This past weekend, while celebrating my cousin's wedding in Columbia, South Carolina, I enjoyed a deliciously solitary Saturday morning. I sat in the memory garden where my grandparents' ashes are buried, in a space between my uncle's house and the mobile home where my grandparents lived for the last decades of their lives. I updated my Facebook account (first things first, of course), listened to the wind chimes, and worked on a spread in my art journal:
Then, with only fifteen minutes to spare before I was due to have lunch with a dear friend whom I had not seen in 28 years, I grabbed my camera and made a mad dash around my uncle’s property, looking for interesting details, scenery, and “photo opportunities.” I have debated all week with myself about including the photos in my blog, since (as I’ve noted previously) I am a terribly amateur photographer without the sense to set the settings on a simple point-and-click digital camera. I am sure that with more experience and study, a better camera, and a knowledge of PhotoShop, these photographs could have been truly amazing. But in the interest of my theme for the year, Begin, I will start where I am now, and share what I came up with!
My first picture is intended to capture the kind of sadness of staying at my grandparents' house now that they are no longer alive. I took some pictures of the now-empty rooms inside the house, but I thought the dried-up plant on the front porch captured the spirit of what it was like to be back even better:
The statues in the memory garden were both beautiful and a little bit haunting:
There are no more willing models than my aunt and uncle's horses. They were lying on the ground relaxing when I started across the yard, and I was hoping to catch them at rest before they noticed me. No such luck, but I think I got an even better photo of this horse in the process of standing up:
Some more images of my "willing models":
My aunt and uncle had all sorts of interesting "country" details and photo opportunities on their property:
And one final photo, in the interest of living the creative life: Do YOU have a crocheted brick in YOUR home? Well, perhaps you should! This one acts as a door stop and displays my grandmother's initials:
I welcome your feedback on my shots, as well as any advice that has helped you take better photos. Though I am not quite prepared to make a thorough study of photography just yet, I am happy to learn from any tips I might pick up here and there.