Sometimes photo opportunities come from paying attention to details. While in Edinburgh this past summer I began noticing that many of the old buildings contained small decorative flourishes with a message. They were often Bible verses or a moral reminder. Once I started noticing them I began to take photos of them. Themed photos can make for fascinating collages.
Some photos just happen in an unexpected moment, and this photo has become one of my favorite personal examples. Wendy’s favorite color is red. This past June while visiting Scotland’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Edinburgh, Wendy took a seat on a bench in one of the galleries to rest. I turned to look at her and realized that the artwork behind her made this gorgeous red halo. How apt. She had no idea why I lifted my camera and snapped her picture, but I loved the result.
Today is what we in the midwest refer to as “the dog days of summer.” August can be a killer when it comes to heat. One of my favorite quotes is from Garrison Keillor who said that living in the midwest is like, “spending your winters in the arctic and your summers in Death Valley.” ‘Tis true.
I thought for Photo Friday I would post a photograph I snapped with my iPhone on a whim this past February after a heavy, wet snow fall created a blanket of white across the landscape. It was a sunny, cloudless day after the storm and I loved the way the monochrome black and white of the snow on the limbs contrasted with the gorgeous blue of the sky.
If you’re feeling hot today, thought this might give you a reminder of what’s coming in just a few months ;-)
I like going through old family photos. There’s a lot to wade through and a whole host of faces and events that have little relevance to me. Every once in a while, however, you come across a random photograph that strikes your fancy. For Throwback Thursday I’d like to share with you this little gem.
I have always loved this picture of my Grandpa Vander Well which was taken when he and my grandma drove my mother from Iowa out to Idaho where my folks were moving shortly after they got married. There was a whole series of photos that chronicle their multi-day journey including the retro travel motels where they stayed.
I laugh every time I see this photo. I have no idea why Grandpa wanted a photo of the grill in the park. He certainly does not look particularly excited about it. He’s not cooking lunch. With his pens clipped in his shirt pocket he looks like he could be the state grill inspector documenting that the camp stove meets the Iowa Code for proper grill standards and maintenance.
I imagine my Grandma V sharing their photos with friends: “Oh, and here’s a picture of Herman with a grill!”
In a time when taking photos and having them developed cost money, why would you invest in a photograph of you with a charred park grill? Whatever the reason, I’m glad they took it. A half century later it continues to regularly make me smile.
Last Sunday morning I woke early as the sun was rising. I could not help but notice how gorgeous the wildflowers looked at the back of our lot. So I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pics. I especially liked the way this one turned out and used it to update the header on my blog. Sometimes the most beautiful scenes are right in front of us. The play of the sunlight through a window, or the sun rising through the wildflowers. We simply have to open our eyes to see it, and be willing to take a moment to appreciate it.
Archaeologists recently uncovered this gem (I found it in a tub of my parents’ family photos) from c. 1983. An early work by photographer Reed Davis (www.reeddavisphotopraphy.com). Anyone from the Des Moines area will recognize the iconic Traveler’s insurance sign that is a signature piece of the Des Moines skyline. The Traveler’s umbrella has been in a few different photos over the years.
About ten years or so after the first photo was taken, it was photographer Eric Smoldt (http://ericsmoldt.com) who snapped this black and white photo of me under the umbrella on a downtown Des Moines photo safari.
Add another ten years or so, and it was Jeff Bokhoven (http://www.designerimagesphotography.com) who took this awesome photo of me and my best men on New Year’s Eve 2005, just before Wendy and I said, “I do.”
What’s really cool is that in the late 1970s and early 1980s my dad was partner in Eagle Sign Company who, at the time, owned and leased the Traveler’s Umbrella sign. So not only is the umbrella an iconic landmark, but I kinda get to claim it as a family heirloom.
What can I say? I love Des Moines.
I’ve come to realize that there are some photos that you love, and you don’t really know why. This photo from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is one of them. Every time I’m flipping through my photos and I see this one my soul smiles. I love the simple joy lying on the grass, napping in the sun. I love the way Wendy and Taylor are placed in such natural, beautiful surroundings. I love the blue of the sky meeting the green of the trees and the lawn. Of course, I loved experiencing that morning in the gardens when it happened and perhaps that is the most powerful attraction the photo has for me.
Anyway, I hope it makes your soul grin a little too.