Since we don’t get much winter weather in Dallas, I definitely had to take advantage of today’s ice storm. It is treacherous for driving, but the ice does make for interesting photographs.
These photos are from my visit to the Plano Balloon Festival this afternoon. We didn’t get to see the balloons launch because the wind was blowing the wrong direction (and apparently they would have blown right towards a busy intersection with skyscrapers). But, I did still enjoy seeing so many hot air balloons in different patterns and shapes. My favorites are definitely the classic, yet colorful balloons. Nevertheless, I had to include a photo of the angry birds balloon just for fun.
Even though the necessity for lighthouses diminished before my time, I still feel rather nostalgic whenever I see one. Maybe it’s just the history major in me, but I can’t help but mourn some of the losses brought on by technology. I mean, lighthouses have existed since ancient times and now electronic navigation systems have rendered them practically useless. Don’t get me wrong… I cannot imagine life without my iPhone (and its much-used navigation app). But, it does make me a little sad that lighthouses are now merely historic restoration projects and objects of symbolism rather than true beacons for safe harbor.
Having grown up in Kansas, I am definitely used to flat and barren landscapes. Whenever I visit areas of the country with tall trees and forests, I feel like Dorothy waking up in the technicolor Land of Oz. And, no place says “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more” like Washington state. Everything is so lush and green it’s like my real life Emerald City.
I took this photo at the Olympic National Park in Washington last week. As always, I was completely overcome with how beautiful it is there. And, this particular moment marks my favorite of the trip as I looked up and just stood in awe of my ethereal surroundings. Even in the dark forest, the green of the leaves and moss stands out against the vibrant blue of the sky peeking through the trees.
There’s no place like home? I don’t know… Dorothy never visited the Olympic Peninsula.
With the opening of Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum this week, I knew that I had the perfect venue to find myself lost in the details. Although I don’t consider flowers to be as captivating as say, cuddly panda bears, they can be an interesting challenge for a beginner photographer like myself.
In one respect, it is rather simple to take a pretty photo of a pretty flower. But, it is significantly more problematic to take a great photo of a flower. You have to deal with obstacles such as too much sunlight or shade, wind, and even those pesky insects getting in the way. And, especially with a large aperture setting, I find it difficult to get the focus right.
Even though I took plenty of pretty photos today, I was mostly concerned with finding that one that really drew me in to the details. From a distance, this iris is already a beautiful flower with its vibrant purple color and unique shape. But, it transforms from merely pretty to fascinating when I study the details. I love the curve of the petals and their almost zebra-like pattern. But, I think my favorite thing about this photo is that despite the flaws in the photography and the flower itself, I get lost in the details… in a good way.
Despite this week’s seemingly innocuous challenge, I once again find myself struggling to determine what the topic means to me. And, in usual form, I have chosen to ignore the voice in my head yelling, “just take a stupid photo and be done with it!” What fun is that when I can instead sit here at 2:52 a.m. and overanalyze my reaction to the word? It’s not like I need to sleep or anything.
After a bit of pondering on the subject I have decided that “forward” is making me feel so panicky because I have undoubtedly forgotten how to move forward. Honestly, all I have done since I finished school is vacillate between standing still and turning in circles. At this point, I’m not sure which is worse… the overwhelming numbness that comes from stillness or the disconcerting vertigo from circling.
It’s like I just keep waiting for Simon to swoop in and tell me what to do. Simon says, “touch your nose”. Simon says, “touch your toes”. Simon says, “eat a salad every day”. “Simon says, “give up practicing law and __” (fill in blank with fulfilling career that is a perfect fit for me). “Buy a new Kate Spade bag”. Simon didn’t say… darn it.
Ultimately, I know that I can’t wait around for the elusive Simon to appear and start ordering me around. And, as much as I wish that I could magically wake up tomorrow with all the answers, I must find the courage to take that first step forward on my own. I guess that I should take the advice of Richard from Texas (according to Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat, Pray, Love”): “See, now that’s your problem. You’re wishin‘ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.” Easier said than done, Richard from Texas. Easier said than done.
For me, getting things done is all about planning and organization. So, I think it is time to start a list…