The Heart of the Matter

This was my third attempt to write this post. I was surrounded by the digital equivalent of crumpled pieces of paper, thrown at the wastebasket, each a missed shot, failing to find its mark.

I had been out-of-sorts lately, creatively speaking. On my photo walks, I re-visited the same places, in search of something – a new perspective; a different point-of-view, a subject with which to engage.

I found ten other things that “needed” my attention instead of writing – I had no words, no stories, nothing of interest to say. The fears – that I would never take another photograph worth keeping or write another sentence worth reading – crept around my chair, threatening to entangle me.

On Sunday, the sun shone and the sky was a bright blue canvas. I went to one of my favorite places to photograph – the local high school.

There, it came rushing back – my connection with the camera, with my surroundings, with my art.

I then found something extraordinary. Beneath the spiral staircase, amidst the rust stains and melting snow, I discovered this chalked heart. Hidden from view, where only someone who was looking would find it.

Kat Sloma’s incredible photography series, “Evidence of Love”, popped into my head. A big smile lit my face. Here it was, proof that the creative lull, the absence of words, was temporary.

Proof that we just have to keep looking; keep trying; keep putting in the daily effort. And we will be rewarded – with what our heart needs.

Texture Tuesday Processing

  • Duplicate original image; blend mode set to Soft Light
  • Process the CoffeeShop Storybook Vintage action
  • Run my midtone contrast action to bring out the texture
  • Add the Just Cause texture, desaturate, blend mode set to Linear Burn, opacity = 40%
  • Add the Chamomile texture, desaturate, blend mode set to Linear Burn, opacity = 40%
  • Add the Storm texture, blend mode set to Divide, opacity = 60%

Below is the original image and the Photoshop layers palette.

Feb-7-Before Layers-Palette


Linking with Texture Tuesday


Posted on February 7, 2012, in Photoshop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Love this image, it made me smile this morning. You have such a beautiful way with words, never fear that they’ll desert you.

  2. Great shot, love the processing too. I have the same struggles with creativity lapses…you put it beautifully and I’m glad you rediscovered yours along with that beautiful little heart.

  3. So original love the photo and the texturing. Great!!

    Happy Tuesday

  4. I got goosebumps reading your post…the love in it..the heart of it – figuratively and literally, gave me goosebumps. Thank you..the message struck home.

  5. Beautiful post…beautiful image! And every photo you take is worth keeping:)

  6. You always do get into the heart of the matter, Brenda.I think we all experience dry periods, when nothing seems to click. I find I have to set my camera aside during these times or I get too frustrated. How perfect that the heart was waiting to be discovered — evidence of love and hope.

  7. Oh I love it!! And what a great story you’ve told, full of such wonderful inspiration! This is a lovely find and beautiful capture. 🙂

    Happy Tuesday!

  8. How perfect is this Brenda???
    And it sounds like it was just when you needed it.
    Really beautiful, and made even more so by your words.

  9. Brenda, I am so glad that your heart was rewarded with just what you needed. Those lulls can be so frustrating…the creeping fears that threaten to entangle us can appear real until that freshened creative air sweeps back and we remember it all. Your image is beautiful…truly extraordinary.

  10. All in good time and when it’s meant to be. This came along exactly when it was supposed to. A wonderful find.
    The other day I was shooting pics and I heard myself say aloud “I’m bored”. And my images showed that. I drove off headed home, when I was struck with a “have to have” moment. You just never know.
    I think I will always think of Kat when finding a random heart….and you, when finding shadows.
    Happy day and inspiration Brenda.

  11. Couldn’t get any more perfect than this!! I know exactly what you mean – when that fear that nothing will ever ‘work’ again..and then – there it is – you find yourself again! Love the image…:-)!

  12. I came to this page after viewing your recent work on the flickr account, and was thinking to myself–how does she manage to create so many great images? I was, therefore, surprised to read that you were feeling uncreative. Huh?!
    But, I know what you mean by that fear that one’s creative abilities are used up and will never be again. Drab winters bring that on for me.
    You are correct that we just need to keep putting in that daily effort.
    This was a wonderful find! As always, excellent processing. I’m off to CoffeeShop to look at that action.

  13. Lovely, hearts are the thing at the moment it seems! I love yours & the creative process is interesting isn’t it?

  14. Ooof. I am far too familiar with this stunted place right now. Glad you emerged unscathed, and with a lovely gift for us.

  15. It seems that those of us in Kim’s classes always had a goal, a purpose, a reason to go and take photos. Some, like you, put them together with exquisite writing. It took a great deal of time, effort and thinking. If you are/were feeling a lull it is easy to understand. That happened to me and painting last November. And now I have more energy and desire to paint. It is frightening to hit those valleys in our life when the peaks have had such a splendid view.

    I think you have your muse back, and what a metaphor, a heart.
    Lovely posting and texture. Just meant to be.

  16. Beautiful image and beautiful words. Thank you for sharing your struggles, that we all share.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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