Playing with Window Reflections

Woman

Woman in Space


I’m often drawn to reflections in any surface. They hint at another world, a somewhat dreamy, surreal mirror of the real thing.

Window reflections are another subject altogether. Most photography articles teach how to avoid window reflections. This past weekend, I went out in search of them.

With an effective window reflection, we get a picture of everything – the window, the inside, the outside, and often the photographer too. All of life is blended together into one image, creating something rather other-worldly.

Normally, when we look in a store window we see what’s inside and don’t even notice the reflection. Going out in search of reflections requires a different way of seeing – a more playful one.
 

It’s a fun photographic exercise in seeing.

 
When I went out this past weekend, I set an intention to just photograph window reflections and nothing else. This way I trained my eyes to see this way and not be distracted (by regular subjects).

It felt like play and I knew that many of the images would not work out. But, there are always surprises. The images here in this post are some of my favourites.
 
Verticals
 

Green Jeans


 
To see more images from my photo walk, check out my Window Reflections Album on Flickr.

And here’s an e-book that I highly recommend if you’re interested in this type of photography, Chasing Reflections by Eli Reinholdtsen – available through Craft & Vision ($5 download).

See some of Eli Reinholdtsen’s reflection images on Flickr and read an interview with her here.
 

Read More

Sailing Away

SailingIntro

“Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford.” ~ George Matthew Adams via Brainy Quotes

Living a contemplative life is not all about slowing down or doing nothing. Far from it. Some of the most contemplative people I know are “do-ers” and very curious people. They’re interested in everything.

Last night, I finished my beginner sailing lessons. I’ve never been a boater, but I do love the water. I live in a town where sailing lessons are available close by. And, I was curious to learn more.

My goal wasn’t to complete the beginner class, the intermediate class, the advanced class, and then buy the boat. That’s what several others in the class had planned.

My goal was to try something new, learn a little about sailing, and experience life from a different perspective – from the water.
 

It was a very contemplative experience.

 
I was open to learning something new. I accepted that there would be some hard work and a steep learning curve and it was humbling at times.

Now, I can say that I do know the very basics of sailing; at least some of the terminology. I experienced some beautiful evenings and sunsets out on the water. And, I have great respect for sailors.
 
Verticals
 
I don’t plan to continue on to the intermediate and advanced classes – kayaking is more my style – but trying something new added some adventure, exercise, and beauty to my summer.

The quote above says it well, and this song, Sail Away, sung by David Gray, describes the metaphor of sailing as an adventure into the unknown.
 

 

Have you tried something new recently?

 

Read More

Always Photograph your Food

Nectarine Pistachio Salad

Nectarine Pistachio Salad

While I’m not a food photographer, I do love to photograph my food, if for no other reason than to honour and appreciate what I’m eating, whether at home or in a restaurant.

Food is a huge part of family memories – from favourite recipes growing up, to daily meals, to special occasions and travel.
 

It should be part of our photographic repertoire.

 
The preparing and eating of food is a sensory experience and can bring us right into the moment.

By opening our senses, we see the visual delight, smell the aromas, hear the slicing and dicing, touch the skins, and taste what we’ve prepared (or has been prepared for us).

We can photograph food in grocery stores, outdoor markets, events, at restaurants, on our travels, or at home.
 

See

 

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

I was delighted to find these bins of Turkish Delight at a local orchard store. While I’m avoiding sugar these days, the colourful bins drew me in. I bought four different pieces, and they were delicious.

See the colours, shapes, and textures as well as the beauty of food on your plate when it’s all together. I especially love photographing my food in a restaurant before I eat.
 

Smell

 

Soup

Soup Aroma

Pay attention to the smells as you’re cooking. Soup is a great place to start, or smell the spices as you add them to whatever you’re making.
 

Niagara Icewine Festival

Niagara Icewine Festival


Hear

 
Listen to the sounds as you slice and dice and the sizzles and boils and pops as you cook.

Or, the sounds of glasses clinking, forks clicking, knives slicing, people talking at an event, restaurant, or coffee shop.

The image to your right was taken at the Niagara Icewine Festival outdoors last January.
 

Touch

 
Even your snacks are fair game. Doesn’t this image of caramel corn make you want to reach out and touch (and eat)?

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn


Feel the textures as you prepare (or eat) your food – from the smoothness of the apple to the fuzziness of the peach to the jagged edges of the pineapple.

The variety of textures is amazing.

Also, feel the way the food lands in your mouth.

Besides the taste, you can feel the texture of a piece of meat or the refreshing lightness of a cool drink, or the softness of a piece of chocolate.
 
 

Taste

 

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

And, finally when our food is ready, it’s time to photograph, and then taste and enjoy. After all, that’s what it’s there for.
 
Resources on Food and Photography

Marie Robledo – food portfolio. She is one of my favourites because of her emphasis on design.

Top Ten Food Photographers from Flavour

11 Great Camera Angles for Food Photography from Digital Photography School

Eat Your Way to Gorgeous (a class I’m taking now) from Sue Ann Gleason of Conscious Bites Nutrition

Read More