Unfortunately, I am not good at remembering my camera, and my phone isn’t fancy, but I do try to take photographs whenever I can. I couldn’t even tell you what I like to photograph, it is so random, but I guess it is really about whatever provokes a reaction inside me at the time. Gradually, I am learning to look at my photographs as memories, that become art, but it is definitely a work in progress.
When I visited Tahiti, I had lots of crazy photographic moments. One in particular, was when I went to see the Paul Gauguin Museum. I booked a tour, and was beyond excited to see his work in the actual place where he had lived. To this day, the entrance to that Museum still makes me catch my breath with surprise.
As we turned off the main road, the bus hit a pot-hole, and the dirt made me wonder if the driver really knew where he was going. A moment later, I grabbed my camera at the first glimpse of the Gauguin name; a rickety wooden sign, written by hand, in front of a weed-covered wall of concrete.The road quickly opened up into beautiful Tiki gardens, and the museum sat in the center. It was quite modern, with simple lines, thick walls, and no doors; lizards ran up and down the sculptures, exotic birds flew in front of the colorful mural’s, but I really didn’t care, because I loved that rickety sign the most…
I know when I first started using photographs as art, the whole concept seemed wrong, and I didn’t even like cropping them, never mind altering them. I worried that I would lose the integrity of what it was supposed to be, that I was cheating, and creating my own reality. But then I realized that it was in fact the opposite – I wasn’t losing the original image, I was creating pictures for my home that were far more meaningful than something I could buy in the store.
Sometimes, we put off buying art, in the quest for something expensive and rare, and while fine art has it’s place, there is a lot to be said for redefining our own belief in what we want to look at. Because really, that is all that it is about, what do we like to see on our walls, and in our space? Photographs and memories are often the answer.
Most of us have a photo editing program on our computer, but if you don’t, or are not sure how to use it, check with your local copy store, or search for a service online. There are many sites that will let you download your own image, edit it, and create your own, personalized work of art (make your own poster, create a photo image on canvas, design your own coffee table book etc). Many of these sites also offer technical assistance by phone.
So, next time you’re wondering what to hang on that wall, take a look inside your camera instead…
p.s. This is the original photograph (it was blurry because we were driving) I then enhanced, cropped, and made into black and white.