Journaling has never been at the top of my list of things I wanted to do....I mean, it's writing, which requires correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuations, avoiding run-on sentences and desperately thinking of synonyms to make it all sound more interesting...ugh! No, I was that odd girl (if we go by gender sterotypes) who loved ALL her math classes. And, yes even calculus (though, today I have no clue how to explain a derivative, a limit or differential equations!) As an architect, the blending of structure, rhythm, composition and design is just the way how I view everything I do. I have also always loved playing my flute and have often wondered if the math involved in playing rhythms correctly had something to do with it. Or perhaps it was being able to release emotions through playing music. And now……photography has become a similar “release” as a kind of visual music in my life.
Photography is an art. It is also a way of documenting moments in time. It is a way of sharing life experiences with one another. It is one of the tools we use to inundate our social media with "in-the-moment" moments.
But, what if it can serve as a time for reflection? This year alone I have had the opportunity to travel to far and away places.....Singapore and Ireland. And, yes, I posted my phone pictures on social media....but, what about the hundreds of photos I took with my camera? Yes, I'm still processing and editing (physically AND figuratively).....and, along the post processing path, I find myself transported back to those amazing places as I revisit them through the lens that helped me capture what I experienced. But, not only that, new thoughts, ideas, and questions bubble to the surface that give me cause for reflection as I conclude the post-processing of a set of photographs. THAT.....cannot be shared in a fleeting moment on social media!
In music for example, many pieces incorporate a "coda" in the composition as a way to summarize the theme and bring the selection to a conclusion, often with it's own unique addition to the basic original structure. Processing and editing my photography is doing just that.....providing me with a coda, a "Photographic Koda" of my experience to reflect upon for myself.....and to share with you.
So, in this year that I turned 50, I am going to write. Call it a mid-life crisis…..I don’t know. I plan to journal my experiences so that I may reflect and others may “hear” my visual music through my photography and my “kodas”. Hopefully, those who read them will too be inspired to share their own experiences in relation to these “kodas”.
My first “koda” is about participating in an annual photo contest…..which I just did again this past fall for the 4th year in a row and with great success! Well, although I am proud of the fact that 8 of the 13 photos I entered did place and receive an award……the true reward was in preparing the photographs for the contest. I was forced to really look back (ok, maybe scan) at hundreds of photos in this past year alone and pick out my best for each category. I’m sure you’ve heard many say how important it is to print your photos, right? Yes, it’s true! PRINT your photos, every year. For photographers, it is a way to conclude the year with a tangible and visual conclusion (or “koda”) of that year’s work. For everyone else, your “visual music” will be heard when conversations are had in regard to these printed moments in time.