Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal Like An Artist Cover, iPhone screenshot of kindle edition.

I found myself turning the lush pages of Lynda Barry‘s book What It Is because I read the minimalist styled pages of Steal Like an Artist: Ten Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. In the back of the book, Austin Kleon, a fantastic living artist, left a tidy list of 10 or so books that influenced him. This one by Lynda Barry was on that list.

Lynda is another fantastic living artist who makes powerful work. She’s worth sharing. Here’s a nugget that struck home:

“To follow a wandering mind means having to get lost. Can you stand being lost?”

Just quoting Lynda like this isn’t fair to you because it doesn’t give any sense of the richness and power of her work.  Here’s a photo of the page where this quote lives and breathes:

Page quote from Lynda Barry, What It Is

Photo of Page quote from Lynda Barry, What It Is, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

This is saturated, colorful, layered and intense.  All that and she’s got great content.  Can You Stand Being Lost?

Whether clinging to vertical career paths in a gig-based labor market, expecting consistent good health throughout life, or goaling ever faster run times in the face of age, when I need my life to conform to a certain map, I am NOT standing being lost. When I need everything I do to have a purpose, to align with my goals, I am NOT standing being lost.

There’s something gained by leaning into the lost times. Moses was probably on-plan when he saw the Burning Bush. He went to explore it. In a sense, he got “lost”. He followed a wandering. And his life, his purpose, his mission were forever changed from what he knew before and for good.

It’s important to have a plan but it’s also important to wander, to stand being lost.  Both are critical to becoming. Elsewhere, in Anna Farova‘s book, Josef Sudek, Poet of Prague, Anna quotes Josef, a fantastic Czech photographer with a long career in photographer from the early 1900s onward:

“I have no particular leaning toward….the all too clearly defined; I prefer the living, the vital, and life is very different from geometry; simplified securing has no place in life.”

New Year’s resolutions seem like Sudek’s geometry while the year that unfolds will be different because it is living and vital. As I begin the New Year, I have no particular leaning toward a resolution of any kind but to ask myself the question,

“Can I Stand Being Lost?”

All writing and images by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Imagine my surprise when I started my run, iPhone in hand, with a W40 lens and film combination and some time later discovered that each photo I took along the way was taken with a different lens and film combo with no intentional intervention on my part. After some head scratching I discovered that running with the Hipstamatic app open leads to random changes to the film lens combination. When I locked the phone and resumed running, no such changes happened.

At first I was annoyed at my lapse but when I thumbed through the stream, loved some of the resulting images! The first photo below is one of the surprises from that run that I absolutely love. The stark industrial crane and perfect symmetry bring a sense of order to the surreal result.

Embrace the Surprise, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012, Hipstamatic

Embrace the Surprise, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012, Hipstamatic

I loved this surprise so much that I tried to recreate it on my way back. After carefully selecting the film and lens combo, I shot expecting the same result. What I got was the second surprise! And I love it too.

Embrace the Surprise Too by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012, Hipstamatic, taken in Portland, OR

Embrace the Surprise Too by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012, Hipstamatic, taken in Portland, OR

There is a long running argument in photography between those who are proud of how well they can control the photographic tool and those who open themselves to chance and surprise and often throw the “best” tools and techniques of the other camp out the window. As someone who has walked, stood and sat on both sides, I believe they both have merit as well as their own time and place.

As a regular reminder to embrace the surprise in my work and life, I have both of these images printed on metal above my desk in my studio.

All I can say is Embrace the Surprise!

Originally published in Curiosity Quotient by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson on September 9, 2012.

All writing and images by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012.  All rights reserved.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

If you’ve ever broken any, you know that glass is delicate as in easy to break, but it is also able to be formed into delicate and evocative shapes. Here are 2 pieces of glass in a window on a square in Venice.

The shape on the right is my favorite. How about you? Which do you like better?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Ever heard of “runtography”? It’s a term I coined for “photographing while running.” It sounds better than “photoning” doesn’t it?

When you’re out for a jog you get to see a lot of extraordinary things that you miss from the car or at home.  But, you have to stop…to take a photo. Stopping or pausing is a real challenge for many runners because it’s easy to get obsessed with goals and training agendas and stopping slows you down. Thankfully, the iPhone or any other phone camera makes stopping easy and relatively fast.

Here are “runtographs”….okay….photographs of 4 green things that struck me while out on a loop around the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon.  Yes, my time was slower but I felt encouraged anyway. I used Snapseed, FrontView and Impressions to edit these iPhone photos. Do you “runtograph?” What’s your favorite mode of locomotion when you are photographing?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All images and writing by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2012