Tuesday Photo Challenge – Golden

I ran across Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge.  His word of the week?  Golden.


Have I got a golden shot?  Abso-freaking-lutely.  And a story behind it, as well.

Dawn Photos 004

This shot was taken in August of 2010, in the midst of my high priestess time.  I call it that, because I was in a studio apartment in the middle of downtown, was walking all over the place to keep the walls from closing in on me (studios are, by their very designation…SMALL living spaces), and had just realized what a wonderful energy the Fox River generated at the small dam visible from my unit’s windows.

Yea, I was drunk on the vibe and the freedom I had acquired by the move and the ending of my 12 year marriage.

Prior to the taking of this shot, I didn’t consider photography a viable art form.  You didn’t do anything to produce the image, after all, except push a button.  The gadget did all the damn work.

This shot was taken on a cheap point & shoot camera.  It was one of a series I took in the early AM.  I have to say, this wasn’t the shot I went out to take that morning (that composition didn’t gel in the slightest), but was one last click taken as I was headed back to my building.

This is the photograph that changed my mind on the photographic arts, turning me from a cynic of the art form into an active participant.  And though I cycle through artistic expressions (in my half-century above the ground, I’ve written, painted, drawn, carved, etched, sculpted, sewn, braided, photographed, photoshopped, and made interesting things with bits of metal), photography is still pretty high up on my list of ‘I’m bored…what can I do today?’ projects.

I even wrote up my story about the dread pink menace earlier in this blog:  Oops..I broke the Dawn  



Oops…I broke the Dawn!

Dawn Photos

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dawn ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week, the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge is yellow.

This holiday season, we’re throwing you a photo challenge color curveball. Many of us around the world are ensconced in the holiday season. You may be surrounded with blue and silver if you’re celebrating Hanukkah; black, red, and green, if you’re celebrating Kwanzaa; or festooned with reds and greens if Christmas is coming to your house. With this week’s challenge, show us what yellow means to you.

There’s a special story behind this very yellow sunrise, that I’m going to share today.

Many years back, I hated cameras.  They were the very demon of artistic people everywhere.  I so completely eschewed cameras, that the only photos in existence of my kids growing up are ones taken by other family members.  I did not save, request, or otherwise have any pictures taken.

I do have a few shots, professionally done, of the kids in their formative years…as well as the dreaded school photos – so I wasn’t COMPLETELY anti-image…just anti-layperson-image.

My mother has boxes and albums and boxes and albums and boxes of photos.  Every Christmas, Birthday, Halloween, Reunion, Wedding, Funeral, and Vacation was recorded with mathematical precision.  Every gift was Kodachromed.  Every pumpkin carved and outfit created was captured for posterity.  Every wedding lineup snapped, every sunburn documented.

And 90% of these were the same – Look here, hold up the item you just tore the wrapping paper off of, and smile for the camera!

Line up, tall ones in the back, short ones in the front – Dang-it, Karl!  I can’t see your face!  Anne, stop putting bunny ears in back of your sister!  Now everyone smile and say “Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!”

To this day, I still HATE stilted, posed shots…so much so, that I can’t pose a person or compose a shot with a group without having it look extremely wooden.  My childhood disgust at such cookie-cutter imagery is transferred through the electronic medium.

A few years before Dawn was photographed, I was forced at semi-gunpoint to procure a digital point & shoot for some stuff I was trying to sell on Ebay.  In defense of the money I was spending on this thing…I bought one with a bright pink plastic housing, so the husband wouldn’t take it, make it his own, and then lose it somewhere within the confines of the accumulated junk in our house.

The Pink Menace took the product pictures as requested, then was promptly banished to my sock drawer.

I dug the Pink Menace out again when I took a vacation by myself, and took one of my youngest son’s army dudes along. I’ll admit – taking the little plastic army dude with me, posing him, and taking shots was fun…and got me some strange looks.

Picture 013 Picture 028 Picture 039 Picture 046No…I am NOT a ‘foodie.’  Sorry to disappoint.  I just figured that my youngest would appreciate that I was feeding Army Dude on our vacation.

After I moved out on my own, the Pink Menace came with me…a stow-a-way sandwiched between pairs of argyles.  After the move, my mom requested pictures of what the new living space looked like, as well as Waukesha’s current look, about the same time I organized my socks.  Finding the Pink Menace was considered a happy coincidence.

I wandered about that winter, took shots of the downtown area, my building, and my tiny shoebox-in-the-sky studio apartment.  Duly posted them on Facebook so everyone and sundry could have a look.  The Pink Menace was not banished back to the sock drawer, but rather had earned a space on top of the dresser.

In the spring, I started walking the Riverwalk behind my building.  A studio apartment is, first and foremost, small.  Fun happens outside the limited space.  Lucky for me, my studio was in the heart of downtown Waukesha, and there was a lot of fun stuff just outside my door.

For yucks, I carried the Pink Menace, and shot off a few captures of the ducks, the flora, the river, etc.  It started to feel less of a burden, and more natural, to carry a camera.  The Pink Menace was worming its way into my heart.

Then came the Dawn shot.  It wasn’t the one I went looking for (that one didn’t turn out) but it was the one I found…or it found me.

Once I pulled that image up on my computer, and saw what I’d captured, straight out of the camera…well…let’s just say the Pink Menace was no longer so named.

I found I had a photographic eye…and that I could capture art…even with a cheap plastic point & shoot camera.

For the first time, I thought of myself as a hobbyist photographer.