especially color. (And I donโ€™t care that you manipulated it.) What a nice neat pole. Number 5 also gets to me, again for the reasons you give. Your eye is soooo good to catch the potential in #9 and turn it into art. The abstraction of #10 is very appealing. My favorite is #13. I love seeing the thing itself along with its shadow, though either alone would have been enough. And then thereโ€™s the way the light does those things going through the bottle! Not even to mention the larger shadow (love how it changes tone) and light shapes. All together, itโ€™s just a superb photograph, well suited to black and white treatment. Brava, Lynn!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The rebellious note in my rather incoherent rambling is something I think you understand – sometimes too much energy goes into picking apart and analyzing images. #4 seems to me to be a Linda-esque scene. I was thinking about you that day, too. #5 has all those little tubular shapes because I haven’t tended the incense bowl properly. In the monastery, one of my tasks was to tend the altars and a facet of that was removing bits of sticks from the incense ash, sifting it back into the bowl with a tiny sifter, then tamping it down every so carefully with a special tool, making a perfectly flat, smooth surface. It was the most wonderful work. #13…the thing itself, along with other versions of it….a preoccupation for decades, for both of us, no? Sunlight is a precious commodity around here in winter. I was very happy the first time I saw it ret on the bottle and dried grass. Maybe that translated into a better photo.
      Thank you, I’m glad you’re here.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m always impressed how you turn the mundane – things most folks would walk right past – into something compelling. In this collection, I’m particularly attracted to those which feature light.

    Maybe I’m turning into a moth. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I love the poem that introduces all images! It felt like a poem that has to be read slowly, not in a rush.
    I then leaped from image to image. This time, the ones that spoke most to me were the ones where you can’t really tell what it is: no. 1, 9 and 10). They even inspired me to take some photos yesterday that I wouldn’t have thought of taking otherwise (yes, I saw your post earlier, but wanted to wait until I had time to respond properly).
    Also, about no. 6: I am sure that if f ex my grandmother had had this in her home, I would still today be able to talk about the teacup with shells, how smooth they were on the inside, how careful you had to be with them, perhaps how forbidden it was to touch them, how we siblings used to pretend they were candy, how we were thinking “what if an animal still creeps out of it”… (etc etc).
    Another post that sets our imagination in motion!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I called it incoherent rambling (in a reply to another comment) but it’s good to hear that it worked for you, I appreciate that very much. And you leapt from image to image, great! Glad you didn’t trip! You said you liked the more abstract photos. I find that working that way is not only enjoyable but it also helps keep the compositional eyes sharp. I love that the post led you to make some photos you might not have otherwise seen or made; humble thanks.
      Your take on the shells in the cup is magic…thank you for that, too. It’s gratifying to know that your imagination ran away with this. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I believe that everything has to do with everything and these three terms are interconnected.
    Without a light source, the shape and texture cannot be seen. But they can be felt and touched by touch, which does not need light to feel. Then, the shapes and textures vary for our eyes depending on the angle of the light source. The more slope the light has, the more texture and shape / volume we will perceive. It’s a subject that allows us to digressโ€ฆ

    The set of images published here is very interesting, but I find nยบ3 spectacular, due to the strange message it conveys at a first glance.
    I also really like the 1, 7, 12 and 13. There are so many details always waiting for our eyes, right?

    I had some difficulty understanding the poem. My English has difficulty with english poetryโ€ฆ and Google translator too!๐Ÿ™„
    I wish you a good week. And if Easter is important for you…Happy Easter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it’s important to remember that everything is connected, even though our education leads us to believe things (and people) are separate. I like the way you connected light, shape, volume, texture. You’re very good at bringing abstract concepts back down to earth so we understand them more clearly.
      In #3 I was drawn to the way most of the trees were growing very straight but one had a subtle, beautiful curve.
      Yes, there is always more to see and more to appreciate – just look.

