Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colours, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters
Today is Earth Day and I love that it coincides with spring (here in North America), when the earth is coming alive once more. Spring brings colour back to the landscape, as Rilke so beautifully describes. Spring is about birth and renewal, hope and optimism.
After a particularly long, gruelling winter for many of us, spring is slowly and surely rearing its welcomed head. I can already feel my spirits lifting.
What we’re drawn to often reflects what’s going on inside of us, whether we can identify it at the time or not. I called this theme “blossoms at my feet,” since I felt very lucky to be in this new place in my life, doing work I love.
This year, I feel much more settled in my new home and anticipate some new theme will emerge.
The point is that we can all go out and photograph spring, yet come up with completely different expressions. My hope is that you will find the expression that feels right for you.
Before Photographing Spring
Take a sensory walk, paying attention to what you see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. For example, you might see swollen buds, hear people raking, smell lilacs blooming, touch soft grass.
Afterwards, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Which colours are you most attracted to? How do they make you feel?
I’m drawn to the yellows and greens of spring. They’re energizing and uplifting, even in the rain.
2. Which signs of spring do you anticipate the most?
See if you can associate words with those signs? For example, I love hearing the birds singing in the morning – music to my ears, happiness, abundance, community, greeting the day, nest building.
3. What are your favourite spring activities? What do you love about them?
After a long winter, my favourite thing to do in spring is to get out and walk or run or bike, to be able to move comfortably outside without a heavy coat and boots. I love the feel of the sun on my face and the energy in my body.
Do you see any recurring themes in your answers? For me, the recurring theme is energy.
Take a look at 70 Striking and Surprising Spring Photographs. Which ones are most appealing to you? What is it about the composition or qualities of each that makes them effective?
Master Dogen says in effect that you paint (or photograph) spring by being spring. You are spring. When you’re awake, the same stuff that vibrates chutes and buds in soil and trunks and stems pulses in your own consciousness. ~ via Jeffrey Davis, Tracking Wonder
How are you like spring?
See my Flickr set on spring for more inspiration.