When I saw the Challenge Your Camera topic this week was kitchen I immediately thought of The Palm Cottage kitchen. The Palm Cottage is Naples, Florida’s oldest home, built in 1895, just a block away from the Naples Pier. The pier was the only way people could reach Naples for winter vacations to hunt and fish and how food and other provisions were received. The cottage is now a museum where I learned about life not too long ago when Naples was well beyond the edge of nowhere.
The challenge requests photos be of things in our kitchen (sorry, but this isn’t mine) and be macro shots (sorry, I think that the items in this kitchen are better viewed within the context of the whole). This kitchen is actually an addition to the cottage made later. When this cottage was built the only electricity (produced by a generator) was at the hotel where everyone gathered for meals.
I went looking for “soft” in my recent photo files for this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge and found that my mind just couldn’t find anything that could be considered soft. The alligator I posted last didn’t have anything soft about it so I posted it under a different title. It truly was longer than it was soft. Finally it occurred to me as I looked at the photos I thought of when I contemplated “soft” that my mind wanted to “process” photos that looked soft because of characteristics like lighting, color, focus, and involved water in some way.
The above photo of grass and raindrops was taken early morning after a nighttime rain. I used a very short depth of field and there was a breeze that moved the grass ever so gently. I always stop when I reach this photo in my files because it so perfectly captures the softness of that morning.
I took the next photo because of the softness of the curved stems and gentle colors. Once again the short depth of focus creates a blur both in front and behind the main focus, the orchids with drops of water. This photo was taken at my favorite time of day, in the softness of morning light – no harsh shadows here.
I feel fortunate that I was able to grow up close to water – Michigan’s inland lakes and the Great Lakes that border the state – Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie. Even as a child I enjoyed how surface ripples would soften and play with plants, stones, and sand beneath. I find it fascinating to watch how currents and waves change reflections on the water’s surface and change the looks .
The next photo was taken in the Everglades, as the shallow water gently and slowly flows from Lake Okeechobee (south of Orlando) fanning out in a broad river until it mixes with the salt water of the ocean – the Atlantic to the east, the Florida Bay to the south, and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Sometimes the only way the current can be observed is with the movement of a floating leaf, sometimes through the movement of the water plants.
Often I find softness when walking on the beach just after the sun has dropped below the horizon and everything is bathed in soft blues with a touch of orange and pink.
Where and how do you find “soft” with your camera? You can share your thoughts and images by joining Ann-Christine for this weeks Len-Artist Challenge.
The special exhibition at the Naples Botanical Garden this season is Steve Tobin: Nature Underground, with the goal of getting visitors to think “deeper about the life under your feet.” When Patti announced the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge as subjects starting with the letter “s” I thought “How perfect!”
This one, Steelroot, 2007, is perfectly located to be viewed with the mosaic of the Brazilian Garden behind it.
I love the grace of this white sculpture but was surprised how beautiful it looks from the walk to the right, seen as a backdrop of the arrangement of these plantings.
There has been a lot of dancing going on in the garden lately. Maybe a little ballet by Dancing Roots, White, 2010, or some jitter-bugging by Dancing Roots, Red, 2011, or maybe the Tango is your dance of choice by Dancing Roots, Yellow, 2011. I’m not a dancer so maybe these sculptures bring to mind different dances for you – I wonder what dances are taking place underground in your neighborhood.
Another sculpture is titled, Romeo and Juliet, 2003. I haven’t heard the artist’s explanation, but there seems to be a longing between them. What do you think? It doesn’t feel nearly as sensual as the dancing roots, though.
The next photo is of Steelroot, 2010 taken with Lake Tupke in the background. I love how the graceful curves of the sculpture and the curved edges of the lake support each other. This sculpture is composed of three parts that are carefully placed together.
I lived in the north long enough to know that as March nears, nerves begin to get prickly and souls are yearning for signs of spring. It could be guilt that I am in a sub-tropical local with flowers everywhere, but more likely just compassion that motivated me to search for just the perfect yellows for all of you who are currently color deprived in your environments.