I love glass, especially when it comes to photographing things through it. It’s such an unpredictable medium, showing off itself, along with what’s behind it and what’s reflected in it.
This is the storefront window of a arts gift shop in Arlington Center. They change their display every so often and I come by to catch up on the latest arrangement. On certain days, at certain times, you can see the world in front of, and behind, that window.
Green grass. Blue water. Red berries. Yellow flowers. Sigh. I know they’re coming, but the mere thought makes me nostalgic. New England is beautiful in the summer and fall. You’ve got coastlines, gardens, grand old houses and blue, blue skies. It gets very hot and muggy in Boston, heat island that it is, but the perfect days more than make up for it.
I’m going to dig into my past for these landscape pictures and try a little creative cropping, just like the exercise recommends.
Okay, here we go. I took this last summer when my husband and I visited his parents in Newton, about a 20 minute drive away. They live just up the street from Bulloughs Pond and we took a walk around it one afternoon before dinner. I’m going to try cropping it a bit:
Well, that’s a little better. The water is more pronounced although the picture seems a bit out of focus to me. Or maybe it’s just my monitor. I tried a few effects on Pixlr (highly recommended online editor, by the way. It’ll let you upload a picture from a URL).
Here I am again, catching up over the weekend! Way back when, we were asked to capture an image that represents size and point of view. In a word: BIG.
Getting outside to take pictures is an ongoing challenge, but I had errands to run yesterday and my head was pounding anyway. So, I turned off the computer and put on my coat. That check wasn’t going to deposit itself!
The Boston area is home to many home-grown versions of religion, including and especially Unitarianism and its sister, Universalism. It’s a pretty easy-going creed. The initial idea was that God wasn’t a trinity, but a singular unit. Take that, traditional Christianity! The First Parish Unitarian Church dates back to the 1600s in Arlington, then West Cambridge. Fast forward a few hundred years and you’ve got The First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church on the corner of Pleasant Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center.
The original building constructed so long ago was lost in a fire at some point in the 1950s or early 1960s. I’m not up on my history when it comes to this building, or this denomination. I’m not the worshiping type. However, the church rebuilt in the early 1960s with what I consider to be a pretty ugly but rather striking construction. Minimalist, with some rather stark lines. The bell tower is unmistakable, though, and really, really big:
The building as a whole doesn’t do much for me, but that tower is an Arlington, MA landmark. You can’t miss it!
Onto things mysterious. My favorite mysterious photo is of a path leading to a mysterious destination. I’ve got a few of those floating around somewhere but wanted something a bit more current. Since I actually made it outside today, at least as far as the Starbucks across the street, I kept my eyes open for images that ask questions. Like, what’s on the other side?
I found a few other intriguing images. This one was kind of fun, since it caught a lonely object on a window sill of the Arlington Center Starbucks, as well as the reflection of the store and the town center.
Then, finally, this intriguing fellow painted onto a utility box in the Center. He’s just now become visible in his entirety. He’s looking for/at something. What?
The poor guy looks a bit washed out after all the snow.
Well, folks, I think spring might actually be en route. We had some snow on Sunday, but it’s all melted. The snow banks are slowly disintegrating. I’m actually starting to see sidewalks and landscaped features. It’s still cold and windy, but things are slowly looking up.
There’s that little bit of warm, peeking out from behind the storm clouds. Meanwhile, I can hear the wind howling outside of my window and can see spatters of rain on the panes. I’m happy I’m inside, but it was nice to get out for a while.
As I’ve mentioned before, color is a challenge this time of year. Everything from the sky down to the grimy snow banks is a very dull gray.
I went to my local supermarket to do some shopping and to find some colors. You think they’d be there? Nope. I think it was the lighting, or maybe that plus the exhausted state of the vegetables that turned the whole place gray. I couldn’t believe it! If you couldn’t find color in a food store, where could you find it? I eventually came across something that might suit for this challenge: string bags filled with different types of fruit.
Well, okay, color! And I do like that tumbling down linear quality of it.
So, for your viewing please, here my pop of color for the day.
Well, here comes Janie-come-lately to the next Photo 101 exercise: Natural World and Leading Lines.
Right now the natural world is pretty disgusting. It’s cold and rainy out, threatening to turn to slush the minute the temperature starts to drop. The snow banks are exhausted and filthy and nothing has yet dared to poke its green head out. I tried to find something close to home and, after a few seconds wandering and getting wet, found it. I couldn’t figure out which orientation worked better, so I’m posting both pictures:
This will someday be a Rose of Sharon. It will be beautiful. Right now it’s emerging, cold and bare, from its snowbank womb. I like the way the branch parallels, or tries to parallel, the gutter to its left.
Or maybe this view is better:
You can really see the branch struggling here and there’s an interesting juxtaposition of the vertical branch against the horizontal stripes of the shingles and the front bay window.
It’s drab, dark and depressing, but it’s also a harbinger of better days to come.
Well, I’m catching up, slowly but surely. The exercise for day six had to do with composition and connection. It took me a while to find a good photo for this. I wandered outside of the house yesterday – without my boots! – and paid a visit to the library. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. I decided to wander from floor to floor, just to see what I found there.
My inspiration came immediately, right at the staircase:
Our library has an old and a new section. The stairway connects the two. The bannister is really interesting: tall people can hold the topmost bar, the wooden bar is set at average height. Tots have something to hang onto as well. So, all sizes, together. It’s a design element, I’m sure, but one that adds a very practical feature.