When I saw that Inspiration was the theme of WP Weekly Photo Challenge, I decided to sleep over it before searching for images.
What is inspiration? Beyond definitions of dictionaries, what does this word tell me individually?
Having narrowed down my definition of inspiration, as the strong force that touches me deeply, and compels me to do the unthinkable and the impossible, I asked myself another question: what and who inspires me?
An easy and obvious answer would be to tell the world who inspires me the most are the ones I love. My husband, daughter, parents and siblings, nephews and nieces, in-laws, friends, etc…..but then the gallery of photos started to become too big. Well, better leave it for another blog post.
There are also other people, who I may not love as those mentioned above, but who inspire me for who they are and for the good that they have done to the world. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and so on and so forth. Well, that would deserve another post and I had never photographed them.
And how about those perhaps less famous people, who I don’t know personally, but their books or blogs? Some bloggers may even be reading this post now, not even knowing how much they inspire me and teach me everyday. These are people who, no matter how simple or complex their actions, have had the courage to transform their lives and of others, showing the same determination and focus to follow their dreams. They are a source of constant inspiration. I would need to ping back many of you, and mention many book titles here, but would have no photos. I found an alternative solution though, with this post.
Have I done justice to inspiration yet? No, because I hadn’t yet covered what inspires me.
My list started to become complex as I thought of work and leisure. No, let me not go there yet. You have no time for such a humongous blog post.
Simplicity was the answer I was looking for. If I look straight in the mirror, and search for what moves me beyond measure in whatever action I take, in any area of my life, inspired by any of these people mentioned above, I would find a constant factor, expressed in a few words.
Explore. Connect. Learn. Grow. Help. Share. Dare to do it.
What inspires me will have to come from any, or most, of the above words, translated from the experiences and thoughts of many people.
I’m happy with the answers to my quest for inspiration. But how about the photos?
I went for a Monday walk in the park with Jo, from Restless Jo, to find my inspirational photos. I brought my Olympus camera with me. I was enjoying the walk and had no subject in mind. Suddenly, a coffee Latte and a chocolate cake saw me, and invited me to seat at the nearby cafe.
There I was watching nature and people, connecting like a magnet.
As I changed the lens to a 60mm (equivalent 120mm), I spotted kids and an elegant woman approaching fast. I shot without looking at the settings, hoping it was in auto, because I could miss her behind the tree. Well, it wasn’t in auto…I like her movement though.
It was exciting to see her coming to the cafe, and I hoped she would come to the terrace where I sat.
I was thrilled when she entered and I hoped she would choose a table next to me. She found one a few meters behind me. I would need the macro lens indeed, and to sit in another chair with my back to the park so that I could focus on her. I took a few minutes observing her. She was waiting for the waitress whilst contemplating the park’s landscape. I made the first photo, not using the view finder, but placing the camera on my lap at the height of the armchair, so that I could discreetly shoot without her awareness.
I found her face so beautiful, strong, and expressive. Every wrinkle, every line, every curve in total harmony with the accessories she used. She looked like someone who knows what she wants and she goes for it. As the waitress approached, I saw how gracious and soft her face became. This is a woman who knows love. Who can help and share.
As she waited for her order, she removed her sun glasses and started browsing her smart phone.
Her face became more severe, perhaps for reading something that worried her or that she didn’t like. Her expression now openly speaking of a life full of lessons, growth, actions, mistakes and dreams that came true.
She then read something that softened her face. A discreet smile evoking happiness.
As the waiter arrived, she put the phone on the table and grabbed her sun glasses. She then took a very satisfying sip of coffee, and focused on reading her book. Totally connected and immersed in her activity. Happy with herself. And so was I.
This post may not make sense to you, maybe not even to me. I built it in my mind, while writing in free flow, and deciding for which photos to use. I shared with you what I consider as the most inspiring force that compels me into photography: People and the lives I imagine for them, while reading their facial expressions.
I am aware of shooting them anonymously, and I am grateful and honored to portray them in this blog, with my utmost respect.
For those who asked me a few posts ago, why I post black and white portraits, I have especially added a few color photos.
I am posting for the Photo Rehab. The community to share photos, learn from each other and connect. Want to know more about it?
In December 2014, after completing the Photo101 course, I opened the Photo Rehab Event in this blog, a ‘healing clinic’, for all of us who love photography (hobbyists, amateurs, pro-shooters and enthusiasts) who missed the course and daily interaction with other photobloggers.
I am always inspired by the photos shared within our community of photobloggers, and for that I want to share my enthusiasm with you.
You can visit all other photos of all patients here: Photo Rehab
MEET THE PATIENTS
Here are all 41 participants since January 2015. Go and check their wonderful blogs as well.
Laura Gabrielle Feasey
HOW TO JOIN THE PHOTO REHAB
Time: The Clinic is open 24 x 7
Camera: You can use any camera, from DSLR, mirrorless, compact, to smartphones.
Theme: Bring your creativity and photograph a theme of your liking in B&W or Color. With or without edition. We like learning techniques as well, if you want to share it with everyone.
Who can join: Anyone can join. All you need is passion. Passion to speak up through images – or words, if you may want to add your thoughts to it as well – showing what you see and how much that is important to you.
You can do a self-examination. If you detect any of the following symptoms, as carefully described by Albert from the blog Trigger Happy, come and join us: “Withdrawal symptoms may include the incessant need to carry your camera everywhere with you, the need to wake up in the wee hours to take photos during the golden hour, and checking up on others you met during the course to see what their newfound knowledge has brought fruit to.”
How does it work:
- Shoot a photo.
- Prepare your post and publish it. Remember to Pingback to this post and to use the tag #PhotoRehab so that we can find your post in the WP reader.
- Add your photo to the link provided below. In this way, you expose your photo to the other participants and the audience of the Photo Rehab.
- Here is the link to add your photos. Knock the wall of the Clinic… and click on the image below: