I love to shoot portraits. As I look around me, I see so many photographers that are really good. Unbelievably good. My editing skills are severly lacking, and who knows if I will ever get that under my belt! I want to take good pictures. Not perfect, just something that pleases me. In my photos, I am looking for that “painterly” light, contrast, and angles.
I adore every minute I get to spend shooting. I get to know a person a bit through my lens. My desire is to convey that in print. In editing, I like to clean it up and add contrast. I love to see the dark and light playing off each other. This one is my favorite from my shoot with Xander.
Dad’s hands have always been rough and gnarled. One of his fingers was broken when he was young and it was never set properly. It happened either in a farming mishap or playing football (I will have to check on that story). That finger is a bit crooked, and adds to the character of these hands that have known so much hard work. He worked hard farming, in factories, or driving truck. Growing up, there was an old tractor that sat in our yard. I remember him tinkering through the grease and grime as he got the old thing running. For me, those strong, capable hands inspired confidence.
Though his hands were caloused and tough, his touch was soft and gentle. In a moment, there was comfort for a teary eyed little girl or a hug for a broken hearted teenager. Dad would stroke my hair and hold me. I knew all would be well.
My best memory of dancing is that first dance in Dad’s arms. There was joy in his touch as he smiled at me. Dad led me on the dance floor much like he led me through life, with gentleness and by example. Words were not needed as we joyfully embraced and followed the music.
Today I cherish each moment I get to spend with you, Dad. I wish there were not miles between us, but I can remember exactly how that last hug felt. It lingers in my memory and I recreate it often, celebrating your love and taking comfort in your touch.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
I love this shot. It takes me back to a summer day in Michigan, with Dad working on that tractor. The details are perfect, the tiny tear in the t-shirt, greasy hands, red International tractor in the background, and dappled light coming through the maple tree on the farm. This picture celebrates my dad. I think it was taken around 1988. Wonder if I could ever find the negative…
Dad passed away today, December 11, 2010.
It was a quiet morning in Bend, Oregon. As I stepped outside, there was a hush. My spirit was moved as nature itself was stilled. The light seemed a living thing that morning, wrapping itself around every tree, plant and animal in the forest that surrounded Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It demanded a response from its witnesses. It would not be ignored. The ethereal light surrounded me and had presence. I felt that I could reach out and somehow grasp its beams. It sat on my shoulders. It danced across the leaves, bobbing and swaying through the branches in silence. It was beautiful.
The light filtered from above through the tall Ponderosa pines. The day was just slightly overcast, so it started from the heavens with perfect diffusion. Settling through the pines, the rays spread across the broken lines of the red bark. The layers of pine needles on the forest floor were illuminated, each needle brought into view. Like a painter’s brush, it washed highlight and shadow deftly, perfectly. Squirrels played in the light, scampering over pine needles with a soft rustle.
My heart sang with the beautiful light. I still look for that moment to be recreated. There has been no light since that compares.
Maybe that first realization will always be the standard, but I search on, believing that I will again get to experience the beautiful light.