in the alley

I show up and practice my photography every day.  I am intentional about this practice.  

My photo walks often include ventures through alleyways as I find what is behind most buildings to be far more intriguing than what is out front. Today’s pictures all came from the narrow passages behind residential homes. They are not stellar in any way, at least not any one image. But taken collectively they showcase the bits and pieces of our ordinary lives that spill over the boundaries of our “official” yard.

I am fairly literal in what I see, and though I am working to cultivate a more abstract way of seeing, my preference is for story-telling pictures in a kind of photojournalistic style.  When I spotted the knots made by the grain of wood on the fence, those that looked just like a face staring back at me, I laughed out loud. I took the picture and walked further along the fence and then all of the knots began to look like faces – a wolf, a peek-a-poo dog, a person laughing, a rabbit, and an owl. I took a dozen wood grain faces, falling deeply into creative flow. No stunning pictures or works of art, just lots of practice in seeing and composing.

It will be the photographer who masters not only her tools (the camera, the lens) but her materials (line, light, and moments, among others) and used them in service of creating something that is the best expression of the wonder we see before us – it will be the photographs of that photographer to whom people respond. And only with that intentionality will it all one day come so naturally that it feels (or looks to others) that it’s instinctive.
— David duChemin