The Careful Snapshot

Like many people, I am on a summer road trip.

My husband and I our heading back to our former home to see our son, visit friends, do a little sightseeing and attending the opening of “Art Quilt Legacies” in Ft. Collins Colorado.

San Antonio

While on the road, like many people; I  take photographs to post on social media. More importantly I am collecting images to potentially use in future projects.

One of my rules is to take the photograph when something captures my eye. I stop (and tell my husband to stop!). Before taking the photograph I remind myself this is a potential usable image.

My last few landscape quilts have been the product of what I call this “careful snapshot”.

To the left is a photograph I took with my cell phone on a trip to San Antonio last spring. It's my latest quilt.

A careful snapshot is a process that has provided me with a file of really exciting compositions for future projects.

Like most people I have a camera phone full of pictures from various trips, family gatherings, holidays, parties, etc... I download my image files periodically.  These photographs did not become art quilts until I changed my process.

First I am looking for a potential series of images.

Maybe it’s plants, a vista, trees, buildings, interesting graphics, still life, shadows  or water. My process is to find a variations on a theme.  My  first interesting image of the day inspires me to collect 5-8 more similar images.

I include more background than I think I want.

In college I was encouraged to compose with the camera. Of course that was in the days before digital images and photo manipulation software.

Today you can crop, adjust color, light and apply filters all on your phone. By including more background you allow yourself the flexibility to move your focal point or change the format (square, landscape, portrait).  

I don't "fix" the images right away.

Pictures in your camera that are potential projects do not need to be posted to social media. Distance measured in time and place helps artist to see potential.

At the end of the day, the next morning or sometimes when I return home, I flip through my picture file. I delete pictures that are duplicates or images that are obviously poor quality. Then I select my 3-5 to keep.

I send them as an email attachment to myself. By sending images as email I can pick them up of any computer as well as my iPad.

Now I have images that I can work with and start the process that is the first step in making one of my art quilts.

 

Another camera phone picture from the Alamo

Until next time......

Margaret