I was standing on Mt Hood alone at twilight. It was 2009. I had just applied for my job at Sandy Library – or maybe I hadn’t applied for it yet. I think I was thinking about applying for it. Raf and I decided to have a getaway vacation in late August so we stayed at the Timberline Lodge for a couple of nights. The first night there we went for a walk behind the lodge up on the trails. Raf went ahead of me on the Timberline Trail to see what was up there and I stayed behind, taking pictures of lupines. The sun was setting and the light was beautiful.
I was in a stressful place in my life at that time. I was really unhappy where I was. I hated living in Spokane and so did Raf but we felt stuck. When I was on Mt Hood that evening all of that stress and unhappiness melted away for a few moments while I stood there. I shot my photos and stood up and took a breath. I was alone on the trail. I looked around at the beauty around me and was in awe of it. I let the beauty sink in. I felt the cool breeze. I looked at the carpet of purple before me that I was photographing. My senses seemed to be tuned in – superpower style – to that moment. My sense of hearing kicked in and I heard a strange sound. I heard the sound of thousands of bees buzzing. It was an amazing sound and I tuned in a bit more. I just sat there and listened to the bees for what seemed like an eternity. I was in awe. I was in this amazing, beautiful place, listening to thousands of bees going about the mundane business of pollinating flowers. In that moment I realized that I was happy. I felt happiness. I felt pure happiness.
It is a strange thing when you realize you are feeling happiness. I don’t feel pure happiness very often. I can probably count the times I have felt this feeling on one hand. Each time has been special and I remember these times with great clarity.
This particular time was accompanied by a sense of peace. That everything would be fine. Everything would work out.
It still blows my mind when I think about the fact that I had no idea I would be moving to Mt. Hood two months later. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time. My whole life changed from that moment.
One of the things I am trying to think about when I make a photo is the storytelling element. I think the title is one of the very important elements in the storytelling that goes on in photography. The viewer doesn’t have much else to go on, there is the title and then there is the image. It is up to the viewer to create the story in their mind.
With that in mind, I was looking at the image above that I took the day after our Ice Storm. I kind of liked it and thought I would upload it to Flickr. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of a title. I thought of my standard “state the obvious” (ice on branch) but I’m sick of stating the obvious. I wanted to come up with something better than that. I decided to do something else, since my brain was being uncooperative. I would let fate title this photo.
I turned iTunes on random and thought, “the first song that comes on, the first line of that song, that will be the title of this photo. I don’t care what it is.”
So I pushed play and Metallica’s One came on. I listened to the beginning musical lines and thought “wow, if I could title this photo with music this would be perfect” because have you ever sat and listened to the musical introduction to this song? It’s really beautiful and sad and it seemed fitting. But then the first lines played: “I can’t remember anything, can’t tell if this is true or a dream.” It was perfect.
So I have taken to doing this exercise lately when I upload photos to Flickr and it’s been fun – a nice creative exercise for my brain. The two random things together seem to create an interesting story. Sometimes the lyric is quite appropriate, like the one for the photo above.
Many of the songs that come up are songs that I have only heard a few times. I download a lot of music that I forget about. Doing this exercise has reintroduced me to songs that I’ve been enjoying lately.
I thought, for fun, I would put together a playlist of these random songs and post them here as a blog post. At the end of the post is a gallery of the photos if you are interested in the seeing them as well.
They call me Stacey. They call me her. They call me Jane. That’s not my name.
Hand Held Dream
Sun, silence all around. One, no one around.
I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling raw, I’m in the prime of my life.
I heard a rumor that I was amazing.
I will never get to sleep.
You Lead The Way, I’ll Follow
Raf and I had a fun day a few weeks ago playing cameras together. I think I am luring him, ever so slowly, into the world of film photography. He has decided that the Praktica is his so he has been using that. I was playing with a cheap find at Goodwill.
The roll in the Praktica was the first of the bulk roll of Arista 100 and I am very pleased with the results! I was a little nervous about how it would look but I am really liking the results of Raf’s roll. He still has to scan much of the roll so there is more to see. The next roll I will show him how to develop film.