Unbalanced : Bloom Collective
The creative process fascinates me. Instead of a linear, here-to-there journey, I find myself on winding, curious journeys. I thought it may be fun to explore creative ideas, and how wrong turns may actually lead in the right direction after all.
Photography themes and challenges either inspire me or frustrate me, or, maybe, both frustrate AND inspire me. I suppose part of my style of photography is to "look. And look again."
With that in mind, I thought it could be interesting to see how a photograph is a journey of trying and trying again. An idea of UNBALANCED made me think of crooked horizons and offset compositions.
Is that the only way to show Unbalanced? Is there another way to show the story?
What is the photographer is unbalanced like I felt while holding the fairy lights in one hand and the camera in the other while trying to let it focus through the lights? Which is a fun trick, the fairy lights in the foreground. What if I was the one unbalanced?
Except that's so difficult to show in a photograph...
That led me to the idea of balance, and reminded me of the Star Wars tree on our dining room table. Darth Vader is the force out of balance, and him being on a pretty little tree seemed a little out of balance, too. In that way, the story of balance became "context" instead of tilted lines or composition.
He's terribly cute :) (another Unbalanced idea) but I struggled to find a way to show his story.
Then, dinner happened and we finished decorating the tree and the sun went down. We started decorating gingerbread houses. Another sense of balance/unbalanced. As they kept falling apart!
Gingerbread houses were tricky to capture because I couldn't get in front of the action. And hands tended to obscure the walls and roofs of the houses. That, and I helped so my hands were soon covered with sticky sweet icing along just like the kids.
That, and I used a flash so that influenced lighting and shadows and perspective.
The houses, even with the occasional collapse, turned out super-fun. We veered from Christmas Town to Nightmare Before Christmas Town as the Bakery became a workhouse for elves where they threw all of the colored sugar out the windows. The bank had a few heists gone wrong. And Santa terrified the entire neighborhood from his Chalet.
So much fun creating the crazy stories alongside the crazy creations. Perhaps unbalanced in that the stories didn't match the sweet colors and charm of the houses, but not quite what I hoped to document. And the photograph wouldn't show the giggling stories :)
So I was still on a quest for Unbalanced.
The next day, we all went down to the high school to play basketball. Not me, of course, I watched. And wondered if I could discover unbalanced in one of the leaping shots. Inspired? Not really... frustrated? Yes.
Then. Oh, then. I saw one of my boys socks was scrunched around his ankle. Balance! Out of balance. I saw the wall behind him with the perfectly aligned dark blue doors matching his dark blue sweatshirt. The whole story clicked. The entire frame would be balance out of balance. The doors on either side and his even stance. Then out of balance with the squished sock and crack in the pavement. A sense of balance and unbalance. The photograph fell together.
I couldn't have planned it better. And I wouldn't have noticed at all if I hadn't been paying attention. Which is the winding creative process. For me, anyway.
Then, to see everyone else's versions of Unbalanced in The Bloom Collective was a special treat. All the different ways that people were inspired gives me new appreciation for how photography shares stories of the world and families. Keep being inspired!