The Protector

I’m not a big one for photographing monuments or recreating great photos of historic places. I like to focus in on the details, like this angel atop a building in Madrid. This angel is strong and confident. It looks like he takes his job of protection very seriously, ready to intervene at  moment’s notice. Wouldn’t you all like to have a guardian angel like that? I certainly would!

PS – Do you see what I see in this photo? The Rule of Thirds!

Capture the Sky

I have been fascinated with skies lately. Whenever I am out and about, I find myself capturing a few images of mostly sky. Maybe just a little bit of something else, to ground the image, like this tree in silhouette.

There is so much possibility in the sky. It’s wide open, too big to capture it all with the camera. I can only capture little glimpses, enough to give an impression. The glimpses are so fleeting, as the sky is ever changing. The clouds and the light do not hold for any photographer, I have to catch what I can.

I am once again reminded of the Spiral of Creativity by this image of the sky. We do the best we can to capture the fleeting inspiration that comes to us, and pull it into our spiral. We figure out how to make this transitory and insubstantial thing, this idea, into something real. For all of the giant, expansive nature of ideas, we have to break them down. Frame them into something manageable in order to proceed.

Turn an idea into a manageable plan. Capture a piece of the sky. It’s all the same thing, and about as easy to do either. Yet, I am challenged to continue trying. Maybe, just once in a while, something great comes out of the effort. Something I can share with you.

A Store for Joy

New Year’s Day has got to be one of the most quiet days in any European city. Here is a shopping district in Madrid, midday on the first of January. Wow. Great for my street photography, since I like these empty places, but a bit surreal. The only people we saw wandering around the city on this day were other tourists.

This sign caught my eye – notice it says “Joyeria.” In Italy, many store descriptions end in “-eria.” Gelateria, pizzeria, cartoleria to name a few. I know that “joyeria” in this case means jewelry store (gioielleria in Italian), but I loved the idea of a store for joy. If you’re a little short on joy, having a bad day, you can stop in and get a boost. Maybe find the perfect gift for a friend going through a rough patch. Kind of a fun idea, don’t you think? What would your Joyeria have for sale?

Today I also want to give a quick shout out for the Creative Every Day 2011 Challenge. This is a low pressure, open ended challenge for any type of art and creativity. There are monthly themes, but they are totally optional. I love the idea behind it – it’s not about having some BIG CREATIVE GOAL, it’s about just being creative every day in some way. For me, that could be taking a photo, or writing a blog post, or reviewing old photos. There is a link up every Monday and you will find artists of all kinds participating – writers, photographers, painters, paper crafters, poets, musicians. I have found many interesting blogs and people through participating last year, and am continuing this year. I thought you all might find it interesting too.