Some of my blog readers might not know that I have a weekly photo challenge over on facebook, where 2 of my fellow amateur photographers and I challenge each other to a weekly photo posting.
We have to take the photos with our 50mm lenses, which are fixed lenses that don’t allow for zoom, but also allow lots of light into the camera.
So today, the day AFTER I was supposed to post this week’s picture (this happens, because we get busy, and we are forgiving of each other, which is pretty great) I headed out into an overcast Boston day to see what I could get.
This particular photo walk through the Arnold Arboretum, my go-to space for beautiful photos and head-clearing, seemed fraught with…well…all of the feelings.
First, it was my first outing since I got my camera body replaced. If you must know the embarrassing story – I was on Waikiki beach last month, poised to get the best sunset photo of my life, when I stepped on a rock, which I later realized was covered in green slime, took a flyer, landed in a puddle, clonked my head, and, you guessed it, killed my camera. It took me until last week to get the warranty claim filed and order my new camera body (luckily the lens and photo card survived).
Needless to say, it felt really good to be back out with camera in hand. You might find this weird, but I enjoy the tactile-ness of having a camera, of raising it to my eye, adjusting the focus, and clicking. There is something calming and cool about that.
Did I mention it was overcast? Yeah, Boston is making like Seattle these days; we haven’t seen the sun in…well…I’ve lost track. If I’m totally honest with myself, it’s making me a little glum, making all those “what am I doing with my life?” questions stab just a little deeper. But as usually happens when I head in to the Arb, I found there was little room for those musings as my eyes and soul filled up with the glorious contrasts of wet wood with new green leaves, flowers in yellow and purple and pink splashing on the canvas like nature’s highlighters.
It’s also the day before Mother’s Day, and I was on a mission to find the perfect lilac photo to honor that day, and my awesome mom. But I also decided to play a little game; with each click of my shutter, I dedicated that moment of see-focus-click to someone else’s mom. This gave me the freedom to think about my grandma (my dad’s mom, whom I miss a lot these days), my other grandma (my mom’s mom, whom I never met), friends’ moms who are no longer with us, my sister-in-law who’s at sea, missing Mother’s Day, all the new moms in my life, etc. It was a nice game, and I thought it might make me sad (see previous paragraph about gloominess), but the opposite happened. I just wandered among dozens of fragrant lilac bushes, smelling, snapping, and thinking about moms. It was pretty wonderful. And it led to these (I’m out of practice, so they have some flaws, but just enjoy the first impression and refrain from pointing out those flaws, if you would be so kind):
Here’s to Mother’s Day, everyone. I hope you get through it with good thoughts and memories.