Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lines, Shapes, and Learning to See

by Kelly


Lines and Shapes.



Although we attach meaning to them, at their most basic level, the letters of our alphabet are really just combinations of lines and shapes.  And since line and shape are cornerstones of strong composition, I decided to take this month's challenge to find 'letters' in my surrounding.  


This past Sunday I set out down the street to my neighborhood park.  And I'll be honest...these kinds of things are difficult for me and I had some trouble at first.  One of the keys for me was to stop looking for an 'A' but rather look for a triangle with a line through it.  Or find a half moon shape.  Or a curlicue with a line attached.  For me it was an exercise in not thinking about things so literally....it's actually more figurative, imaginative, or abstract.  


But it's just like anything else.  Once you start paying closer attention to something, the more you start to noticing them everywhere.  And in the course of my 30 minute stroll, I had "found" all 26 letters of the alphabet.



These kinds of challenges can be really fun.  But I also think that they are great practice in learning to 'see'.  A great workout for our 'vision' muscles if you will.  Which we all know is the just as important (maybe more so?) than the actual process of holding the camera up to our faces and pressing the shutter button.



If you haven't had a chance yet to get take on the letter challenge for yourself, I highly recommend it. Maybe take your kiddos (or grandkiddos!) and go exploring.  They would love it and would probably be way better at it we are! 


If you do, be sure to share what you find in our Flickr pool!  We love seeing what you're shooting!

Until next time,


Kelly






15 comments:

Dotti said...

Oh, my gosh, Kelly! These are brilliant! Just brilliant.

kybarb said...

Wow! You sure did rock that alphabet! Inspiring as always, Kelly:)

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I also have a hard time "seeing" letters when I am outside.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I also have a hard time "seeing" letters when I am outside.

Michelle B said...

What a great challenge! I love how you 'saw' the alphabet.

Focusing on Life said...

Oh how fun....I have never even tried this, but you have inspired me!!

terriporter said...

So great, Kelly! I started doing this a couple of times but never saw it through. It's not as easy as you think but I love that you found all 26 letters in 30 minutes and that you weren't shooting actual letters (like in a sign) but finding letters in everyday things! Good eyes and great imagination! This should be inspiration to everyone who wants to play along with this challenge.

CarolHart said...

You are a clever girl Kelly! These are brilliant.

Carol said...

Wow! These are terrific! I have been wanting to do this all month, but haven't found the time. You have really "SEEN'!

seabluelens said...

Great job! This looks like a fun exercise in observation. I like the way your black and white treatment removes distractions and unifies the letters. I've noticed that stones on a nearby beach have lines through them that sometimes look like writing. Once, in just a few minutes, I found the "letters" to spell out my name. I laid them out and photographed them, then left them there. Now you've made me want to look for the rest of the alphabet.

Susan said...

What an awesome way to discover the Alphabet! Its funny how we can sometimes look right past the obvious! Great collage....thanks for sharing!

Cathy H. said...

Kelly, this is amazing! I have tried many times to find all the letters of alphabet and usually give up. You found them in once place in a short amount of time. I think the key is as you said look for the lines and shapes not the letters! I'm definitely going to try this again!

Cathy said...

Yes, brilliant Kelly! I am going to do the same!

Barb said...

This was a good exercise in observation and focus! I know my Grands would love accompanying me on such a search. Looking at things a new way is what photography is all about.

Roxi Hardegree said...

If this was a test, you definitely got an A+. I've always wanted to do this exercise but have never gotten around to it. Perhaps I should just keep my eyes open.

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