I recently joined the photography club here in Ojai. I did not seek them out to join them, I kinda fell into them. I had gone to speak to them about this amazing book the I am creating with a friend. A book abut the Thomas Fire. An anthology about hope and connection and the coming together of the Ojai community as well as a book about the devastation and trauma of the Thomas Fire. We are collecting writings - poems, prose, reflections - and photographs (some of original artwork) that document the fire experience from the flames to the ash to the regrowth that is happening now - on the land as well as within the community. It will be a beautiful book.
And so I went to the photography club meeting to talk about the book so that these artists could submit photographs and images of their art for consideration for the book. And I ended up staying for the entire meeting and realized that I miss this. Taking photographs like this. And interacting with other artists who have that desire to capture - once on film - now mostly digitally, those moments that most resonate or that excite the eye, or that capture the essence of something rare or true.
And so I joined.
One of the cool things about this group is that, each month, a speaker/great photographer comes to speak about their process and their art and then they rate our work. And each month there is a theme. And May's theme is black and white. So I took some shots that knew would translate well into that lovely tonal image that no color other than the silvers and blacks and grays and white create. And then I manipulated them to create just the contrast and depth and shadow that I wanted them to have. And then I submitted them.
One is called Feet. The other is Sun Cat Dog Bed.
And then I went back through old photographs that I have. Ones I took over the past few years, a revisiting of old images and memories, to see what else I could work with. I made only one of them new. Changing the almost lack of color of winter grass covered in ice to another black and white image of coldness and shadow.
And then the other few I left alone. Kept them full and lush with color and the original perspective. Because I like them so much.
And now I am seeing the world with an even more careful eye. Looking at the form of an image and not just its subject. Balancing the weight and the line within the frame. And then the possibility that comes with taking what I now have and working it through my emotional response. Do I want it darker? Should it be cropped to isolate just one piece of the whole? Or does the original hold true the intention that I meant to capture in just that moment with the moment was real.
I am so excited about this.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Dog and Cat lover.