Sunday, 6 November 2011

Image Scavenger Hunt

Photography can help you to start seeing things in a new light, which can then open your eyes to new possibilities and perspectives. This happens for me all the time. When my photography instructor assigned a scavenger hunt I was surprised at what I actually discovered and it left me with warm feelings about the community I live in and the goodness of humankind. The assignment was to find 5 items and they had to represent these 5 words; alive, hidden, soft, red, and old. So I went for an early morning drive around town.  I found a lot of beautiful images, especially with that early morning light, but I discovered something deeper; human kindness and generosity.

While at an antique machinery park a nice young man showed me around and, not only did I find all sorts of old, unusual and beautiful items to photograph, but the sun shone on spider webs that were hidden in the grass covered in dew. As I was about to step into an old shop the young man stopped me so he could catch a huge jumping spider. I can't recall the name of it, but this kind fellow told me that this type of spider jumps and it also bites. I so was thankful that he prevented me from being bit by a spider. As I stopped at various places on the outskirts of town, I enjoyed the peacefulness, the fresh air, and I was totally focused on the moment. I stopped at a lake just a few minutes out of town and photographed some ducks while an older gentleman was packing up the fish he had caught that morning. I had a conversation with him about his life, how his wife died from cancer, and how he was living with cancer himself. He offered me his catch of the day and I graciously accepted his kind offer. On my way home I noticed some flowers at the end of a driveway with a sign that said "Free". I photographed the flowers, said hello to the lady and her cute little dogs in the driveway. She had picked these flowers from her garden that morning and was giving them to anyone who stopped by. I accepted a small soup can full of flowers and headed on my way. As I drove back home my car was perfumed with the sweet aroma of that kind lady's flowers.

In this day and age we can get so busy with multiple demands on our time that we sometimes just feel like staying home in our own little secure worlds. Getting out to do this assignment showed me not only so much of the visual beauty around me, it got me out into nature, enjoying the sunshine, a little aromatherapy, and I also discovered the little kindnesses of strangers in an ordinary day. In hindsight I wished I could have photographed the people that I met along the way. Maybe next time.

You may want to take on this challenge yourself. Go around your community or even just your neighbourhood, looking for images.  Choose something else to hunt for if you like; it doesn't have to be something red, alive, old, soft, and hidden. Just get out in your community with your camera and you just may be surprised by what you discover.

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