Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Art and Fun of Photography

Marching turtles on a creek near our home
     I enjoy taking photographs, but am by no means an artist at photography. Many of my photos are to preserve memories such as family events, large and small, and travel scenes and experiences. Many others serve as reference material for landscape painting. I have a great admiration for artistic photos, however, and sometimes wish I were more accomplished. Truly artful photography can be charming, brutally honest, breath-taking, and more.
A view of the creek
An extreme close-up of the creek and reflections

     A teen family member named Alex reminded us in December that artistic photography is a wonderful hobby and a rewarding pursuit. Visiting here in Coastal North Florida from inland southern California, Alex had no age peers during his visit but made the most of his time with us. Fortunately, he is passionate about photography--a wonderfully portable pursuit. When we asked what he would like to see or do in Jacksonville, he said--only partly joking--that he wanted to "find art". What a wonderful way to express his joy in finding interesting photo subjects and unique angles from which to make pictures!

     So, Alex took us all on several adventures to find art. My husband, Mark, showed him a nearby creek that he always enjoys on morning walks. I have used various views of this creek, viewed from a little bridge on an ordinary two-lane local road, in several paintings. It is just the sort of small treasure most people would pass by that inspires many of my scenes. Alex loved it and took a number of creative photos.
Just two of the many branches of the Treaty Oak
Alex meeting us at the south end of the Main Street Bridge

     Then we visited a truly amazing live oak tree, called the Treaty Oak (yelp has some photos), which stands in its own little urban park in Jacksonville. All of us had a great time there, and then Alex expressed an interest in one of the major bridges over the mighty St. Johns River. We dropped him off on the north end, and he walked over the bridge taking a number of photos on the way.

     I wish I could show you some of Alex's photos, but I do not have any. A few of my snapshots, though not "art", will show you the local locations we enjoyed together while on Alex's quest.

Question of the day:  What non-touristy spots would you show Alex near your home?


  1. Love that turtle photo especially, Mary. I love that Alex has a great hobby that could become a career for him some day. I love seeing a young man interested in something besides bad things... He'd have to see touristy Starved Rock here, with its canyons, waterfalls, and caves and green all around, all sitting on the IL River. Beyond that, this state has so much beauty if one takes the time to look, to see it in the farm country, the cities, the desolated, and the fresh.

  2. Mary-I think the photo of those marching turtles is awesome. I have never seen that many turtles at a time. Definitely looks pretty artistic to me. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  3. Sherry, your comments are always so interesting and carefully thought-through! Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to reflect on the article and the question. I would love to see Starved Rock and all the other places, both better-known and more out-of -the-way, that you know about in Illinois.

    Thank you for your encouragement, Debbie, and for taking the time to visit and comment. For some reason, our nearby streams and ponds--even neighborhood retention ponds, have a large number of turtles. Fun to see.

  4. Great photos...especially the one of the reflections! Looks like Alex had a good time taking photos too.

  5. Thank you, Joan. We all had a good time seeing Alex's creativity and enjoyment of his art photography. Great to hear from you!