Prior to my trip to Santa Fe I started reading Shaun McNiff's Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go. It felt like a handbook for my journey west, as though each chapter was tailored for the events that sprung up in the moment (e.g. starting the chapter on reframing the negative just after dealing with an airline employee who manhandled my luggage). McNiff closes the book with a section focused on practice, providing actions one can take to foster their creativity on a regular basis. I really took to heart the chapter on Becoming a Stranger. It was once again a melding of moments for me, and yet another connection to the 365 Project.
When I was out west I was constantly awestruck by the visual feast of the landscape. I wanted to capture as much as I could see with the camera. At one point I joked that I could stand in one spot and take a shot for every degree to make 360 degrees because I couldn't stop spinning around. The shadows and light change every second, and something completely different results. Perhaps a new project!? The 360 Project! Let's finish this one first...
When you're a stranger in a new place you can't help but be inspired by the most mundane of things. Views on the side of the highway prompt sudden pullovers, cracks in the street turn your focus to the ground, unique rocks, elegant leaves. Conversely when you're home you take those details for granted. It's easy to glide through the routine and lose sight of that inspiration. Thus McNiff is encouraging the reader to pretend to be a stranger as they go about their normal affairs in order to cultivate more creativity. Challenge accepted! In this case I'm going to bring together my 365 raw image (my habit, my routine) with something new from Santa Fe (a place where I am a stranger).
I've been steadily going through my images from Santa Fe and I'm still in awe by the power of the landscape out west. I enjoyed the pale, ghost like rocks of Tent Rocks, but my heart craved earthy red rocks. Heart of the Earth rocks. On our last day in Santa Fe we met up with two former Gainesville artists/residents, Bill & Leslie, who couldn't have been better tour guides. They took us through the small town of Abuiquiu, where they currently call home, and patiently pulled over every 30 feet so I could get out and shoot. I'm exaggerating of course, but it sure felt like it and I am forever grateful! This beautiful red rock with layers upon layers of time and sediment really struck me. Standing tall and proud, with little wisps of blue peaking through the clouds to add a wonderful contrast. I'm in love.
For week 33 I married the red rocks of Abiquiu with the Raw image of the 365 Project. Instead of thinking about all my favorite parts of the Raw image, I focused entirely on the what ifs of blend modes. What results strike me the most and why? What do they remind me of, and how can I accentuate those elements to bring that imagery forward? Here goes...
#225 is like stepping into a swimming pool nestled in the clouds.
#226 is a rip in time.
#227 is moon rock in space.
#228 is leading you into a secret pool.
#229 is petroglyphs on the rock face.
#230 is an ancient temple.
#231 is from a golden age.
That concludes week 33. Did any of the images from this week remind you of something else? Share your perspectives in the comments. Perhaps you'd like to practice becoming a stranger in your day to day life? I'd love to hear about. Thanks so much for following along!