Week 7 – Objects

It was a cold week. That meant some sunshine, but still not too much. Here’s an example, taken quickly while waiting for my espresso machine to warm up. I took it on Saturday morning, which was bitterly cold. The sun was warm looking, briefly, before the clouds asserted their control again. I stepped outside onto the back deck, in my socks, took a couple of shots and went back in.

Cold Sunrise

I decided to photograph objects again this week. I did not feel like bundling up and still putting up with cold hands. I have some thin gloves that allow you to operate the small buttons on a camera, but they’re not much help when it’s below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I want to get out to Grand Haven and photograph the pier and ice and snow. Next week, maybe, weather permitting.

Instead of planning an adventure, I photographed while making and eating breakfast and having coffee. I was struck by the beauty of things related to food and drink. (The exception being my failed effort to make some sweet potatoes look interesting.) The color of the apples is astonishing. Or at least it should astonish. I simply forget most days, getting used to grabbing and eating without pausing to notice.

The bowls in the cupboard are my favorite image from this week, I think. The regular but soft lines, the shadow on the right side, the curve on the bottom bowl. They’re as ordinary a sight as you can imagine and yet interesting.

Caught out of the corner of your eye, or photographed right, ordinary objects can have a mysterious or confusing quality. One of these images is espresso accouterments, but what’s the other?

The final two are not food-related. They’re from the mantel on our fireplace. The food and coffee-related objects are warm, at least to me. Even the mess of coffee grounds is inviting. When I see the photograph I can almost taste my expresso and am reminded of my scorn of cleaning the grounds up. Surely not while my coffee is hot. Maybe later. Weeks later.

One of these objects feels neutral, as an image, the other sad, if not menacing. They caught my attention while I was drinking my coffee. The first is a stone cross, a gift from a colleague. The other is a candle–nothing left to burn, no light left to give.

If I was to describe my goal in these photos, it was to notice. Photographic mindfulness. It’s easy to notice the gorgeous light of a sunrise or sunset, though even there we often don’t take the time to really pay attention. It takes a bit more work to notice what’s interesting in the ordinary stuff of breakfast.

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