Playing With Texture

Textures speak to that deeper part of us that reacts and wakes up to sounds, touch, color, light and shadow. No words needed. Words can describe, explain, interpret, justify, but the emotional connection is already there.

Running my hand across the bark of tree trunks as I find my way into the forest, my eyes closed.

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Exposure

I started out, as most of us do, being overly preoccupied with sharpness and focus. Of course, there’s a place for sharpness and focus and some compositions require them more than others. But there is also lots of scope for playing with them and sometimes leaving them behind. This is true even for documentary photography, where selective focus and graininess can produce amazing results.

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Sofia dares us to show how we play with exposure in order to create mood, movement, and emotion. I have selected a few photos shot a few days back, in Brussels, at a procession organized for Dia de Muertos. I remember following the same procession three years ago, before the Covid pandemic.

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Triptych

Since Sarah (from Travel with me) invited us to share three of our favorite photos, I thought about what I would choose and, more broadly, about how we relate critically to our own work.

The photos that tend to stay with me are those that tell a story that’s meaningful to me. Those that reconnect me to that past moment when I took the photo, but also to the story, emotion, mood, or idea that stayed with me over time. Although I tend to overthink and over-intellectualize in other parts of my life, when it comes to photography I go with the gut. I know (or feel) that some compositions make sense long before I start analyzing them.

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Summer turns to high

The sun emerges slowly from the sea, hesitating as if the heaviness of the water is holding it back. The small beach is full of crabs that were washed ashore by the tide and eaten by the seagulls. One crab carcass has been flipped over and now it catches the morning sunlight.

There’s nobody around.

The soft waves carry the memory of water in an endless back and forth.

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Introverted doors

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Sylvia, is all about doors and doorways.

Doors. We open and close them dozens of times each day. We use them to organize our space. To get access. To open to the world. To protect from the world.

But there are also doors that won’t open. They are not in use anymore or they’ve never been in use. They seem to be there to hide rather than reveal something.

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The spring in color

It’s the high time of spring. There’s a continuous explosion of color. I have watched the small wood anemones come and go, just days ago. Now they’re already replaced by the bluebells. Some patches of forest are still making the transition from white to blue and, for a while, they coexist.

I like to go out early and see how the colors are transformed, enhanced, nuanced by the morning light. I usually have the camera with me and most times I will come back with some photos. But there’s only so much I can capture on camera.

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Lights out

As the sun goes down, as the shadows grow longer, I find myself among the trees. Alone but not lonely. Just being there, noticing how the light changes, how the smell of the forest changes.

There is nothing else to be done, nowhere else I need to be. Just breathing here with the trees. Being one of them, with my roots getting deeper into the ground. Being so inconspicuous that squirrels would come out, climb on me and play on my arms and shoulders.

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