“It is not on mountaintops that the charm of life lies, for we are seldom there. It is in nooks and vales, in odd corners, that life is spent and finds its settings.”
— Wallace Nutting
Your summer vacation might now be a pleasant memory, or maybe you didn’t even take one. In any case, you can still enjoy one of the perks of travel by looking at your present surroundings with fresh eyes. What is there in your everyday life that you are not seeing? Perhaps you often walk, ride or drive past an appealing house you never noticed, or your neighbor’s begonias are in full bloom this week.
I love visiting friends in their homes, because there are always interesting artifacts and appealing snapshots of their life to be found. These “snapshots” may be actual photographs, but really they can be most anything that gives me a glimpse into some interesting aspect of their personality that is new to me. If I have my camera, I might even ask if I can take pictures of whatever catches my eye. My question often meets with amusement that I think that particular “odd corner” is worth photographing. Something about the commonplace doesn’t seem camera-ready to us.
You can prove that it is, though. Grab your camera or smart phone and look around your own home, inside or out. The toys scattered by children or pets, the notes on the refrigerator door, the items sitting on your kitchen counter…all these are potential still life compositions that will someday bring back memories for you.
Of course, you can also shoot more traditional subjects such as flowers, gardens, people or animals. Whatever you capture in a photo, look for the charms of today, the places your life is spent. You’re not simply preserving a memory; you’re creating one, just by noticing.
One year ago today: