With my back to the dining room, cooking burgers in the kitchen, I hear her struggling. She is getting frustrated, so I turn to see her wanting to open the sliding door to go outside. I decide to go with her, while Jack watches over the burgers.
With the sliding door barely open, both her and the dog bolt outside as fast as they can. She shrieks with joy, seeing the dog running through the grass, but she wants to swing. I steady the swing so she can get up and sit down. I sit beside her. She tugs my shirt down and signs "more" for milk. She wants to nurse again, and I let her. It's nice outside as I rock us back and forth on the slightly faded red porch swing.
There's still a lot of smoke in the air from the fires, and I always feel guilty when I bring her outside in the smoky air, but I can't keep a toddler or a dog for that matter, cooped up all day. At least it's not as bad as the day before when we went to the fair,
I notice a cloud, and appreciate that we can actually see the sky. I tell Clara to look up, over to the left and she points her finger at the cloud. It's getting darker out, The sun had set, and the sky was a bit overcast looking. Still, there was plenty of light to play in the yard while dinner cooked.
I looked down at her, brushed her hair from her eyes, and she pushed my hand away, then pulled away from my breast, and in an instant was off running after the dog. Something in the grass caught my eye. It was her dollar store, plastic, pink slinky. Surprised to see it still in one piece, I walk over to pick it up. An idea struck, and off I was, back in the house to grab my camera.
Jack's voice trailing behind me from the kitchen as I head for the stairs, " burgers are almost done."
Back outside, I pick the slinky up and place it against the glass of my 35mm lens. She runs over to see what I'm doing and laughs when she sees me with the slinky against my camera. I try to snap a photo, and off she runs. Hoping I'll chase after her. And I do.
The only thing to stop her in her tracks is spotting a dandelion in the yard. As I try to photograph her, Jack's voice, behind me again, " Oh, she loves to blow on the dandelions. Burgers are done." She hears his voice and sees him coming towards us, and off she goes, running across the yard again, shrieking and laughing, wanting us both to chase her now. Jack plucks the dandelion, and she comes over to take it from him.
Finally a few seconds that she might be still enough for me to get a photo of her through the pink slinky.
It turns out looking pretty cool, so I start snapping, aperture wide open, knowing I'm not going to get perfect focus and will have lots of motion blur, but I love the way it's looking so I don't mind a bit. Besides it was getting darker, so I needed every bit of light coming in to my camera.
We talked, she played, and I took pictures. The burgers were cold by the time we all went back inside about 20 minutes later. We ate together at the table, but I couldn't wait to go load up the images in Photoshop;. We cleaned up the dinner mess, and Clara was content with her toys in the living room, so I told Jack I'd be about 15 minutes. I just wanted to go see the shots on the computer. Before I knew it an hour had gone by, and I was calling Jack upstairs to come tell me what he thinks, and that we really ought to be getting Clara ready for bed. They were watching cartoons, and Clara wasn't thrilled that it was time to turn off the TV. I huffed and puffed a bit as I made my way halfway down the stairs peeking down at them, telling Jack that he lets her watch too many cartoons, and he had that irritated look on his face when I nag him about the TV.
They followed me back upstairs. Clara saw the photos and was excited to see herself, and kept saying "wow!" as she was pointing to the pink around the images.
Jack loved the way the images looked right out of camera, but I didn't want to edit the color shots. I was drawn to the images being black and white. I had played with editing with a vintage Lith setting at first. I loved how dreamy the images were looking, but I still tend to lean towards more dramatic, dark, and moody. The Lith settings I used were pretty for these shots though. Jack preferred the Lith edits over the grainier, darker black and whites I chose to go with. We're pretty opposite on most things, and the way I edit my images is always one of the conversations we tend to differ on often. However, it was tough to choose, and we were both coming in about 50/50 on liking the Lith and BW.
When we finished looking them over he suggested I stick with the lighter, softer Lith edits, He said it made her look more angelic, and not like an angry child, or a like one of the starving children you see on TV commercials. I laughed at his comment, and replied,
"Really, seriously, that's what you think, when you see these images of her in black and white?! I don't understand that thought process, but sure the lighter Lith isn't so moody looking, and I get why you're saying angelic, but she certainly doesn't look like a starving, sad child. I think your response is quite more dramatic than my editing." He shrugged his shoulders, and said, " I don't know, I just like lighter images, and lots of bright, happy colors, and lots of smiles."
I chuckled a bit and said, " aw, that's sweet, but I guess I'm just moody, because I don't gravitate towards the 'smile and say cheese' type shots. When smiles happen naturally in the moment sure, or when she's being silly, definitely, but my tendency is always to be drawn towards the melodrama in images."
He likes spring colors and I like fall colors. He likes sweet Southern Comfort, Sangria, and Miller's High Life. I like Jameson, Cabernet, and the darkest, muddiest beer I can find. He likes Toni Basil's, "Hey Mickey" from the 80s, and I can't stand that song, but I love Tori Amos, and he can't stand her music. At least we agree on loving every Stevie Nicks' songs with Fleetwood Mac. Anyways, point made. We're different.
So I saved the color images for him, and made the BW for me. It happens that way sometimes, and it's totally okay.
And,... the images in color.
Yes, I still like the color shots that I got in camera, too. The pink is pretty neat to see around her. I think I'm going to play around, do this again, probably with another color, and a real metal Slinky. It was fun to do.