The Daily Post has weekly photo challenges where bloggers can post about a specific topic. They can look at other people’s posts, give feedback, and hopefully start conversations with other bloggers. This week’s topic is Depth; The Daily Post says, “Whether visually or emotionally, this week let’s dig (or dive) deep.” I have chosen one of my favorite pictures I took while abroad in Venezuela for a semester.
One afternoon that I had off from classes I decided I was going to take my camera out in the neighborhood I was staying in and take some pictures. I was staying with a host family in the city of Mérida, Venezuela and hadn’t really had a chance to bring my good camera out. My expectations were low, I just wanted to get some good pictures that really showed the neighborhood and what life is like there; I knew my mother would be asking for every detail so I had to document appropriately.
Near this little internet cafe where two 10 year old boys were playing video games and eating ice cream, I stumbled upon this beautiful tree that had almost lost all of it’s orange flowers. The ground was scattered with petals and dead leaves, somehow it looked so majestic to me. I wanted to take a photo that really captured the essence of this tree. I started with the normal photographs, walking around the tree, taking pictures of certain branches, and whatever else looked cool. I wasn’t satisfied. I still felt like I was missing that one shot.
When in doubt, lay down and create a new perspective. I decided to lay down on the ground and started playing with my depth of field and really focusing on different petals and leaves. This particular photo is my favorite out of the bunch that I took. I’m sure I looked rather ridiculous with my large camera, laying on the ground in a small ‘park’ (it was a tree with two cement benches). Luckily, the 10 year old boys were too busy eating ice cream and killing each other in some crazy video game to notice me.
For me, this photo represents depth both visually and emotionally. You can clearly see the depth of field and the focus being on the middle petals and leaves with the foreground and background blurred. It is hard to explain how this photograph makes me feel, on one hand I feel this emotion surrounded by the cycle of life and death. On the other hand, I feel this emotion related to beauty and how it can come in many different shapes in our life.
The petals and leaves have fallen to the ground, the leaves have died and the petals are dying. Yet, somehow, it is beautiful. I remember being struck by the beauty of the leaves on the ground, I remember feeling confused, and a little nostalgic. I wanted to preserve that moment in time forever; to sit on that bench, in that park, with that partially flower covered tree and feel the warm breeze on my skin. I wanted to preserve that moment between life and death, that beautiful moment before the cycle starts over again. So, I guess, they really aren’t two different feelings. They are the same emotion.