      As for the poem, it makes sense that it’s hard to understand – poetry rarely translates well, and to be honest, even in English I think this one is a little incoherent. Your English is great. I admire you for being fluent in (at least) two languages. In the poem, I was thinking about making connections between the photos. Sometimes art critics work hard to analyze artworks and find connections between them. I’m sure you’re familiar with this. For example, in one artist’s work, there are usually patterns you can see in art made earlier and later in life. But I was arguing against analyzing too much. (Over-analyzing art puts bread on the table – or earns a living for art critics). I wanted to let the images flow (leap from image to image) and allow the connections to emerge. But of course, I was the one who chose to display these particular photos in this order, so it I made the connections between them more clear, even as I argued against other people doing that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The last lines are saying that the way images relate to one another is like writing an alphabet of the things that I see.

      I’m happy that you told me the poem was hard to understand – it gave me an opportunity to think about what I was saying a little more carefully and it shows me that you don’t just rush through the post, but you take the time to look and think. But I knew that! ;-). Thank you!
      We were in northern Europe in April and were surprised to see how much more important Easter is there than in the states. It’s very different here – it’s a much more secular society, more mobile, less traditional – For better and worse. Spring is more important to me, personally, but I welcome your Happy Easter greeting. The same to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I love #1, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15. 1 and 9 are my favorites, I love the abstraction, the play of color here and you chose such great clippings! I agree with most of your categories. The swamp lantern is wonderful. Little nature-lamps ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe they shine in the dark of the night. I would like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am happy to see that you value the old leaves too. I read that you are out for a small trip. I hope you enjoy it, no, I am sure you do! I envy you. Hav a good time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I photographed another pile of old leaves yesterday on a hike in the desert – you can imagine the colors – subtle and pale. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you’re right about the swamp lanterns, it would be fun to see that place at night but nighttime is getting late now! I’m glad you like the abstractions – I think doing them helps keep the artistic eye in practice. It helps hone (another new word maybe?) the ability to see the form, composition, light, etc. instead of just seeing the things you are photographing. I’m sure you understand that.
      I thought of you while we were in the desert and told myself that I’m very lucky to be able to see such different landscapes without traveling too far. (But almost 4 hours in the car each way is pretty tiring). There were some nice wildflowers beginning to bloom….
      Thank you, Almuth, and Happy Easter!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Leaves in the desert? Sounds interesting! Hone is absolutely new to me! Never heard of it before. Yes, I understand what you mean. Can’t hurt to do a bit of training ๐Ÿ™‚ And you show it worked very well. I really love these pictures! One can need some exercises in these times. Are your museums open again or is everything still closed? 4 hours, quite a way, but a possibility. We are not allowed to travel, so wait and see. At least the life on the balcony comes back so there is always something to discover ๐Ÿ™‚ Most of the time very tiny things….Have a nice weekend!

        Like

    • This is good to hear, Otto. Living here, I want to be outside a lot but if I lived somewhere less interesting there would probably more posts like this. I really enjoy doing this sort of post, it exercises my aesthetic sensibility. Thanks for your thoughts, and have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting…it’s easy to lose sight of blogs when there are so many out there. I’m perpetually behind with email from subscribing to so many. That’s not a bad problem to have though. As you noted finding beauty in the mundane is a gift and it’s interested me for a long time. Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Some of these don’t work for me (eg 14, 16, 17) but others I’m bowled over by their beauty – 1, 2, 6, 9, 10. The first I couldn’t figure it out, just knew I loved it from a design and colour perspective, and the same with #9.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be clear, #17 wasn’t supposed to work as part of the premise, it’s just a little coda – the daily afternoon cuppa. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad some of the others gave you a little pleasure. The practice of seeing and photographing more abstractly really seems to sharpen the aesthetic eye. Thank you, Alison, have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You spell the alphabet of the pictures through from A to Zett, dear Lynn, in your typical way: quietly, wisely, touched, knowledgeable. And in words and pictures that take hold of me and move me. Pure magic.
    In this post you limit your colors to yellow-orange to yellow-green. This gives all pictures a warm connection with each other, even if they dance thematically through the whole spectrum of the visual language.
    What light and shadow can do – we can study it here with sheer pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person


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