these {cloudy} days

it's been rainy and grey here for several days now.
but it is almost a contented sort of grey
that makes the spring greens feel even more peaceful than usual..

the leaves on the trees are unusually {for this time of year} in full blossom...

like sprigs of broccoli_1

everywhere i look, they all seem to be

like sprigs of broccoli_2

after more than a week of summer-like weather and temperatures, we've returned to a more typical spring {although still above-average temps}. i have to say, i have thoroughly enjoyed this mild weather. i remember spring seasons {not very long ago} when it seemed as if winter would not let go, hanging on with fury. and those were after a very typical, long, cold and dreary winter. so to have had such a mild winter and be going into such a pleasant spring, i can't even complain about the recent lack of sun. and like i said, somehow it almost makes me feel content to be surrounded by the grey.

the best thing about it... it gives me a chance to attack some things inside the home that have long been on my to-do list, like go through boxes and bins and get rid of the many silly or senseless things that i have held on to for years. i've always been a pack-rat, but i've found {looking through and looking back} that i kept some of the most unnecessary things... pieces of paper, mostly, that i thought would preserve a memory. but stuffed away in a box for years, those little pieces of histroy did not do what they were meant to. unless we are looking at those things on a regular basis, it really doesn't make sense to hold on to them. if they were truly important and meant to preserve the memory of days gone by, i think they should be out and displayed, no?

at least that is how i am finding it to be for my life. not just that, but looking back, some of the things i felt were important... things that made me feel important... they just aren't what they used to be to me. i guess it was okay to hold on to them for a season... for that time when they were significant to me. but now, many of those little things {for instance, ticket stubs to a concert} hold very little meaning, and i find myself wondering why i kept them all. they're really just taking up space in my life and psyche, you know?

of course, there are certain things i'll continue to hold on to... things that i will always treasure and will enjoy pulling out of a box to show isaac some day... things that will give him a glimpse into my past and what it was that shaped me.

so, it's not all gone... but i've thrown out several bags worth of "junk". and it feels really, really good!

some of the shelves, bags and boxes i went through contained thousands of photographs. i know it's probably hard for you to believe {said in my most sarcastic tone}, but i used to love to take pictures long before i was blogging and long before i had a digital camera.  yes, that's right... with film... a most  expensive habit when you are not a good photographer, but are a very click-happy shutter-bug. i seriously don't know why i took certain photographs that i did. for example, i would go on a trip {like to vermont in the fall to see the leaves}, and i would take a photo of a dog that walked up to me. i'm guessing, at the time, i thought it was a cute dog. but since i did not take the photo artistically... in a fine art photography sort of way... it just didn't make sense to {once again} preserve that memory. years later, i find myself looking at a photo like that and thinking "why in the world did i take that picture? i don't know the owner of that dog. and even if i did, this dog means absolutely nothing to me!"

and then, i toss the photo into a pile of pictures to throw out. i guess i am realizing now... photography is not just about level of skill. it's about taking photos that tell a story that is timeless... a story that won't fade, even when the memory of the moment in which it was taken has faded. so, though i wasted countless dollars on processing film for some really crappy photos, at least it taught me a lesson all these years later. this lesson... even though it costs so much less to take a picture now, i want each photo to count. i want them to be aesthetic... images that could stand on their own as framed pieces of art... even unframed. or, i want them to tell a story... a timeless story, as well as a timeful {i made that word up} story. or, better yet, be artistic and tell a story.

that said, as i went through all my photos, i pulled out the few that i felt were good enough to keep, even if the memory of them did not hold anything very special or significant {excluding photos of friends and family, all of which i kept}. i did this, because i thought it would be fun to scan them to be digital images {as time permits} and thus preserve them, putting them on my blog as i go. i could walk down memory lane each time i post one... reliving the moments that caused me to want to take them in the first place. and i could give a little history of myself at the same time... some vintage photos to go with some vintage stories. and a glimpse of where my love of photography perhaps began.

so, with the given present weather we are having, i thought i would start with this one...

foggy day in chi-town

i don't remember a whole lot about the day or the exact moment when i took this photo. but i do know i was standing across the street from the art institute of chicago... the largest art school and art museum in the city. it was almost twenty years ago. i had recently graduated from college. during my senior year of college, there were two exchange students from russia that i had befriended. {they were still attending the school during my first year out, which is when this was shot.} i was a lot closer to one than the other. her name was natasha, and she was a studying concert pianist. {i'm guessing that she is now a professional pianist.} i search for her to this day {on facebook and such}, because i would really love to reconnect with her. she was so dear to me, and we vowed we would never lose touch. but life changes, we move around, and those sort of friendships often fall away. i still hope to find her some day.

