I’ve always believed that our adult work roles shape our life experiences and consequently the sort of persons we are. Being a librarian is dramatically different from being a bricklayer which is different from being a pro football player. In my own case, my job as a college professor meant that I spent much of my time working with ideas – reading, thinking, talking, writing -- and this abstract, cognitive/verbal engagement spread into my nonwork life as well. As a result, I was pretty internally centered a lot of the time, focusing on the verbal discourse running through my mind, and consequently less attuned to the immediate external environment. Now that I’m retired, this has changed some. Because I spend part of most days taking photographs, I’ve become much more alert to visual surroundings – framing perceptions from different perspectives, attending to color and light patterns, juxtaposing objects. I think I may spend less time in abstract thought, more in direct sensory experience of the world. It reminds me of my sister Vicki’s lessened concern about language development in their kids’ early home schooling and greater priority to sensory activities like making music. It puts one more directly in touch with the world around you. Recently I’ve been trying to photograph images of nature. The subject matter poses lots of challenges. I’ve done various mini-projects – mushrooms, acorns, wildflowers, etc. Then it dawned on me that we rarely look upwards in our everyday contact with the world, and I got interested in the remarkable visual patterning available in the treetops of a barren, December forest. Here are a few samples from our nearby Burnet Woods Park. These were taken on a cloudy day, and hence the stark black-white imagery. It’s a mysterious, almost magical world up there.
-Donna D (12-18): this is beautiful and, you're right, mysterious. i can see myself in those trees...reaching up for life, energy and connection on a dreary day. donna
-Phyllis SS 912-17): Dave, Interesting. I've had the same experience since I am no longer sitting in an office listening to patients all day long. I think you'd love a book of photos by the brother of a friend of mine. It's photos of China by N. Kander. Just published and won lots of prizes.
-Jennifer M (12-16): I like these photos. The tangle of branches evokes sadness or confusion. Or maybe it's a Rorschach test and that's what I see. :-)