It was two degrees outside when I woke up this morning. Midwinter is often a time of creative struggle for me because I just want to hibernate. Fortunately the winter light is also magical because the sun stays low in the horizon. When I feel I can’t make time to go out and photograph I often find a spark of inspiration during the minor little tasks of daily life.
One day I had pulled out a pear on a cutting board and was about to slice it when I saw the beautiful shadow and the way the light sparkled on the glass cutting board. I immediately went for my camera and made a photograph.
Periodically I will wander around the house and make photographs of banal objects. Light on a drawer handle can be inspiring. It is a form of a walking meditation and a gratitude practice.
Some of these ideas come from studying the work of Freeman Patterson. Patterson was a theologian with a Masters in Divinity who wrote a paper titled Still Photography As A Medium Of Religious Expression. He is also well known for teaching creativity workshops and writing philosophical tomes about photography. One of his creative exercises involves throwing a hula-hoop in the air and letting it land randomly with the objective of making 20 photographs within the confines of the plastic circle. From him I confirmed what I had known intuitively, which is that I can make my best work close to home.
I find that the combination of banal objects with directional light elevates the mundane to the spiritual. It does it in a way that I cannot describe in words other than the term INEFFABLE. Finding these moments has been my goal as a photographer ever since.