Whew. Well. It's been an interesting couple of weeks. If I had visions of sitting around and thinking deep thoughts and, I don't know, making lists, well that didn't really happen. Still, I got a handle on some things. Others, I got a handle on, only to have them slip immediately back behind again (laundry, I'm looking at you). I think I said on Friday that things feel marginally less chaotic, and that's good, but it mostly felt good just to lay a burden down for awhile, even if it's one you like carrying.
I think of all the social media things I'm connected to, I could let everything go except this space and Instagram. I'm not sure I will (shakes fist at Twitter), but those are the two that matter the most. More and more of us seem to be taking these breaks, and just yesterday I had another friend send out a Facebook message saying "over and out" for a bit. To my mind, it can only be a good thing. Could I have checked out even more? For sure. (Baby steps, people.) But I got settled back in with my family, and I got some good creative reading done, and I opened my heart to some exciting photography projects.
I doubt Christine was planning to really inspire anyone when she started talking about black and white photography last week, but it was just the kind of mini-challenge that I needed. I think in color. So in the past I've only used black and white filters to save a "bad" picture when I'm at the editing stage. Got a somewhat chaotic lifestyle shot? Pop that baby in black and white and it'll look like you meant it. See how easy?
But with Christine's nudging, I started thinking about what I'd look for if I were shooting a black and white photograph. Texture. Lines. Contrast. All of these things in the absence of color. Those were the things I looked for. Neel's garden provided a perfect backdrop for me, but I also wanted to spend the week capturing our life in black and white.
When I took my mini-project to my photo group, we talked about these challenges (And it was my friend Barbara who pointed out the sweet irony of "Violet in black and white!"). It was fun for the food photographer of the group (that's me) to put aside one of her favorite tools (color) and concentrate in a totally different direction. We Googled black and white food photography and felt pretty meh about the results, but I was determined to marry my two genres. I have some other ideas too, so maybe you'll see a bit more black and white from me down the road. Who knows!
So was this a "What I did with my summer vacation" post? I don't know. For me, a critical component of creating/taking pictures is sharing them, so I'll never go away completely, but if a break can sharpen my eye and heal my heart a little. Then I'm all in.