Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photo Shootout on a Saturday Morning in December

I drove Wify and her Buddhist friends to Valrico for a Sutra chanting session on the occasion of the birthday of Amitabha at Brian and Connie's place yesterday morning. Having completed the front end of the duty as a chauffeur, I headed off to the nearby Brandon Public Library to look for used books and to seek out new arrivals as usual, little realizing that the opening hour has been delayed, manifesting one of the sure signs of economic downturn, cutting back on overhead. Arriving one hour ahead of the revised opening hour of 10am, I debated whether to adjourn to a mall further down the road or to stick around to read a book in the car. Then again, I was not sure whether the businesses would do likewise whence I would end up reading too, but in a different parking lot.

Looking out the car's window, my scan was met with a placid landscape of buildings and park amidst trees and hedges of varying shades and shapes. Devoid of any obvious human intrusion save for the sporadic passing of vehicles cruising down the road at this hour, the vista was a relaxing one, unhurried in the absence of the hustle and bustle and fully revealing nature's glory. Then an idea sprang up: why don't I go on a shooting expedition around the area using my newly acquired point and shoot Nikon L18?

Yes, it seemed like a waste of resources and opportunity when one has access to the tools of digital photography replete with its advantages of unparalleled experimentation and instant feedback, and more importantly, such a wide array of shooting materials virtually frozen in time to work with. This has to be one of the occasions during which one's foray is limited by one's imagination, only circumscribed by one's ability for juxtapositional arrangement of different subjects and capturing their interactions and fusing the different parts into a coherent whole, much like an artist putting different elements into a masterpiece for posterity, or a musician blending different notes into an ensemble of melody for a virtuoso performance.

Thus convinced, I immediately launched into what turned out to be a refreshing experience, trekking through the lightly wooded area surrounding the Library and selecting the theme (message) and the emphasis (subject) driven by simplicity (nothing to distract from the subject), the chilly morning perhaps making me tuck at my jacket's collar from time to time. [I read about these three elements of a photo composition from an online article here, Composition: Part I, by Wendy Folse when I was preparing the blog outline in a library computer after my morning quest so as to flesh out the meat later at home.]

And here I would like to share these captured moments, done with time but no monetary (as in recurrent) investment.

This furry critter is the only subject of dynamism captured, effortlessly darting around the tree trunk from top to bottom, a picture of nimbleness.

The collage of signages, which are ubiquitous, but not the normal run of the mill type like traffic signs, superposed on a montage of children drawings in the center, testifying to the highly visual world we live in.

A jumbotron of sort, except that I'm in it, hoisting the camera up above my head for a panaromic shot of the relecting windows, and the reflected scenery.

Another jumbotron shot, but this time at a corner of the same building, capturing two reflections intercepting each other forming a tree arch with truncated top.

An empty baseball field, one of many adjacent to each other in Clayton Park across from the Library, one of which is the home of the South Brandon Little League, conjuring up images of the cacophonous atmosphere and shouts of "let's play ball" when filled. Ain't the sky gorgeous with graduated blue hues and uncluttered by clouds? I did hear some clanking noises of people batting from further back. Winter training perhaps?

These constructions to the left, with layered netting all round, have a somewhat ominous sounding name, Cages. Of course they are meant for practice sessions to prevent pitched or batted balls from flying all over the place.

This image, backdropped against the azure sky, features two common sights in the Sunshine State, the stately palms, a perennial symbolizing one of the three S's (sun, sand, and surf) linked to Florida, and a squarish one-storey flat-topped buildings populating the sprawling suburbia, reflecting the plentiful land space without the soaring heights that dominate the city skyscape, leaving the turquoise expanse unencumbered.

Plants soaring through the roof, literally, actually a purposeful opening on the roof, blending green into and through the premises, a variation of the theme of rooftop garden.

And this is the entire view of the above phenomenon from a distance, differentiating between the featured plants through the roof from the others.

A view of the lake abutting one side of the Library, displaying the color of the Fall (foliage) and the impending change of season (Christmas tree in the middle of the lake next to the water fountain, heralding the approach of another season of festivity). Note the timber elevated walkway and the gazebo on the river bank for visitors to stage a scenic viewing, simple amenities that enhance the experience of suburban dwelling.

Sky-piercing poles, the central one with eyes in the sky gazing down at the ongoings of earthly affairs, with leaves intruding from the right, encapsulating a streak of white (the contrails from a jet zooming by).

The multi-hues of the fall foliage, exhibiting individualism that's the spirit of the life on the land of the free.

The usual vertical/oblique and the unusual horizontal elements of trees, silhouetting against the walls and the road surface, highlighting the pliancy of plants in adapting to the rigor of the environment, the epitome of resilience in nature.

I could have been fooled by the "imposter", the lone representative of the inanimate amidst the thriving, a poignant reminder of what we bring to the nature, often in jarring ways.


Lee Wei Joo said...

Is dad turning into a photography afaciando? A great collection of visual appetizers, I'm finding that dad's taste is complementing mom's artistic talents well.

Kitty Girl said...

Dang, what a contrast between the weather there and the weather here!!! Hahaha! Perhaps Dad is, indeed, venturing a foray into photography?? One thing I love about photography is that it makes you notice more of the little things that turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. Or at the very least, different than previously assumed.

Say Lee said...

Does that mean you're starting to feel the appeal of the Southeast and ready to make the move? We're waiting ...

The ease of manipulating a great shot both during and after the shooting is what makes digital photography so appealing. My next big plunge is videocam, theh again maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous pix!
You seems to have talent in photography.
Maybe your next plunge is to acquire a telescopic
camera to capture the minute detail of the object.
Chin Meow

Say Lee said...

Well, I know my limits. Point and shoot in digital photography is as far as I would go.