anyway, she had given me unofficial piano lessons while she was here in the states... for free. it was rather amazing to be taught by someone so talented who had gone to the conservatory in moscow and studied under some very gifted teachers. in exchange for her generous teaching, i gave her something she did not have for herself... a mode of transportation. i often drove her and her ukrainian friend around when they needed to run errands or wanted to experience american cuisine. they really wanted to take a trip into the city {chicago} to see the sights and do all the touristy things. so my twin sister and i drove them in for a day of sight-seeing. it was a day much like today... slightly chilly and rainy, but nice enough to walk around.

most of my photos from that day did not turn out well {i had a very basic non-slr camera}. but i loved how the above shot turned out, because the fog made the buildings seem as if they were evaporating into the air. i always love busy city-street photos, especially when the streets are saturated with rain and reflect the diffused lights of the cars and busses. the other thing that i loved about this photo is the hint of the street banner in the upper-left corner. it says "barenboim", who was the conductor of the chicago symphony orchestra at the time. i think i was standing nearby symphony center when i took the photo, actually. symphony center is a favorite place for me to visit when i go to chicago {as is the art institute}, and barenboim {now retired} is my favorite conductor, as well as a favorite concert pianist. so, to have been there with natasha on such a day and capture this photo just so... it makes me smile at good times... good memories. 

i do remember having a really fun time that day. i can't believe how long ago it was and how quickly time goes by. this is why i love photos. a memory like this would not be retrieved quite so easily without the photo that helped to preserve it.

well, after some new processing to an old photo, it was so much fun to walk down memory way. i do believe i will be doing this quite often with the rest of my blog-worthy old, printed photographs. {remember what photo paper looks like? i almost forgot!} i'm grateful that my mom gave me her old printer/scanner a while back... without it, this little series would not be possible.

the other benefit of going through all my old photos is that i took them all out of the albums and placed them all in a box. funny i should do that... i remember once thinking how i could not stand that all my photos were in boxes instead of albums, so i spent a lot of money and time getting them all into several matching photo albums. but those albums took up a lot of space on my shelves, and i found that i rarely looked at them. now, all the photos i value and want to hold on to are together in a couple leather boxes. now, i have more room on my shelves for other things. now, i can make a bit more money in my garage sale {i hope!... the albums are really nice!}

okay... that turned out to be one long post! i did not set out to write so much. haha... i never do. anyway, that's what i've been up to on these rainy days. you can be on the lookout for more "vintage" photos from my past in the future. i'll tag them or make a little series out of them. i'm not sure what to call them yet... maybe something having to do with film?? {i was thinking "days of film".} got any ideas?

ramble, ramble, ramble. i better go now. i've got a few more boxes of keepsakes to sort through before the weather gets nice again! hope your weekend is grand so far!


Lisa said...

Mmmm...I sometimes love grey days. Though I also love the moment when the sun finally breaks free! These days we are having a combo of gorgeous sunny days and windy rainstorms. I like them both.

I love your film photo! How exciting. :D I love going through boxes of old photographs. It's one of the reasons why I've been trying to order prints of all my favorite photos (I order them for pretty cheap on Snapfish through Flickr) just so that even though all my pictures are on a computer, I can have that experience of going through them one by one. And you know, maybe my future kids will like to do that as well.

This is also exciting to me because I've recently decided to try my hand with film--I found a cheap SLR that I'm going to play around with. I definitely won't be able to completely convert (too expensive!) but I think it will be fun to play. So it's just cool to see your film photo--there's a look to film that cannot be easily replicated. Anyway. Now I'm rambling! Hope you have a great week Miss Georgia <3

georgia b. said...

thanks, miss lisa! i so appreciate you reading my long post! and i really appreciate your long comment, too.

stacey said...

Oh my goodness! Those little blossoms totally look like sprigs of broccoli! Love it!

And I'm a little envious of your spring cleaning. It's something I really really need to do, but I am never motivated to get started bc it always seems SO daunting!! You may have inspired me. :)

And that "old" photo is lovely, Georgia. Even though you had a basic camera it's obvious you were already developing your photographic "eye", even 20 years ago.