Friday, September 10, 2010

SOMEtimes it's NOT About Me...No SERiously!

(Snapped on 9/04/10)

Last Saturday, I broke up the monotony of vacuuming my studio (for the first time in two years, no lie) - to go watch my son's first football game of the season. It was a great game, our boys played really well, and they slaughtered the opposing team (WOO!) The hugs and high-fiving eventually wound down, and quick as a wink - it was time for me to head home...alone...

It was my ex's weekend to have the kids, and so I was to be on my own for the next few days. But instead of getting all "woe is me" during those times when I'm here by myself - I try to maximize the days when my children aren't with me - by doing the things that I simply can't do when they are...subsequently I distract myself from missing them so much. Not long ago, I filled the downtime by dating like a muthah...and then penning the deets in my other Big Ugly Blog. Lately though, I have no time to date, since I am perennially scouting out kickass locations and brainstorming ideas for new pics.. If an "ah-HA" moment hits me when I'm minus my kiddles, I get dressed, pack my shit, hustle to my chosen destination, and sometimes spend hours snappin' pics.. After which, I stay up late into the night - downloading and editing the spoils from the day. I swear it's like Christmas, only better I discover the handful of pictures I can actually use, it feels like I'm opening presents for once - YEA! 

By the time my head finally hits the pillow - my body's exhausted, my morale is lifted and my mind's already plotting whatever's next...I can't even tell you how terribly rewarding the entire process has become for me, most especially because I am amply entertained, during my days in a row with no kids...

This past Saturday was no different. The weather was was warm out but not uncomfortably hot. The azure sky arced domelike overhead, while flocks of curly clouds skittered across it like sheep. The humidity was low which made everything seem extra in-focus, in fact - that it almost felt as though I was wearing that pair of prescription glasses I've been desperately needing for years. It was nearly four o'clock, and the slightly acute angle of the sun cast a brilliant, sideways light on every object it touched and the resultant wicked shadows bled like ink into cracks, drawing lines around each detail with the deepest dark black...I knew I just had to get out in that sun, but where on earth could I go? ("C'mon, c'mon...think, Lauralyn - THINK!")

The short trip back home from where my son plays football, takes me past one of my favorite old barns in this area. I love it because there are always black and white dairy cows milling around at its base, and because its kept in immaculate condition...but its best feature is a prominent, glazed brick silo on its facade, which I've daydreamed about exploiting in my pics.. On Saturday though, that barn in that light, looked more amazing than ever, and I instantly decided - "Hell's yeah! I'll shoot THERE!" 

There were a couple of drawbacks to shooting on the old farm - first of all, I was gonna have to trespass. I had no clue where to even begin identifying the owner on such short notice, therefore no way of asking for permission. The good news - I live within walking distance which meant - with no car parked out front, I'd be less apt to advertise to passersby that I was there, right? exactly. You see, the second problem was that the side of the barn with the silo and all that good sun, is completely visible from the road, or no car - folks were still gonna see whatever cockamamie outfit I'd put on...yikes...

In lieu of sporting my naughty milkmaid getup on the jaunt up my road to the farm, I'd opted to wear street clothes, but that meant - changing clothes in the middle of the field (which I did quickly and no one saw, so phew!) Expecting folks to spy me from the road during my shoot though, I had put together an outfit which provided a leetle more coverage than my typical #HNT ensembles. But either the outfit (prairie skirt, apron, bra, bright yellow bucket) or the unusual nature of what I was doing (running back and forth between camera and barn and posing for one shot after another) caused every single vehicle that passed (and there were many) to slow down to 15 mph...or less (a couple passed by more than once - eep!) No doubt I loved having an audience, but it was still somewhat nerve-racking wondering if or when the farmer who tends to the cows, or the property owner might show up...

In order to get the entire barn and silo in each frame, I had to place the camera on the little table, a pretty good distance from where I needed to be situated in each shot. I would set the timer and dash over (barefoot) to get in position and each time, no matter how hard I tried to avoid 'em, my poor abused tootsies would inevitably find a thistle or that other vicious weed with the needly thorns...(It's almost a week later, and I'm still digging prickers outta my feet)

I always look at each pic. after I snap it, to see what I need to switch up in my pose or the angle of the camera...and in reviewing the pics. on my camera's tiny screen, I was tickled with how incredible the barn and sky looked, but at the same time flummoxed by how handily they'd stolen my thunder! When I zoomed in on myself, I essentially cropped out all the good stuff, and in doing so - bastardized the quality and the integrity of the pics.. I was starting to accept that this series of pics. was more about the gorgeous setting and less so - a stage for my theatrics. Quite honestly - by even being in these pics., I feel I detracted from their very aesthetic.

It reminded me of when my (now ex) husband and I while traveling, would quibble over whether or not to include ourselves in snapshots of the famous landmarks that we visited. My husband found the pictures to be boring, unless one or the other of us was in them. I, on the other hand, preferred to capture postcard-like images of only the monuments, that's it. And yet there I was contradicting myself on Saturday, in attempting to upstage such a majestic tableau.

Long story, well...long - after conceding defeat to my surroundings and - not wanting to push my luck by poaching indefinitely, I got dressed and climbed back over the fence to leave. But in glancing to my right, I noticed the most glorious pasture - full of cows, and despite the drought - still somehow lush, but best of all - completely hidden from the road. Once in that field, I got back into costume and took a whole 'nother batch of naughty milkmaid pics....but this time it was all about me! So see? I CAN share the limelight...I just can't quite duck out of it completely...

(Snapped on 9/04/10)


  1. Very Cool Just found your site need time to digest.. your amazing!

  2. I'm so GLAD that you FOUND it! I'm only just now discovering I've got COMMENTS on my posts, haha!

  3. Well, I know what you mean about the barn image - how you are in two minds about whether its you or the barn as the main subject of the image. For what its worth, my opinion is this: If you were making a landscape image of the barn then you shouldn't have been in it. If you were making an image of you alone, then you should have stolen the barn's thunder and cropped. But you were making an image of you with the barn... both magnificent in their own way ;-) So, the image is correct, and probably couldn't be improved upon. By the way, I love your tippy toe pose - that is one heckuva pose!

    Oh, the milkmaid image is the best image I have seen yet. The wideangle feel, the low viewpoint, the clouds and the way the cow on the right is coming towards you as though as to say "milk me" makes this image special.