100 Words - Lotus Folds

A Picture is Worth 100 Words

Lotus Folds , 2019, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Gainesville, FL

Lotus Folds, 2019, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Gainesville, FL

For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

It’s been a couple weeks since I last posted a blog. As I’ve mentioned before I no longer have the structure that I came to love with the 365 Project. No longer producing for the sake of quantity over quality. The water series is taking a little more time because the end result is one piece instead of 365 pieces. I’m ok with this new process of creation, of trying things out on the back end only to present you with one final image instead of hundreds. However, I’m missing the writing part of it all!

I had an itch to take things to a philosophical level on the blog - what is photography in the age of digital, of cameras in most pockets, where does it fit in fine art, you get the idea. Unfortunately the content wasn’t landing. It was leading me further and further down the rabbit hole of research, and farther and farther from the art of writing.

Serendipity was on my side today when I came across a photograph of a certain political figure in the United States who shall remain nameless (this isn’t a political blog after all!). The photograph was from 2016. I won’t post it here, but if you’d like to see it please ask and I’ll share the link with you. It was striking to me how this person in particular looked completely disinterested while the entire room was exploding with emotion. I was furiously analyzing the facial expressions, zooming in and out. It was fascinating on so many levels. I just couldn’t help myself.

This image really made me appreciate the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Then I had a lightbulb moment! What if I did a thousand word series on some of my straight ahead photography? You know, the photographs that are gems but don’t necessarily have some harrowing adventure behind them, that aren’t overly processed in the digital realm. Or maybe I visit the location so frequently that there isn’t much more to say about a place.

Fueled with excitement I had to take a moment to see how long a thousand words really was. I copied my last blog post, the one on St. Augustine Beach and the three suns into a word program to see the word count. Oh dear, only 689 words, and that was a longer post. I wasn’t so easily deterred on this though. I considered 500, but finally settled on 100 words, no more, no less. And so the 100 words series was born!

I will take a single photograph that has minimal digital processing. Dodging/burning, cropping, conversion to black and white as is done for the inaugural image here, simple editing to highlight the essence of a location and subject, no fancy tricks. Then I will write 100 words on the image, exactly 100 words.

Without further ado I present the first image in the 100 words series - Lotus Folds. As always I welcome your feedback, questions, or ideas in the comments below. Enjoy!

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It was a windy Saturday afternoon at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. The wind was positively howling that day. The wetland grasses rippling and undulating in the wind. But the lotus pads are what always call me. I love this time of year for the lotus. The water was choppy and the wind was blowing up the skirts of the pads revealing tender veins and textures on the underbelly. The side we normally cannot see. Pads folding over like crepes on choppy seas. The afternoon light sparkles on the water and highlights every tender fold as the lotus pads endure the wind.