I had a camera with me everywhere I went this week, with the intention of finding a way to break away from plans to take a photo walk. It only happened a couple of times, and truth be told I hate the pictures I got. So I was sure to go for a walk in the woods near our house. I wore the tallest socks I own to keep from getting poison ivy because it never fails – I always end up with it. So far, so good… but I did find nine bug bites on my thighs just after returning.
Mother Nature, you’re the worst.
Settings: f/2.8, 1/1600 sec, 53mm, ISO 4000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8
I walked away with a lot of images I loved during my time in the woods! I’ve been walking back there since we’ve moved into our house 3.5 years ago, but I always find something new to photography. This time, I kept having my eye drawn to curvy vines and textured tree trunks. I plan to share more of the photos I took on my Instagram later this week, but this photo was my favorite.
I don’t shoot at f/2.8 very often, and it was a mistake to do it here; the entire stump should be in focus. But those daddy long leg spiders… they were all up in each others business and I managed to find the right focus for both of them and still see most of their legs. I also love the bokeh – these days I stick to f/4.0 so the background isn’t a soft as it is here, but man do I love it because of the colors that blend together. And I really like to overall tone of the image; the almost purple color of the stump, light hitting the leaves to brighten the green, the muted cool colors where the light doesn’t reach. This photo walk was a great reminder to get out more often.
Week 41: Mental Health
Next Wednesday, the day our photo is “due,” is World Mental Health Day. It’s observed every year on October 10th to help raise awareness of mental health issues of those all around the world. This week, we’re going to photograph ways that we experience mental health in our lives.
Mental health isn’t something people like to talk about, but it’s gaining more recognition and becoming a topic of discussion – at least in America. But there’s a lot of shame attached to it… and there doesn’t have to be. It’s something we can’t control and it has no prejudice; it affects the old, the young, the rich and poor, all races, all cultures… it can sneak in when you least expect it.
Consider what you experience with mental health or mental illness. This doesn’t mean you have to share your story or a part of yourself, and please don’t put a loved one in an odd position and expose them. But try to wrap your head around the feelings, the confusion, the frustration, the stigma, and even how to overcome it. The list of the types of mental illnesses there are is long: anxiety, bipolar, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse, addiction disorders, OCD, PTSD… the list goes on and on. Use a model, use props, take a self-portrait, visit a place you love that brings you solace when you need an escape. Do some research or watch a film to learn more. All I ask is that you approach the topic genuinely and don’t make fun of it. If you’re up to the challenge, you can tag your social posts with #mentalhealthawarenessmonth or #mentalhealthmatters.
Last week’s photo: Photographer’s Choice #2018P52
If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!