Friday, January 14, 2011

Before the Storm

Whenever there is a big storm coming, the animals know intuitively that something is up. They must feel it in the atmosphere, in their bones, in the air. All the cats head indoors about a half day before a storm hits. The chickens make sure they finish all their grain and whatever else I throw their way. The sheep eat copious amounts of hay. Unlike the animals, we humans listen to the radio obsessively, trying to determine if the storm will actually make it here. Lots of times, the big storms hug the New England coast and don't get this far. Wednesday's storm sure did arrive - we got about 18" of beautiful, fluffy, diamond encrusted snow and we are still digging out.

The evening before the storm, I went out to walk around in the sheep pasture knowing that soon only snowshoes would work. I took both Julia's iPod Touch for the Hipstamatic camera and my DSLR. Nice thing about the Touch - it fits easily into a pocket. Can't say that about the big camera with a telephoto lens on it.

This week, as I have been fooling (and I will admit, slightly obsessed, depending on who you ask) with the Hipstamatic settings on the iPod Touch, I have become totally frustrated. I guess it has been awhile since I have tried to learn something new (message to self - keep trying to learn something new). And this camera is completely wacky and unpredictable. I guess that's what kept me interested. I kept trying to get the images from the Histamatic that I thought I was seeing. With literally a flick of the finger, the lens changes, the film effect changes, and the flash changes. It is pretty much pure genius, as I'm sure many of you have already seen when you tried it.

But, it is a very different camera. What I have learned this week is that even with a DSLR or whatever camera you have, it helps to take a different look at things. Don't just stand there Kristin. Bend over, kneel on the ground, lie on the ground on your back, on your stomach. Everything looks different from a different perspective. It's so easy to just stand up and shoot, isn't it? Set up the tripod often and keep changing the heights even if you can't see what you are getting because it up against the wall and you can't get your body behind it. Change lenses. See what happens.

When I looked up in the sky as I was walking through the little bit of snow in the pasture on Tuesday, I saw the most beautiful clouds lit by the sun as it was slowly setting. (What do you call those clouds, anyone? Is it a mackerel sky?) It was just darn spectacular. It was so awesome that it made me think that the sky, the clouds, and the sun were telling us that something... and that we should listen.... that something big was coming.

And then I looked over at one of the lone trees in the pasture, a tree I love to photograph. It is an old apple tree that is being smothered by a giant grape vine. Every year, the grape vines grows wilder and wilder, full of beautifully shaped big leaves. The sheep love to rest under the tree and the vine for shade. Now it is bare and looks so alone. I walked around it to see how it looked from the other side. It was just so beautiful with the clouds and light behind it - mass of branches making its own beautiful painting against the sky. I started snapping, not knowing what I was getting. I can't say the photos turned out quite as good as the moment but oh well. I tried.

That's the thing with taking photos, it is really hard to capture the exact moment and to have the photo exactly replicate the image before me. I think that is what keeps me interested. I've got a few more days of Hipstamatic images and then I promise you, I'll stop with it for a little while. Next week, I'll also share the pre, during and post storm images that I took with my DSLR.

Next week, I'll be down in NYC at VKLive teaching six classes in three day. What was I thinking? I am going to be plum exhausted. I know the classes are sold out but anyone can go to the market and I'm pretty sure it will be fab. I'm looking forward to VKLive immensely - to be in the big city where I worked just after college, to see good friends that I never get to visit with anymore and to meet lots and lots of knitters. It will be overstimulating to say the least. The roster of teachers the Vogue Knitting staff has lined up is amazing. I look forward to sharing what I know with the students I meet and meeting many teachers who I have never had the pleasure to say hi to.

Either tomorrow or Sunday, I'll be launching the new "Get Stitched on the Farm Knitting Retreat" website and announcing the classes for 2011. Pop back in if you have the chance and have internet access. Good weekend everyone!


ellen said...

Taking photos is so tricky, especially if you are like I am and don't like to read directions.
I have tried repeatedly to take pictures of my beautiful glass jars filled with birds' nests, moss, oak galls and lichens. Whew!

Vermont Designs said...

When is Julia gonna make you get your own Touch? VBG. I have one too, but can't seem to find the info for Hipstamatic for Touch. All they talk about is iPhone. Looks like a lot of fun to play with.

Lyn said...

Gorgeous photos and good luck with the classes

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Love the moody blue sheep hipsta!
I took your challenge, sort of--I posted a Hipstamatically documented tea cozy tutorial. It's not the ideal use of Hipstamatic but it got me through the snowy week :-)
Thanks for the inspiration (as always).

Anonymous said...

I bought a new camera last year, not this one but it is a huge step up and one of the things I learned was to get down on the ground. That grape vine you have would make a lovely photo if you take it with the camera on the trunk and facing up...
or maybe you did that?