Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring is Here!

(Crocuses in my front yard today)

I love the first day of spring because it means another winter is past and we're one season closer to summer. And summer is the season I love most.

Tomorrow is the first day of class for me. Again. I love being in school, taking classes, meeting new people, learning new things. Tomorrow begins my photography class and I'm excited at the idea of being in a classroom again.

It's especially fun to be taking a photography class because it's a just-for-fun class... no pressure, just pleasure. I'm hoping to learn more about the features of my new camera and how to take more interesting pictures. Modest enough goals I think.

So what does today's photo say? The new life of spring struggles to bloom amidst the dead and brittle vines that suffered winter's wrath. The cycle of life begins again. How about... I saw some pretty yellow flowers and couldn't resist the urge to capture their image? Any of those work for me. I've longed believed that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And so is meaning. When I'm in a pensive mood, pictures say more to me than when I'm in a lighthearted mood. Sometimes a picture speaks to me with a story or a mood. Other times a picture will simply decorate a space with no more meaning than a series of colored dots on page, inspiring nothing. Is it me or the photograph?

Some would argue that a good photograph should tell a story or evoke a mood. But I've viewed some critically acclaimed photos that left no impression on me other than perhaps boredom. On the other hand, I've seen and even taken some photos that break all the rules of good photo composition and delight me each and every time I look at them. So is the photo to be judged or the viewer held responsible for the impression they derive from a photo?

As a student of psychology, the old Rorschach tests come to mind... the ink blots used to study interpretation. Different people see different things in them. The same person looking at them on different occasions will have different interpretations. When I looked at Monte Nagler's photos in class the other night I was impressed. When I looked through his photos again a couple days later I wondered why I was so impressed with him. The photos didn't change but I did. I'm a different person today than I was last Monday. It's something to keep in mind as I try to learn how to take better photographs. What may not look that good to me one day may strike me as genius the next. A good reason not to be too quick to hit the delete key ;-)