Eye on the ball

23 03 2011

Photographer Me Ra Koh on TV’s The Nate Berkus Show on Monday had a tip for people who shoot digital pictures. I think that includes just about all of us! Her specialty is photographing children.

You know how, every time we take a picture, the tendency is to stop to look and see what kind of image we got? Her advice is to resist the temptation and to just keep shooting. The reason is, when we are photographing, we are using our creative right brains. When we stop to analyze, we are switching to our left brains. Not to mention the images we might miss when we pause.

This morning I accompanied Miss Marvelous to her family-child interaction program and recorded her being so very pleased about catching the yellow ball her Papa threw. Luckily, there was no voice saying, “Lemme see!”

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

On being there

15 09 2009

Ayla learned how to kick off her blanket this morning as a result of my playing peekaboo with the receiving blanket and her legs. Still in the car seat from the ride to our house, she kicked off the cloth on cue repeatedly, smiling widely, then cooing each time I covered her tiny little feet with it, liking the great game with Popo (Chinese grandmother, me). So much fun, she started giggling!

Was that her first giggle? I thought how blessed darling husband is to be the caregiver for this child. He’s there during the daytime when the baby’s cheerfully awake. While Ayla’s parents are away at work, he’s treated to many of baby’s firsts. I began reflecting on how the sweetest and most rewarding moments of life have to do with being there.

In my professional work, being there has made all the difference.

As a general assignment reporter who wrote the daily news, I had to be at events as they were happening, or there would be no story.

As a photographer, I could not notice a gorgeous scene and decide to come back later to make the picture because later the light will have changed and be different. I would have missed the shot.

As a children’s book designer who worked with models, locations, and photography, I had to go there to the photo; it wasn’t going to come to me.

As a plein air landscape painter, I have to be on location the same time each day until the painting is finished to capture the light I saw the first time.

Nowadays back at the studio, I’m experimenting with painting still life and changing my technique. My intention is to paint looser, to use a different color palette than my landscape greens, to apply definite strokes of thick oil paint with a palette knife, and to paint fast. This requires being in the mood, being in the present, and being able to concentrate in order to get it right the first time.

Mango papaya pineapple

Mango papaya pineapple

I’m painting subject matter that’s appeared previously in this blog. Wanting to capture magnificence before it fades away, I had to be there to witness the mangos turn from green to shades of red and red-orange to bright yummy yellow. I had to be there to see the night blooming cereus open for one night only until next year.

Something funny happened, too, because I wasn’t there. As the green, almost-ripe avocado pear sat on the table of my set, waiting for me to preserve its three pounds of glory in a painting, its color turned to the alizarin-brown of ripeness. Before I got around to putting pigment on canvas, I had to eat it!

As a Reiki practitioner, I know that our Reiki Master in Spirit is there for us all the time. We just have to relax, be open to receive, smile, and maybe giggle to witness the healing.

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke

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