Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Study in the Mundane: A Burden Through the Lens of a Passion

A recent change in my home life has meant a shift, from my wife doing the majority of housework, to us sharing more of the responsibilities. My wife is an amazing woman and can handle quite a lot, but even she has a limit. She has had some opportunities arise, which would allow her to explore some of her creative, artistic endeavors. In order to allow her to explore her dreams, she needed help with a lot of the mundane, domesticities.

I'd like to say that I stepped right up and volunteered, like a chivalrous knight in shining armor, but the reality is that I was slow to respond and I am just now starting to accept some of those responsibilities. My goal is to go beyond accepting the additional tasks and to move into a place of whole-heartedly embracing them, as a way to serve and love my beloved wife.

As I've begun to learn to accept and, hopefully...prayerfully...embrace the household chores that my wife needs help with, there's still this resistance, because I simply don't enjoy it very much. There's this selfish guy, in me, that rises up and proclaims that this is a waste of time and that the time required to do this work encroaches on my well-deserved R&R time.

Then, something happened that changed my perspective. As I was washing dishes the other day, I saw this unexpected beauty in what I was doing. I began to notice some very unique and distinguished patterns that certain dirty dishes, soap suds, and utensils were making. I stepped back and began playing with the lighting and, specifically, the reflective qualities of the plates, bowls, silverware, and water. And, all of a sudden, I was able to combine my joy-giving passion and my chore-laden burden, in a fun and creative way.

Excitedly, I grabbed my Canon XTi and began documenting the unique designs and forms that were literally coming to life before my eyes. The results were striking, in that they somehow took on a seemingly planetary, cosmological embodiment.  I have posted a couple of these photos and brief descriptions of them, below:

Dinner Plate Reflection

Left Image: A black dinner plate, with particles of food, oil, and water. I positioned the plate under a kitchen light and angled it, so as to give off a reflective quality. The result was an interesting image that reminded me of the sun's fiery glow. - Canon EF-S 18-55mm; ISO 400; f/4.5, 1/10

Dirty Dishwater Reflection

Left Image: A reflection off of dirty dish water, in the kitchen sink. The reflected images consist of a kitchen light, blinds, and the ceiling above and around the sink area. As a bonus, I captured something that resembles a resulting bokeh. - Canon EF-S 18-55mm; ISO 1600; f/5.6, 1/30

I really enjoyed the process of taking these shots, as the angles and lighting patterns were new discoveries that, much like the planetary forms they resembled, made me feel like I was pioneering new territory.  I'm sure similar shots have been taken, but I like to think that his was a space exploration project.